Dumbing Down in Advertising and Politics


I like to observe and analyze advertising. Currently there is an ad running on TV for a website called Thumbtack.com. The site provides a listing of various contractors and, I assume, comments from those who have used their services.

In the ad a couple is sitting on a front porch discussing how they used the site to find a roofer. (Not roofie  the date-rape drug, but a company that will fix your roof.) The husband talks about the work required on the roof and admits he does not have a clue about how to find someone to do it. The wife sums it up by saying where are you going to find a roofer? Huh?

thumbtack
Thumbtack.com ad featuring roofer seeking couple

Finding a cure for cancer has proven to be difficult. A needle in a haystack is going to pose a challenge. Even the search for an honest man gave Diogenes of Sinope a hard time. But a roofer? Someone who can slop some tar on your roof, or nail down some shingles. This is not the quest for the Holy Grail nor a search for the fountain of youth. Here’s a crazy idea, go to Google, type “roofers”+”your city” and voila! up pop hundreds of potential contractors. This is not rocket science. Even those who are technically challenged can always resort to the good old fashioned Yellow Pages. Here’s a hint, check under R.

Interestingly when I look up the offending ad I find an edited version in which the same happy couple discuss engaging a qualified professional but the roofer segment seems to have been chopped, Hmmmmmm.

But I must admit that a more annoying ad is for Flonase in which they explain to us clearly and concisely, as if we were idiots, that “six is greater than one”. Well, I would never have grasped that advanced mathematical concept without their help.

6 > 1 ... no shit.
6 > 1 … no shit.

The dumbing down of society is widespread, perhaps nowhere more so than in advertising. A good ad that respects the intelligence of the target audience is a rarity these days. Sadly this assumption of stupidity is presently the driving force behind Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. Even scarier is that it is working!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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