Whac-a-Mole is a game in which players use a mallet to hit and whack down the moles, which pop up in random. How does that relate to unwanted advertisements?
The average consumer is currently exposed to up to 5,000 advertisements per day from various sources. These include direct, indirect, online, and subliminal. The new level of hyper-advertising clutter now exists, and it has changed some consumer’s sentiments from receptive to hostile. Some strategies could even be considered insensitive, abusive and belligerent. Collectively, these ad strategies create a well-crafted public nuisance with louder and more sensational noise levels which are turning off many consumers.
The worst of all is the constant barrage of unwanted and annoying robo-calls, of which many are to promote scams. The technique of “spoofing” makes the receiver think that a friend may be calling because the call is from a local number. But they have been spoofed. The call is from some far away country with the person having a foreign accent. Each month there are nearly 5 billion robo-calls and nearly 17 daily spam calls for every cell phone. More than ½ the calls you receive will be spam. Best to download an app on your phone that tells you who is calling you. If you do not recognize let it go to voice mail. Your phone will have a “block phone number,” setting, so use it.
I recommend that you go on the website www.donotcall.gov and register you and all your family members numbers. The Federal Trade Commission is in the process of allowing phone carriers to block robo-call spammers. The FCC has adopted a method for service providers to adopt SHAKEN/STIR which allows users to certify whether numbers presented in caller ID are accurate. SHAKEN/STIR are acronyms for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using Tokens (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revised Standards (STIR). Effectively this sets up a caller ID authentication so that the phone company and consumer can tell who is calling.
If you watch television, it comes with the dreary prospect of spending half your time viewing unwanted and uninteresting advertisements. A movie will always break at a suspense point to keep you aroused. Your option is to sit and watch the same thing over and over, get up and move around, or push the mute button. Many of us remember some old historical ads such as Marlboro Country, Westinghouse, instant decaffeinated coffee (SANKA), “we’ll leave the lights on for you,” Motel 6, macho-trucks, “Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon,” the limo with the rich guy tagline, “I heard it through the grapevine’” for California Raisins, Progressive, Farmers insurance, etc. How about “Pop-Pop- Fizz-Fizz- Oh what a relief it is,” for Alka-Seltzer.
Radio was similar with advertisements for garage doors, home refi, home and auto insurance, new sheets, new shaver, new underwear, Viagra, Depends, and of course a new pillow. Yes, your own personal new pillow! You can look at it, squeeze it, and even hug it! But you can rest assured that it is new, and it is yours. Actual advertising time and self-aggrandizement promotional segments exceeds ½ of the available time on talk radio.
Now that we have the new digital format between iPads, smart phones, and computer monitors attention strategies have gotten way more sophisticated. Ads are blasted continuously 24/7 with visual & voice side post, pop-ups, and a new scheme called pop-up ads. Remember the song “Another One Bites the Dust”? Well in advertising, another pops-up, and another pops-up, and another pops-up, each of which requires you to use your digital mallet to whack-it-off. Pop-Up blockers only partially work.
Infomercials are presented as factual or perceived as factual and designed to sway your thinking and get you to purchase the product. Never mind the exaggerated truths and hidden facts. It is a sneaky way to pretend that the ad is a news clip or new interesting article, rather than a slick way to get your attention to focus on purchasing their product or send in money. I remember a Televangelist stating that if I wanted to get into Heaven, I had to send in $200 so that my prayers would be answered. If I sent in $300 he would double my prayers. Wow, what a deal, I got my second set of prayers for 50% off! The infomercial industry is worth over 200 billion dollars.
If you want to go to YouTube to listen to some great music, or watch a documentary, what pops up? Of course, loud obnoxious, attention getting, advertising streams that you sometimes cannot get out of. I have witnessed an ad one minute, immediately followed by an additional attempt to steal another minute my precious time while waiting to view my selection. At the end of viewing your selection what pops up again, another ad.
How about the attention getting lead-ins such as (1) The shameful truth comes out about (XYZ-famous person), (2) How many auto parts can you name? (3) Your gut needs these nutrients. (4) Where do rich people live? When you click on the sponsored ads you will get about 10 (next) slides each of which has about 10 ads, or a total of 100 in a very short time frame.
From the moment we get up until we fall asleep, we are subjected to a constant barrage of ads both visual, verbal and subliminal.
Getting Gassed – We are now bombarded with digital gas pump advertising. Station owners are encouraged to deliver messages to consumers-on-the- go. The few minutes of solitude while pumping gas is now replaced with belligerent fast-moving ad segments while pretending that it is relevant news. The only outcome is higher blood pressure and disgust.
I have elected to spend quite a bit of time listening to music with no advertising. I have also learned to recognize the false come-ons that lure me in. No thanks.
The question arises, what would be the price to subscribe to a publication, or an online subscription that guarantees no ads?
Business and Private Money Finance Consultant
Cell 949 533 8315