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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marketing, For The Television Generation.

As one of the leading Explainers of Life we, here at Life Explained, feel it is very important to keep our fingers on the pulse of the world, keep up with the ebb and flow of the universe, (at least this small part of the universe, most of it is too far away).  We have found it vital to immerse ourselves in popular culture, and absorb all of the nuance, and subtlety of the vast, expanding world of modern humanity.

One obvious place to start is television in general, reality television in particular.  So, we looked, up and down the immeasurable, unending selection of channels.  We watched hours and hours of programming, shows about everything from places where people drink, to the tense, neurotic world of child pageants, shows about sales, and auctions, and building and selling, improving and selling, and buying and selling.  But, we could find nothing that remotely resembled reality.  It is a riddle, and one we intend to explain, sometime, soon.

What we did find, though, was commercials, hours and hours of advertisements, wonderful little programs, focused and fixed, often with humor, sometimes with brutally factual, terrifyingly explicit information.  It was the gamut of human experience wrapped up in thirty to sixty shows, often with a soundtrack, and it was great.  We loved it.

Of course, they were a little too narrow in scope, and sometimes the information presented was rushed, and pressed until it held little meaning.  Sometimes, these little programs ended long before the climax, and with little regard for the feelings of the viewers.

There is a series of commercials for a medicine taken by people with a higher risk of stroke due to a certain type of irregular heart beat not caused by a heart valve problem, (which is very specific, you see what we mean), and these people, after switching medicine are, for the most part, off to fascinating lives, and interesting vacations.  One couple goes camping, traveling to beautiful, scenic locations, but that is all we ever find out.  Another couple flies to New Zealand (where they filmed the Lord of the Rings movies) and frolics in the surf, and has, we can only assume, the vacation of a lifetime.

But, here it stops, and we are left yearning for more.  What became of our new friends in wild, untamed New Zealand?  Did they make it back OK?  We need more, there are stories untold.  And in these stories are marketing gold mines.
"This campground is getting a bad review!"

Imagine the excitement if the campers were besieged by armed bandits.  Think of the drama provided by these desperate men, recently escaped from a prison that, as an added security precaution, travels through time, and had been created to hold the most bloodthirsty criminals from the past, present and future, surrounding this small, frail shell in the vast, lonely desert.  Now, picture this man, slightly aging and retired but invigorated by the freedom provided by this miracle of modern pharmaceutical wizardry battling his way through enemy lines using barbecue tools that were designed to fold neatly and store conveniently in the small spaces afforded by a travel trailer.

Guys would be lining up to get their hands on those pills!  And the beauty of it is on some weeks adventures we could have the drama caused by the potential side effects.  Poor, Pete, barely retired, just starting to enjoy the liberty of alarm clock free living, cut down, laid low by (fill in your favorite distasteful side effect here).  Oh, the tragedy, and sadness, so young, and gone.  It would be prime time, and advertisers would be lining up to by time.  Not to mention the educational value of seeing the medicine in action, good and bad, first hand.

Marketing, and commercials could provide so much, but they fall so short.  We would be willing to help fix this, for a nominal fee.