Commercials have several necessary purposes including alerting us, the consumer, to new products that may make our lives a little easier or sales that may help us keep our wallets a little fatter. They often provide a light humor and wit which creates in the world a little more laughter, often in short supply.
However, commercials have their negative points, a few of which are personal pet peeves for me. I dislike commercials that scream at me, commercials that include mouth noises (i.e., crunching, smacking, chewing, etc.), and a few I find personally morally offensive but that’s my burden to bear. But none of those things drive me crazy. No, that honor is reserved for commercials that don’t seem to have anything to do with the product they’re advertising or they run counterintuitive to increasing revenue. For example, as a woman I find commercials that rely solely on the oversexualization of its cast offensive therefore it is improbable that I would buy a product advertised this way. Also, if I can’t recall the name of your product by the end of the commercial, then as the advertiser, you probably spent too much money on hype and not enough time on product specificity. Or I could just have a short attention span and/or memory. But the latest commercial on my “that’s just silly!” list inspired this open letter to the Postmaster General.
Dear Postmaster General,
After watching your most recent commercial, a valiant but empty attempt at getting customers to return to your mail services, I feel compelled to write. Trying to get customers to revert to paper “snail mail” is like trying to put the cat back in the bag. Although not impossible, it is improbable and probably painful in the long run. So how about attracting the cat into a box instead? In this case, one of your strongest attributes is the protection of people’s mail to the point that it is a federal offense to tamper with US Mail so why not continue with this protection in the mainstream by offering digital mail processed via USPS servers that offer the same protection for a fee comparable in today’s market. This offers you a new course of revenue and offers the public a valuable, needed avenue for privacy and protection of personal documents. Think it over. If you opt for this course, you may take the credit, I won’t tell! And as a course of current savings, I would respectfully submit that you stop wasting money on advertisements that will never convince me to revert from instant, digital delivery.
Maybe I should write it in longhand, addressing it by hand and licking a stamp? Perhaps not.
Yes, I am well aware that there are greater issues than a commercial that I can simply turn off, especially since I watch little television. But for some reason commercials were the thing that irked me today. Are there commercials that drive you to this sort of lunacy? That you write a letter you don’t truly intend to send but you just want to get your frustration out there? What moves you to use your voice in the world to be heard? What other things get you so frustrated or motivated that you are driven to action?