Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ad Lessons #1 - Loyalty sucks. Switch

When I first started a blog, Writerboy asked me what I was going to write about... and I mentioned I wanted to start an on-going feature about advertising. I'm hoping he'll contribute to this.

See, what I find interesting about ads, is the unconscious lessons they're teaching us. For instance, when telephones were deregulated in this country and we were inundated with ads to switch. "SWITCH AND WE'LL REWARD YOU!" screamed the ads. In fact, they still scream this. I remember turning to Writerboy at some point and saying, "so much for loyalty, eh?"

The underlying lesson to consumers is, there is NO reward for being loyal. The only reward is in looking out for #1, yourself. In fact, we'll pay you to switch your loyalties. Only by being a turncoat will you gain rewards.

How has this panned out in the public? It's still up for debate, from what I can see. Politics so far, is forbidden to offer rewards for enticing the other side. So, how are politicians getting people to switch teams? Scare tactics.

In fact, I can't think of a single instance anymore, where loyalty IS rewarded. People just don't think long-term anymore. Things not working out with the spouse? Switch! (look at divorce rates, WifeSwap) 401k's are movable, everything is geared toward portability now. Hmm, so is Loyalty just an old-fashioned idea then? What is being loyal good for?

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias.


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