Dumb and Dumber- Advertisements on TV

The amount of time advertisements take up of a prime time one-hour television show has increased from 20% in 1990 to almost 32% in 2013. Typically, I watch ads in a state of dull haze, with my mind switched off because I have a firm belief that watching them can make me only dumber. They are fabricated lies anyway, with no truth to most of their claims. But I wish we were not exposed to so much stupid rhetoric by the supposed ‘creative minds.’

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For instance, and I am deliberately choosing to talk about them first, look at any of the Fair and Lovely/Fair and Beautiful/Fair one/Fair all- the list is endless really- ads. All of them feature a pitiable girl struggling to achieve her dreams before a beloved well-wisher (one out of the endless female celebrities who endorse these products) advises her to use Felix Felicis aka the fairness cream. The girl turns fair within four weeks and her life is suddenly back on track again and yes, yes she is happy again. Such ads leave me stumped because I am always wondering while watching them what fairness has to do with any of it. Maybe the girl would do better to drink some Horlicks/Bournvita/Complan to develop some competent cognitive skills. Or maybe the advertisers should do that.

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Then there are the deliberately sexist ads for deodorants. I might just have a personal vendetta against them. I get that it is classical conditioning; that by having attractive women fall for the guy who uses the deodorant, the advertisers want you to associate the same pleasant feeling, that you have for the women, with the deodorant brand. This is the logic advertisers also apply when they inexplicably have you scratching your heads as to what a girl in her undergarments is doing on a snowy terrain in a certain winter wear apparel brand’s ad. This is also what advertisers at the Auto Expo believe-having glamorous models stand next to their automobiles will draw a more positive response for their car model(s).

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Want I do not get it is- why run the risk of becoming blasé?  We have been seeing these ads since I can remember and I would like to think that advertisers think of us as mature, sensible creatures who like to feel inspired by quirky and heartwarming advertising but the evidence proves otherwise. On a more economically sound note, how do you differentiate one brand from the other when all of their ads revolve around the same ‘dumb and dumber’ concepts?

I am not arguing on the point I stated early on in the article- that of advertisements being fabricated lies. They could definitely work at being more thoughtful and innovative though. Please tell me it isn’t too much to ask.

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