If you read The Forum online (Inforum.com) you will notice that there are an assortment of ads placed throughout the page. I have been reading The Forum online for many years now and as the years have gone on I have not only noticed more advertising content, but also more innovative placement throughout the pages.
I am okay with that. I understand that online content comes at a cost. Yet, the same thing is true today as it was back in the day of basic black and white print ads – if you can’t catch the reader’s attention, you’ve got nothing. Online ads can be much more dynamic and colorful – oftentimes they are downright difficult to ignore. Plus, they can link you right to the website of the business or organization. It is the equivalent of IV advertising – you might as well have a needle in your arm feeding you continuous marketing.
But once again, I am not bitter – I get it. I understand the need for those in the publishing business to sell ads; I understand the need for businesses and organizations to be able to get their message out about their products or service; and, I understand the need of the consumer to be able to have ready access to these products and services. It’s all good with me.
Where I tend to balk a bit with advertising and marketing - is when it comes to the pitch or the promises being either too grandiose, misrepresentative, or just plain off-the-mark. I love creative marketing – the ability to make something mundane seem like it is the product you cannot live without. I still marvel at the Sham Wow - the cleaning rag that is more absorbent than any other. It’s a cleaning rag, right? Oh no…it is soooooo much more. Alrighty then, bravo to the marketing of that item which has sold millions. Smart marketing pays – and it pays well.
Sometimes, despite how brilliant a marketing campaign may seem, it falls flat. Those are my favorite kind. Not because I love failure, but because I love thinking beyond square one to square twenty-two. I like to watch all the pieces fall in place – the marketing, connected to the function of the product or service, tied into the consumer’s needs or wants, and then carefully linked into the individual or collective psyche in a way that makes it seem like having the product or service is as natural as breathing itself.
Yes, indeed…I like to watch all the pieces fall in place, or cascade upon the business like a child’s block creation that was not entirely stable at the outset. Today I offer for your consideration this Sanford Health advertisement for plastic surgery. The ad offers the restoration of a classic car as a mental comparison point for the restoration of another classic - you. Oh my…I think they may have gone awry.
First of all, let us examine which gender historically most identifies with classic car restoration. I believe we can all agree that men are the ones most likely to be engaged in this hobby. Second, I would posit that most women would be acutely aware of the way men love these classic cars and covet them. Third, the data makes clear that even with a recent increase in men seeking cosmetic plastic surgery options, 90% of cosmetic plastic surgery patients are women.
Let me break this down:
Men love classic cars that have been “restored”;
Women know that men love classic cars that have been “restored”; and,
Women are the primary cosmetic plastic surgery market.
Okay, so Sanford Health is telling me that I should restore myself in the same way classic cars are restored – we are, after all, both classics – and then I will be coveted and loved the way classic cars are. Whoa…did you just reduce my worth to my ability to keep a man’s attention by being a bright, shiny hunk of steel??
Perhaps I have reached the wrong conclusion. Are you trying to tell me Sanford Health that because men spend thousands restoring silly things like cars I can (or should) do the same by restoring my body and face? Are you saying that I am at least as valuable as a classic car?
Or maybe it is simpler than that. Maybe you think that when a woman my age sees a classic restored corvette she will recall what she looked like when that car was new, bright and shiny. Maybe it is about pushing my mind back to a “what was” state so I can realize how dinged-up and dingy I have become.
Here’s the deal Sanford Health, I have no major aversion to plastic surgery or plastic surgery ads. Who knows I may someday invest in having stuff lifted and tucked, but it won’t be because I looked at a photo of a classic corvette. If I have cosmetic plastic surgery it will be because I want it to look different – just like a new haircut or manicure (but a whole lot more invasive I would guess). But make no mistake, classics are classic regardless of whether they are “restored” to their original state of luster. Indeed, some may say that the best way to care for a classic is to maintain it well and let it age gracefully…and no, we aren’t still talking about that corvette.
Day one thousand and sixty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da