Dad (confused and frustrated voice): “There are so many day cares, how am I supposed to know which one is best? Our friend recommends this one, but your sister recommends this one.”
Mom (in a self-confident voice): “Go to this website, it’s all laid out for you”
Dad: “Wow! There it is, thanks honey.”
Kid: “Yeah, thanks Mom!”
Mom (in a slightly arrogant voice): “You’re welcome, both of you”
Voice-over: “This message brought to you by the Ad Council and…”
Guy: “If a natural disaster happens, our meeting place is the park…”
Teen Girl: “If there’s an emergency, our family will meet at our friend’s house…”
Voice-over (snotty voice): “Is your plan any better? Go to ready-dot-gov”
Other voice-over: “this message brought to you by the Ad Council”
What IS it with the Ad Council?
Ok, I’ll admit, I listen to AM radio much of the day. It’s on in the background of our lives, so often I’m not actively listening, it’s just there. (I know, waste of energy. I don’t use air conditioning much, so it balances.) But it’s amazing to me just how many Ad Council radio advertisements our station carries. Every break, there’s at least one, usually two or three. And often, they’re running back-to-back. And every single one of them is telling me how to live my life…
- How to eat
- How to feed my child
- How to discipline my child
- How my husband (evil man that he is) should deal with our child
- How I should protect my family in an emergency
- That I shouldn’t drink/smoke/do drugs
- That I shouldn’t drive if I HAVE been drinking/smoking/doing drugs
- How I should interact with other people, especially if they’re (fill in group here)
- And the list goes on, seemingly forever.
All of these ads are “brought to you by the Ad Council and x-group”.
Yes, I get that a lot of organizations want to get their message out there, and I get that, like everything else, it must be subsidized by the federal government (will NOT approach that soapbox… will resist that soapbox…). But do they have to be so condescending? I mean, seriously, that first one above has been running for a good three years now, and it just grates on me, every time I hear it. Steve says that I over think it. He doesn’t think it’s condescending at all, but the way I’m hearing it is that the dad is stupid, and here comes the mom, swooping in to help her inept husband and her worshipful child. So here’s my question for that mom… if you want reliable daycare for your child, and you already know about this website, and you’ve already done the research, WHY are you letting your husband flounder around looking at these other websites, when you already KNOW about this magical site that’s going to give you all the answers??? Why wouldn’t you just say, “Hey, honey, here are the two daycares I’ve narrowed it down to, and this is the rating site that backs up my thoughts,” instead of being all, “Oh, HERE you go…. I already knew about it, but now I’m bestowing this information on you, my faithful serf.”
Makes me want to rip out my hair.
So we come to the second one, the ad for the site “ready.gov”, maintained by FEMA (at least that’s what it looks like). That voice-over person’s voice is so arrogant when she says, “is your plan any better?” She sounds like a bratty little girl on the playground taunting her friends, “I have a Bratz doll… you only have stupid Barbies.” Just the tone of the ad makes me want to avoid “ready.gov” like the plague.
And then there’s the Piece de Resistance: “You don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent. There are plenty of teens waiting to be adopted.”
This quote is included in two separate ads. One is a man practicing his “dad phrases”… “don’t make me come back there”, “quit doing that”, “One more time and I’ll turn this car around”, and lamenting that he can’t make it sound as credible as HIS dad did. Well, of course not, you moron! You sound like a New-Age Metrosexual, ultra-feminized, neutered modern guy! (again, I digress). Man up, dude! Need some pointers? Go listen to “I’m Still a Guy” by Brad Paisley. THEN try those phrases.
The other ad for this same program has an adult and a kid discussing school questions. Of course, the adult doesn’t know any of the answers. The voice-over comes on with that quote above… “you don’t have to be a perfect parent…”
Those ads are inevitably followed by ads for Child Protective Services and Human Services, admonishing me to go to their parenting classes, so I can learn to “properly” parent my own child…
- How to feed my child
- How much physical activity he/she should have
- How much time to spend with him/her
Ok, fine. I get it. But apparently, I have to be a perfect parent to my OWN children – I can’t discipline them in my own way (read: spanking), I can’t feed them what I want (read: send sugar, cold cuts, or God forbid…peanuts in their lunch), or myriad other parenting norms, or Child Protective Services will be breathing down my neck, threatening to take my kid away…. And give him to one of those “not-so-perfect-perfect-parents” that their ad campaign is looking for!!!
So, I guess the point of this rant is this: I just wish the Ad Council would take their own touchy-feely classes, and learn to speak nicely to the people they are advertising to. Rule #1 in dealing with people that you want to utilize your services is… DON’T BE CONDESCENDING. Rule #2, if it isn’t already a rule, should be “be consistent in your message”. Don’t tell me that I have to be the perfect parent to my own child, and then turn around and tell me that I DON’T have to be perfect to parent someone else’s kid that you’ve taken away.
Or a better solution, the Ad Council could just go away, and the government could give me back the money they took from me to fund that ridiculous program. I know, I know…. You can hit the “comment” button later, when you’ve finished laughing and picked yourself up off the floor.