Job Patstone: Listen carefully to ads, are we that stupid?

Job Patstone: Listen carefully to ads, are we that stupid?

What’s with these marketing people who tell us things in their TV ads that just don’t make any sense?

If one listens closely to some TV spots, what they mean to say and what they actually say is two different things, because they’re assuming that you will understand something much more complicated than their quotations.

My favorite these days is an ad for a certain credit card supplied by a company that apparently, and this is verbatim, “Allows you to fly at peak periods on any seat on any airline”. So they are telling me that I can fly on any airline at Christmas time, Thanksgiving, Easter or whenever just by using their card. Well you know what? I can do that already with the card I already have from my computer or smart phone anytime, anywhere. Do you really think an airline is going to hold seats just in case someone uses one of those cards? I’m guessing, not.

What they want us to think is that we would have priority over someone else, but it ain’t so folks, it just ain’t so. What’s really important is how many points you can get so that someday you could fly for free somewhere, which that card offers, as do many others, but you have to use one of their travel partners, which are not connected to any particular airline.

How about that Cadillac ad that compares a certain model to the likes of a BMW? “Just which car is the better vehicle now?” they ask. All they really say in that ad is that the Cadillac has more power than the BMW 3 series, so apparently having more power makes it a better car? Hello, I don’t think so.

How about the “NoNo” razor; a miracle razor for ladies that solves all the problems of unwanted hair anywhere on the body? People please, if this razor was so good it would be flying off the shelves from every Wal-mart in North America. Thing is, you can’t even buy one in a store, which probably means the company doesn’t stand by its product, which inadvertently means it’s obviously no good. I apologize to all of you who have recently bought one, and I offer my sympathy’s at the same time;, definitely a no-no.

That cleaning product CLR (Cleary Lesser Results) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. I know.  I tried it. I tried the one that’s supposed to get rid of those imbedded oil stains in your driveway, but after several tries the stain is still there. I’m sure I did it right, I read all the instructions even though I’m a man, really. Over the years the stain has taken on a character of its own and has even become a conversation item and best of all, always a constant reminder to never buy something I see advertised on TV by some guy with an Australian accent, not that I dislike Aussies, I just don’t trust this guy anymore. And those bathtubs they clean with that product; if your bathtub’s that dirty you either need a new bathtub or something is leaking and needs to be fixed.

Febreze, (what kind of a name is that) please. Garbage locked up in a car in a parking lot in Texas at 100F degrees. I’m thinkin’ if it were true, once they sprayed enough air freshener to kill that smell, you wouldn’t be able to breathe in there let alone have it smell like a garden. I also bought this product and yes it’s environmentally friendly, but it sure isn’t people friendly. The list goes on of course, but it makes you wonder sometimes at just how stupid these marketing companies think we are; of course they’ll argue the point that their sales are doing well, so maybe we actually are.

Someone once told me to “believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.” Now that may sound cynical, but the older I get the more I realize that it’s probably true. OK, so I’m a cynic, and I probably watch too much TV.

Categories: Arts & Culture, News

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.


  1. cathynolan
    cathynolan 1 November, 2013, 12:09

    Interesting article. I have found the most effective means of not hearing a word during these TV ads, I press the mute button.

    Although for those lucky enough to have Videotron, you can start a programme let it run for 20 minutes and then fast forward through all the ads, still enjoying your programme live. Works for me!

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