Frou-Frou in Advertising

I rarely watch live television anymore.  Most of what I watch is on one of the streaming services, and I binge-watch the crap outta things.  That being said, I have two weeks while my family is on vacation, and I’ve had the tv on…and I’m totally not used to watching commercials.

More to the point…after watching the same commercials over and over, I feel distinctly worse about American society and the American people.  If ads are designed to appeal to the values and desires of the population watching them…wow, they say some stuff about people today.

The one that’s really bothering me right now is the Home Depot “Grown Up” appliance ad.  It advertises a refrigerator with a flat-screen in the door and a camera inside it.  It advertises a washing machine with separate thingies to wash delicates at the same time as the rest of the laundry.  It advertises “black stainless steel.”  First…does a TV or a camera in a fridge help keep food cold, or keep fruits from molding?  No.  Is there any reason you HAVE to wash pantyhose and lace with your towels and jeans?  No.  And “black stainless?”  Is it black, or stainless?  C’mon!

In part, and as an MBA, I get that there are only so many ways to market a refrigerator.  It keeps food cold.  Nothing’s REALLY changed about their operation since the 1950’s.  They have to find SOMETHING to differentiate their product…and it comes down to frou-frou additions like tv screens or a new color.

Their tagline is  “you didn’t grow up with” all of those frou-frou features, and they end the ad with “isn’t it nice to be grown up now?”  Frankly, I’m GLAD I didn’t grow up with those useless things, and I DON’T think that having a TV on my fridge makes me glad to be grown up.  I can’t think of a single day of my young life that would’ve been better with a refrigerator that can take a picture — I always thought that simply opening the door would show me the contents.  I find it sad and depressing that people feel the need to add so much useless crap to what should be simple tools for life, to feel like they’ve “arrived” or something.

How many people are going to replace a perfectly good refrigerator with the one in the ad — a thousand-dollar appliance, mind you — so they can feel good about being grown up now?  I actually feel a little nauseous.



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