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Posted: November 6, 2012 10:22 p.m.

Travis: Don’t believe the hype

My husband recently handed me one of his shirts which had a stain on it. He suggested that I try buying a certain product to rid the shirt of the stain.

I explained to him that I had tried several stain removing products and had settled on the one I now use. I was sorry that the stain was still on his shirt and told him I would try again. But I warned him it might not come clean.

Not everything advertisements actually promise happens in real life.

Would you not like to walk into a store to purchase car insurance and see a blinding white interior with a cheerful young woman who incessantly chips at you "discount, discount" while lights flash and chimes ring. When you finish, you walk out with an insurance policy that saves you large amounts of money. Has anyone had that experience? I haven't.

I don't know about you, but when I get into my car and pull out of my driveway, I face the same old streets and traffic. My car doesn't automatically cruise out onto a scenic highway with not another car in sight. Do you think that if I buy a new car that will happen? Not a chance.

I especially like the ad where a large tractor-trailer truck pulls up to a group of ladies. They are invited inside and find a large assortment of clothes which must be magically in their size because I don't see anyone trying anything on or even a dressing room. The clothes are just what these ladies want and are so much cheaper than anywhere else. That truck needs to show up on the square in Covington. Given that places where the citizens of Newton County can shop in the county for clothes is limited, I would think that truck would be a big hit. It could probably stay several days.

I have tried several brands of toothpaste, but I have not found one that makes my teeth sparkle with little lights glinting off my teeth.

If commercials would guarantee performance, I would go right out and buy that washing machine that one simply throws clothes into and seemingly minutes later the clothes are thrown back out, fold themselves and end up neatly in a laundry basket. Then if you throw the clothes at the people they belong to, the clothes slip right on each person without the problem of buttons or zippers. I might even do more laundry just to see the magic. I might even charge admission for everyone to see the show. And, certainly, a machine that magical would not produce laundry with stains remaining, making my husband happy.
I do not go to fast-food restaurants that often. But when I do, no one is sitting at a nearby table and singing about how great the food tastes and how happy the restaurant makes him or her.
For those of you with young children, do you think if you took those children on a vacation to a place that would please them, they would actually quit sniping at one another and behave beautifully? I can hear your groans.
While I admit that what we eat is important and can change our behavior, I have never seen a child change into French fries or a doughnut after consuming one or the other. Given that both the fries and the doughnut will turn to sugar, I would think the child would have enough energy to play a game of soccer. But what do I know?
I have not even mentioned the obviously ridiculous commercials. The pills that magically help you lose weight.

The makeup that cures all ills and hides all sorts of facial problems. The magic potion that makes your hair thicker, longer and silkier and allows it to unfurl and cascade across the screen.

These commercials are so convincing that I can understand how a consumer can be sucked into the hype. I often think I want to order the whole series of CDs with all the music of my youth. Then I silently add up how much the total bill would be after many low payments and decide it's not worth it.


Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at ptravis@covnews.com.

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