Blights On Society

I have come to hate television commercials. They interrupt one’s entertainment, often with bland, unattractive salesmanship. To be sure, some are imaginative, entertaining, and well produced. All the same, they’re irritating. I must come clean: I’ve created and produced dozens of commercials, for which I apologize. I didn’t put them on the air or anything like that. I just wrote and designed them. In any case, advertising is an ugly blight on society.

Packaging is outrageous! Packaging is made of glossy, polluting materials that appear to be as expensive as their contents. Sometimes, we can hurt ourselves just trying to get at the little product inside. Yesterday I opened a fresh box of raisin bran. The large box is strong, heavy, and printed on all sides with full colour artwork. Inside the box was a bag of some kind of cloudy material that was almost bullet proof. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it cannot be opened without a scissors. Now with the bag out of the box, I’m left with this beautifully constructed, full colour printed large cereal box.

That box, and the way it looks, is for the store shelf. It’s to attract your eye and lure you away from the other manufacturers’ boxes, all of which are bidding for your attention and money. It’s shameful that we have the box at home, with all that art and printing on it, and it just goes straight into the recycle bin.

I recall two brands of laundry detergent of different packaging, name, and price. The contents of the boxes were the same. One had the beautifully printed box, and was more expensive. The other was in a plain, less expensive box, and it was a cheaper product. The only difference between the two was that one had little blue granules in it and the other had little red granules in it. That was just for show – the stuff was the same.

Would we buy the Raisin Bran without the box? Certainly! They just need to print the name brand and contents on the bag, and that’s it. Deduct the cost of the fancy box, and the consumer gets the goods without the stuff for the bin. However, some competitive brand would put out a much more beautiful, attractive, and expensive package and win away some consumers. That means the bag brand has to do the same, and soon we’re back to excesses that are unnecessary. We’re just spoiled.

Advertising agencies create the box designs, as well as the magazine ads, the flyers, the radio and television commercials, and the banners on the Internet. They are polluting our broadcasting with pitches of every kind, loud and soft, smart and stupid.

I apologize for interrupting your viewing with my commercials, although they did bring you the programming free of charge.

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