Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time to wake up!

Don't be chicken–time to wake up
Isn't it time we all woke from our "Dreams"?

It's time to put the ad industry on blast. Advertisers need a wake-up call. We need to have a moratorium on the way advertisers communicate with us – and it starts with the word "dreams".

Ok so that may not have been where you thought this post was going but hear me out. Every advertisement; print, web, television–even radio–is talking about how a particular product or service is going to help me fulfill my 'dreams'. Really? How is that possible–especially since you don't even know what they are?

I mean let's call a spade a spade here, nothing advertised fulfills dreams. What we're talking about are aspirations. I know, I know, the word 'Dreams' sounds sexier. It's compelling–even seductive–yet elusive. It's ill-defined but totally captures the imagination. 

Yeah, yeah. We get it. Why is it bogus then? Our first clue is that politicians use the word all the time to get us all riled up over their bills, policies and laws, like so:

Ahh, the dream of endless paperwork
"Now, American families, long-denied the ability to secure a home for their family, can at last realize the American Dream of Home Ownership."

Hard to believe I just made that up, huh? It's because it draws on familiar language that we all have been fed over and over–for years. We don't even notice this word as it plays on our emotions, or perceptions and our morality. So now, it needs to go. In fact it is my "dream" not hear or read that word ever again.

"Standby, a lawyer has been
dispatched to your location!"

This jargon has been pirated by advertisers who really just want your money. Anything else is FUBAR

Here then, is my top five dream-busting points to remember when you are about to throw down some touchy-feely emotional swill from your favorite advertisers:

1. Drop your pants & bend over. ANY insurance or medical institution who pretends to support your dreams–doesn't. Just ask anyone who has ever been in an automobile accident, had a home insurance claim or a serious medical procedure done. They'll drop you faster than a drug-smuggler with a 10-kilo haul at the border.

2. Just kidding. So when you actually have a legitimate claim, insurance companies will haggle with you and lower your claim to the lowest possible payout in the history of humankind. That's not a dream by the way–it's more like a nightmare!

3. Show me the money. When financial institutions need to constrict payouts or values, you're the first to feel it. When they need raises and bonuses for shares worth 2% of their value just a year ago–well, I hope it's your 'dream' to foot the bill for someone else's Porche. It's a self-awarded job well done by the very people who write you letters that say "we regret to inform you that your account has been closed due to poor market activity". Thanks for playing (…suckers!).

4. Please take my money! Banks don't make your dreams come true, especially with monthly fees, service charges and insufficient funds. these are all fees leveraged to make them billions collectively every year.

5. Wake-up call.
Anyone who mentions wanting to help you realize your dreams in their advertising is lying. Wake up! You're just an account number to them. Deep down, you already know this.

Mmm... pie in the sky
As a Dad, bashing the concept of dreams is a sobering thought when I think about my children and their future. I know that the words in this blog will serve as an account of who their Dad was years from now, long after I am gone.

So here it goes; kids, any "Dream" you hold is likely centered around money and financial standing. Just trust in your ability to to earn, your values and your self-worth—trust in God and in the values I tried to instill in you–through hugs, discussion, shouting, threats, pleads and reasoning. If you aspire to be good people, good citizens of humanity and strive to leave this world just a sliver better than you found it–well, that is all I could EVER hope for from any of you.

And for me, that would be a dream come true.

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