Friday, November 04, 2005

The Kids Aren't Alright

Because I was asked for help with a persuasive essay on this very topic, I have decided to write this, despite the fact that my statements on such went pretty much completely ignored.

When our children turn on the television, it's bad enough that they have to sit through the complete and utter garbage that's shoveled up to us on a nightly basis by the networks, as though they feel the overwhelming need to fulfill a sacred prophecy made many years ago by Newton Minnow; that one day all of America will turn on their televisions and realize that it's turned into a vast wasteland of media-mung. However, that our children are less than entertained by the drek that is served up to them by producers isn't enough: Their poor eyes are assaulted by depraved (sexually or otherwise) advertisements for all manner of products, from videogames to prophylactics to fast-food.

But you know what? Fuck 'em. (<----- that is my thesis statement, by the way)

Businesses have to advertise to make their way in this world. It's a simple fact. Whether they're advertising in the yellow pages or during the latest episode of Lost, the fact remains that they have to compete with other companies in their fields, and they have to carve out their niche by differentiating themselves from other products. To not advertise is to put all of your future customers in the hands of a word-of-mouth campaign, praying that at least some people who bought your product are so enthused by it that they will say to their friends, "I can't believe you're still using Product B, because Product A is so much better." Therefore, companies have to advertise in the media.

That there are companies out there whose markets are less than family-friendly is a fact. The people who make KY Jelly very likely get complaints for advertising prior to the end of The Tonight Show, courtesy of tremendously moral and law-abiding Americans who are without sin and can cast stones until the end of time, and -might I add- have no problems with lubrication and therefore would never have need of KY Jelly, therefore believing such advertisement to be a collective waste of their time, thus necessitating part of their community effort to end the visual assault that KY Jelly has put upon their children, and the children of people they don't know, but are equally at risk of having their minds sullied by such grotesque advertisements.

However, there are people who watch television, quite possibly even shows on ABC's "TGIF" lineup, who may be in need of such products as KY Jelly. In fact, statistically speaking, considering the number of families that potentially watch those shows, it's damn near likely that a large enough percentage of the audience may need such services. And, to take that statistic further, some of them may not know what brand to buy. Therefore, the KY Jelly people have a perfect opportunity to pander to an audience that's in need of their products, much like Republicans advertising on the O'Reilly factor. It's an audience that just won't say no.

So, by this rationale, the advertisers are justified in hawking their wares in any media, provided there are people listening to, reading or watching that media who may be interested in the product. To say that the KY Jelly people can't advertise during an episode of Hope & Faith is as laughable as saying that Tampax can't advertise during an episode of WWE Smackdown, because it might freak out or offend some guys who aren't comfortable with the notion of a woman's monthly cycle.

The fact is, to get people's attention, you have to dazzle them, or in some fashion set yourself apart from the competition. So, if that means that your boner-drug has to be fronted by Mike Ditka throwing a football through a tire (in what is probably the least subtle analogy they could possibly have come up with), so be it, because the alternative is showing a guy taking the drug and then engaging in graphic hardcore sex.

Which brings me to the final party involved in all of this: The Network. A television network has the right to, barring political laws involving equal-time, tell an advertiser that the network will not accept the advertiser's money, and that the network will take less money to run an advertisement from a company with a less-controversial commercial. At the same time, the network can accept that controversial advertisement and attempt to weather the storm from Brent Bozell and his Focus On The Family army (who will now attempt to get my sponsors to stop advertising on my site, despite the fact that I don't have any).

In the end, it comes down to money and necessity. The television is a sacred temple in the family home, and parents feel that there are some hours that are sacrosanct and must not be invaded by advertisements for products that might cause their children to ask questions that the parents are not prepared to answer until such time as the children are out of college. However, the networks need money, so the advertisers fit that bill. The advertisers need consumers, so they're married to the media by that respect. The consumer needs the media for the purposes of entertainment. If any one of those parties doesn't like what another one is doing, that party is within rights to say no.

It's that simple, and so it all comes back down to my thesis statement: Fuck 'em.

Time elapsed: Thirty-three minutes.

AIM: therbmcc71

No comments: