THERE is a really dark aspect to daytime and late night television and I’m not talking about the incestuous near misses on Bold and The Beautiful.
When you think about it an awful lot of people who find themselves in front of a television during the day or up late at night are those that are in some way vulnerable.
They may be our ageing parents and grandparents or people who are ill, either temporarily or terminally or those who are sleepless or troubled.
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Advertisers know that which is why they bombard our screens at those times with ‘paid presentations’ that go on for hours in the hope of wearing down our resistance until we reach for our credit card and phone.
And they are bloody good at it.
I confess I’ve found myself at 2am, mesmerised by an American guy in a kitchen surrounded by nodding, note taking sycophants as he chops and blends.
I too have suddenly thought ‘I could really use that magical bullet thing that chops everything so no nutrients are lost’.
Because I need nutrients.
And I really need a sweeper that can suck up coffee beans smeared into carpets, even though I only have floorboards.
But the ads that really scare me are the funeral insurance ads that try to guilt people into buying products they don’t need.
“Don’t let your family be burdened with huge funeral expenses after you die,” a woman bellows in one of the ads.
The ads use words such as ‘burden, strain and worry’ to convince people they will be leaving their families in perilous states if they don’t cough up some money now.
It can be very confronting when you are ill or old to be hounded by these ads.
But on a more selfish level, are they saying that not only am I going to die one day but I have to pay for my own death?
Not that it really matters in my case because I’ve always been a burden on my family.
If I suddenly stopped being a burden then they would think something was wrong and I wouldn’t want to worry them.
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