Did you know that people who fail to close the lid on the toilet seat don’t go to hell? Nope, they bypass that step, get reincarnated, and then land jobs in advertising. But they get put on the manipulative side, creating ads like the ones that make teenage girls feel insecure about their bodies so they’ll buy something.
But if you wrote that TV ad where two beavers are eyeing a chainsaw, and one beaver says “Yeah, but I bet it can’t swim,” you’re in the clear.
I thought of this after watching my friend Don scrambling on Facebook to publicly declare that he did NOT like Walmart. Earlier that day, Don’s profile picture popped up in my News Feed with the message “Don X likes Walmart.” I laughed when I saw it because I’ve known Don for years and we’re very similar – the only reason we like Walmart is because it offers a no-questions-asked, no-purchase-necessary restroom in an emergency.
Don unwittingly got sucked into “social-advertising”. The idea is that if a friend likes something, you’ll be more inclined to buy it than if the company drops an ad saying “Our employees might be impoverished, but our selection rocks!”
Here’s what I think probably happened:
Don had a friend who posted “Walmart is a global plantation; they’ve just traded in physical slaves for economic ones.” Since Don agreed with this sentiment, he clicked “Like”. And the next thing Don knows, he likes Walmart.
If you think Don and I are overreacting, consider this: The Kitsap Sun newspaper recently reported that a Walmart customer found a hypodermic syringe sticking out of a package of sausages. Yes, my friend and I are hardly alone in our disdain for social-advertising.
I like social media platforms and appreciate being able to use them for free. And since they need some way to raise revenue, I’m fine with ads. I think we all are. I just don’t want to be part of them.
To be honest, I don’t know what you have to click to get drafted into this. But if you’re interested, these folks do: