Channeling my inner George Carlin based on a piece I wrote years ago: Advertising Is a Bad Word.
Ah, America, the great melting pot of consumerism and questionable decisions. We’ve become the masters of the old switcheroo—giving away good money in hopes of getting, well, virtually nothing.
In the U.S. of A., we’ve perfected the art of trading tangible items for abstract promises. We call them services. Oh, you’ve seen them: scrolling endlessly on social media, trying to decide between Hulu or Netflix, or wondering if that new organic, farm-to-table, GMO-free, dolphin-safe luncheon place is worth the bucks.
You know what I love about products? They’re real. Tangible. You can throw them, eat them, or even talk to them if you’re lonely enough. You can feel the cold metal of an iPhone or taste that questionable frozen burrito from the back of your freezer. But services? They’re just dressed-up promises with a price tag. And believe me, in today’s digital age, those promises come at you faster than ever.
And yet, we’ve got an entire industry built on convincing you that these services are more than just hot air. They call it marketing. Or digital marketing. Or is it growth hacking today? Who can keep up?
You see, the word “advertising” got a bad rap. It’s like the annoying cousin of the business world. So, they jazzed it up, gave it a makeover. They turned ads into banners, commercials into videos, and radio spots into podcasts. Oh, the marvels of modern technology!
Remember when you had to actually READ an ad? Squint at the fine print? Nowadays, they have animated pop-ups, autoplay videos, and don’t get me started on those unskippable YouTube ads. Yes, my friends, we’re in the golden age of being interrupted by things we didn’t ask for.
But here’s the kicker: if these new-age digital marketers are so in tune with today’s world, why hide behind fancy jargon? Why not call a spade a spade? I’ll tell you why—because in this world of retargeting pixels and cookie tracking, calling it advertising just doesn’t have the same zing.
So, next time you see a digital ad trying to sell you the next big thing or some “life-changing” service, remember: it’s all just smoke and mirrors in the grand circus of consumerism. And as for those services? Well, some things never change.
But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a guy noticing things in an ever-evolving, ad-infested world.