Watching a baseball game the other night, my wife turned to me and said “nobody wants my money any more”. She was complaining about the onslaught of ads that follows every half-inning in a baseball telecast. Apparently all the products that they were hawking at this particular break were aimed at people far younger than us.
I hit 60 in May and she’s approaching 39 - again - toward the end of this month. We’re old farts, as far as the Madison Avenue crowd is concerned.
Apparently my wife is not interested in a product which claims it will give you much thicker and longer eyelashes, if you buy it and use it faithfully for something like three months. The spokesmodel for the ad was Brooke Shields - a “compensated endorser”. Seems to me the last thing Brooke Shields ever needed was help in the eyelash department. The list of side effects, however, was quite off-putting to me, should I ever decide to enhance my eyelashes.
My bride was also not interested in a new telephone (why do we still call them that?) which plays games with you, provides GPS in case you get lost, and allows you to update your Facebook status on-the-go. I believe, but I’m not sure, that you can still place and receive phone calls on the device. She has a Blackberry issued by her employer, which probably can do all the stuff the ad talked about, but she uses it 100% for work. No Facebook-status-updating.
Then there was an ad for beer, flavored with lime and salt. No thanks. Bam-bam-bam, three 30-second ads, back-to-back-to back. Then back to the game. Baseball’s makin’ money. Lots of ads.
Watching a baseball game is usually a shared-time activity for me, if the Brewers aren’t on, and it’s a “school night” as we still call Monday through Thursday evening. I’ll usually have the laptop fired up, reading blogs, checking the news, surfing the net, finding ideas for these little stories I write every day. The ads tend to pass without my notice.
I thought a bit about my wife’s comment that nobody wanted her money any more, and reminded her that apparently everybody wants my money, particularly the folks who make Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, and that drug that stops you from having to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes. There’s an ad for one of them, and an ad for beer, in seemingly every half-inning break.
We’re not rich, and probably never will be, but the wolf isn‘t at the door. With both kids through college (well, just about, for our son) we’re starting again to do things like take real vacations, and buy each other nice birthday presents.
Advertisers still want our money. It’s just that we don’t buy eyelash enhancers and new cell phones. Or beer automatically flavored with lime and salt.