Perhaps the best thing about writing a blog is that you get to vent about issues large and small. One day I can write about some serious soul-searching spiritual question, the next day I can provide commentary about my ongoing plan to vanquish squirrels from my neighborhood. Well, today I want to talk about one of my most inconsequential yet irritating pet peeves. It concerns an increasingly popular advertising technique that I cannot escape. I see it on television and I hear it on my radio at least ten times a day. It involves the following formulation:
“What the ----------------------‘s DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW!!!”
In advertisements for everything from hair color to gold, there seems to be a vast conspiracy afoot to keep the truth from you. Apparently there exists an enormous reservoir of inside information out there that various companies are desperate to keep hidden from the masses. But, luckily for us, a million advertisers are working feverishly to spill the beans.
You need a super low rate on your mortgage? Call Rhea Finance to discover what the big banks don’t want you to know! Aren’t you dying to learn how to lose 25% of your body weight in only three days with no exercise? Find out what doctors don’t want you to know. Tired of paying through the nose for car insurance? Find out what the big insurance companies don’t want you to know.
If all this information is so privileged, how come none of these companies were able to keep it from a bunch of ad men? Can nobody keep a secret anymore? This advertising technique feeds into the deeply held American suspicion that everything is a conspiracy. Are you 32 years old, unemployed, living in your parent’s basement? Is this a result of laziness, a series of bad decisions and your fondness for cocaine? Absolutely not. It’s because the “system” and “the man” have gotten together and hatched an ingenious plan to keep you down. It’s the Democrat’s fault. It’s all because of Sarah Palin. And the “lamestream media” is in bed with all of them, keeping the truth of their nefarious plot a closely guarded secret. So when the man in the dark suit with the earnest expression tells you that you desperately need to find out what the Wall Street fat cats don’t want you to know about gold, well…what’s that 800 number again?
Well, I’m about to tell all of you about what the advertising business doesn’t want you to know. There is no hidden truth about floor wax, deodorant, hard wood floors, or hybrid seeds. But there are a million salesmen who would love to make you think there are. Judging from the vacuousness of these “don’t want you to know” ads, the advertising guys think you’re an idiot. Judging from the sheer number of these ads, they must be right.