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Are Television Commercials Deceiving us


It took quite some time for me to realize that I was barking up the wrong tree complaining about commercials on TV. At the beginning, these thirty seconds “movies” put in the segments of four or five minutes were very convenient. I had time to go to the bathroom or to make a cup of coffee. But after a while they begun annoying me and getting on my nerves. The every evening quality time was shattered into pieces that, even if I tried hard, I was not able to put them back together. Cursing at people who made my life miserable, I wanted to do something to ease my pain. But in vain. Whoever I talked to agreed with me that there was a problem but at the same time it seemed that nobody was trying to even make a slightest effort to find any solution to that problem. People got used to it. They put up with something that they did not like. Their hopelessness bothered me and very often I was asking myself why. If you do not like something, fight for a change. Voice your opinion on something that you pay for. It is your money you spend and it is your right to spend it the way YOU want. After all if you go to a store to buy something and you do not like what you see on the rack, you do not buy it. You go to another store. If you are not happy with what you see, even if a shop assistant assures you that this is it what you were looking for, you tell him to go to hell and you look for something that YOU like. It seems that people rely on something that it is delivered to them on the silver platter and it does not bother them what it is. The difference between stores and TV companies is that that although all stores have the same kind of merchandise, people have a choice to choose what is best for them. Unfortunately there is not much choice in getting the best TV provider. There are only two or three of them in the area where you live. All of them promise the best service in the world with countless amounts of channels but it appears that all of them deliver the same junk called commercials.

So I hated them. But then, looking closer at those Oscar winning short movies, I realized that it were not them that made me so unhappy. It appeared that everything between them was causing my frustration.

America is a beautiful country with happy people living happy life. At least all the commercials try to make me think this way. But as soon as a commercial ends the whole happiness bursts like a soap-bubble.

I see smiling faces of those who, after using a drug sold over a counter at the nearest drug store or online, lose their weight in just two or three weeks. They show their pants they used to wear before taking these pills to prove that miracle. But then, after these thirty seconds happy clips, someone tells me that America has a problem with obesity, that America does not know what and how to eat and that the government is going to regulate our habit of consuming what we like to fill our stomach with.

Countless commercials introduce a few kinds of health insurances that all of us may afford to have if we chose to have one of them. They will cost us as little as a dollar a day – it is less that we pay for a cup of coffee at Star Bucks or even at Seven Eleven. But politicians fighting for whatever they fight for interrupt these happy clips to tell us that forty million people can not afford a health insurance and that they are going to fix this problem. What are they going to fix? The problem is already fixed! Don’t they see that everything is OK? Don’t they watch TV?

I see an old lady on a wheelchair who is telling me that she did not pay for this comfort of moving around her house and that everyone who would chose the insurance she has, will be thankful for such a brave step in picking up the same health coverage she has. But then someone else tells me that elderly in this country can not afford such a luxury. I am very puzzled by that because, according to a commercial, I do not need to afford anything. It is free!

There are cars driven by beautiful girls and handsome boys speeding on empty roads and streets. Nobody in these cars seems to be concerned about traffic and a fuel cost. The car companies sell these cars for a little money, so everybody may have one. They give you five hundred or even five thousand cash back. There is nothing to complain about. The five thousand dollars will buy you a lot of gallons of gas, no matter how expensive it is. What else do you need? But then, someone says that American families have to tighten their belts because the gas at the pump is horrendous and that there are a lot of accidents on the road caused by speeding cars.

There are a lot of commercials about all kinds of beer and other alcohol beverages. They make you feel like a hero at bars and clubs. They make you feel like the whole world belongs to you. But although I have never seen anybody consuming these liquids of happiness on these commercials, as soon as the commercial ends, somebody tells me that there is a drinking problem in our society. There is a drinking and driving problem among our youths and abuse of children and women caused by high percentage of alcohol in our blood stream. By the way, is the advertised beer good to drink or just to look good in the glass?

I see well behaved children and parents spending happy hours with one another at various playgrounds. But then I hear that in order to make ends meat, adults have to have two and even three jobs to make their families somewhat happy. After such a long day of work there is no time to prepare a decent meal for the family! So, when do parents find the time to play with their children?

Politicians show their happy faces, promising a life in paradise but then somebody tells me that this or that candidate to the office does not know anything about the economy, that he or she has problems in their private and public life. So, how can they solve my problems if they are not able to solve their own ones?

All the TV networks try to persuade me that they are the best in business. If I watch one of them I do not need to watch its competitor. They have exclusively the news that I am hungry for. They advertise in short segments what I may expect to see if I do not change the channel. But then the network shows me the same clips it advertised just a moment ago. It looks like an add did not end at all. Does the network realize that it does not have anything to talk about?

Watching all these commercial clips and then something between them I feel confused and I ask myself:

Who the hell is telling the truth, the commercials or something that interrupt them?