Mixing Maroons - Spend Less, Save More … Get Marooned!

Mrs. Maroon

November 6, 2014

Daytime Television

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With the arrival of Mini Maroon 2**, the content of my days has changed considerably. Whereas I had been spending the day behind a computer screen, I now find myself lounging in the recliner cuddling with this sweet baby girl for hours on end. Mr. Maroon would joke that I’m spoiling her and not promoting good sleep habits by holding her all the time. But deep down it’s what I want to do – and I think if you asked, he’d really like to also.

 

The lounge time has also led to an increase in television watching. Since we cut out cable a while ago, I stick with what is available on the network channels. It is certainly a change of pace from my ‘reality’. The morning programming consists of national news (always good to be informed), a fair bit of celebrity gossip (no interest there), talk shows (can go either way, but mostly full of gossip and gimmicks), and game shows (fairly entertaining). The afternoon programming really takes a turn. I normally have other activities going by this point in the day, so I don’t watch. But I also can’t stomach the soap operas, courtroom debates, and seemingly seedier talk shows. TV executives are no dummies – just because all of this doesn’t appeal to me and my demographic, there are plenty of people in this country that just eat it up. Which brings me to my primary observation from my daytime TV watching…

 

Advertising

After having limited our screen time so much, I have started to forget about commercials. In talking to other folks, I often can’t relate to a funny commercial that is currently airing. I simply haven’t seen it. But all of that changes with daytime TV. After the initial shock of being bombarded by the commercials, I started to really pay attention to their message and approach. I think most fall into one of three categories…2014.11_DaytimeTelevision

 

  1. Inventive and Effective. I find that some commercials really highlight the creativity of the staff behind them. They are well-done and showcase their product so as to be memorable and appealing. I enjoy seeing work by professionals that truly captures their creativity and intelligence.
  2. Obnoxious. Ads in this category are loud and in-your-face. The one that stands out to me the most is a car dealership… BIG savings, BIG discounts… you get the idea. They use flashy graphics and lots of volume trying to grab your attention. I find these to be annoying, but not offensive like the last category.
  3. Deceptive. The last set of commercials just makes me mad. I also find them to be misleading. The gimmicks and games they portray even make me sick to my stomach.
    • The offers for quick loans. Most people know that those come with outrageous fees and interest rates. I’ve never been in that situation, but surely there has to be a better option.
    • Instant credit approval to buy furniture/electronics. One particular commercial shows people jumping up and down screaming with delight that they have been approved to spend entirely too much money to buy new items with their new-found credit, without considering the fees and interest rates associated with this amazing credit they’ve been ‘given’. Bargains for used goods can be found anywhere. I subscribe to the idea that if you need credit to buy this basic household good, you need to search in a different price bracket, or find another alternative.
    • Negative equity on a car loan. This concept is the very worst to me. The line goes, “If you’re upside down on your current car loan, we’ll help pay it off so that you can buy a new car from us”. The fine print at the bottom of the screen clearly states that the balance will be rolled into the new loan, but who reads fine print when the man is screaming “We will TERMINATE your old car loan”??

 

Preying on America

Like I said above, these TV and ad executives are smart cookies. Each commercial spot is carefully targeted to the anticipated audience of the show. You don’t often find these deceptive ads during the nightly national news programs or the Sunday afternoon sports offering. These commercials air during daytime TV because the target audience is more likely to be watching. I can think of several reasons why a successful, gainfully-employed person would be home during the middle of the day. But I also believe that the ads are focused towards those with no job or very low-income jobs. I have to think that the ad executives expect that demographic to jump at the chance to take advantage of these ‘opportunities’. Granted I’m applying a broad stereotype here, but I also think that this specific demographic is less likely to have the financial savvy to understand how truly damaging all of these offers can be to their future.

 

It is at this point that I realize I am saddened by the state of our country where we have deemed it acceptable to prey on these unsuspecting folks. Without any other financial education or advice, how could you expect the people that feel like they have no control of their finances to resist the marketing prowess demonstrated by these appealing and catchy commercials?? The sad part is that by being lured in to these gimmicks, these folks are sealing their fate to stay in that same constant struggle to stretch their income across each month that seems to always be longer than the money. They are destined to remain enslaved to the rat race the Maroon family so eagerly desires to leave behind.

 

~ Mrs. Maroon

 

* Note from Mr. Maroon: I vividly remember seeing commercials from years past that promoted giving you the credit you deserve… Excuse me, but what on earth have I done to deserve credit. Unless we’re talking about making financially responsible decisions, which would in turn increase my credit score, making these offers completely obsolete.

** Side Note: Mini Maroon 2 is nearly eight weeks old by now. Just shows how life can sometimes get away from you!

Guest Post: 1500 Days
Goals: November 2, 2014
  1. Comment by Mrs SSC — November 6, 2014 @ 7:06 AM

    I did the same thing last summer when my baby girl was born, just lounged around holding her and watching her sleep, and watching 100 times more TV then I usually do. And she is a wonderful sleeper now, usually 12 hours straight!

    What I did though was watch TV from Amazon Prime. We have a Roku device, so that we can watch the ‘free’ tv and movies from Amazon that we have access to on with our Prime membership. Saved me from commercials – because I am not a fan of trying to have my brain manipulated into needing things I don’t want.

    Your comments about commercials remind me about something I heard President Obama say during a press conference yesterday. He was talking about a ‘kid’ who had $60,000 in student loans and needed ‘help’. That just riled me up, because that was a situation that the person put themselves in… and before I end up ranting, it just seems that whether with commercials for financial products, or loans, it really shows how under-educated the majority of Americans are in the financial arena. I don’t understand why more of these skills aren’t taught in schools to help break this cycle.

    Maybe that’s what I’ll do when I retire early. Go to high schools and try and teach a few hours about financial common sense.

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Glad to hear your baby girl is a good sleeper. Mini 1 has always been a good sleeper. And Mini 2 is doing great already – wakes only once at night. I’ll take it!

    I love your idea for going to teach at a high school!! I have to believe that the kids could get more benefit out of as little as two weeks of personal economics as compared to the other content of economics for high school seniors. I know I’m several years out, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing we covered in my HS economics class. Maybe we can start a movement??

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