Your dad is having sex. Let's get drunk.
That is a ridiculous title for a blog. I agree, but I didn’t really make it up. I didn’t steal it exactly, I’m just paraphrasing the advertisement for Canadian Club whiskey.
Here is what the body copy for the ad says:
“He (your dad) went out. He got two numbers in the same night. He drank cocktails. But they were whisky cocktails. Made with Canadian Club. Served in a rocks glass. They tasted good. They were effortless. Damn right your dad drank it.”
I saw that ad in Rolling Stone and when you look at the ad itself maybe it isn’t that silly. Maybe it’s kind of hip and cool and you would find yourself wanting a glass of whiskey. But when you strip away all the marketing, when you remove the hype, when you cut away the words and the images and just focus on the core message, you see how stupid it is.
Honestly, is the idea of my dad sleeping around supposed to make me want whiskey? More than anything the idea of my dad having sex makes me want to slam my head in a car door. There are four kids in our family, which means four times, end of story.
So why do advertisers think they can do this to you? Why do they think you won’t see the message behind the message? Because it’s next to impossible right now.
The average person sees 3,000 – 5,000 marketing messages a day. That’s more then 1.8 million a year. Wow, that is insane, but when you realize that, you can start to see how easy it is to let stupid messages get right on by you.
That’s why I think it’s important to stop and think about the things you’re experiencing, to see the idea behind all the words, underneath all the noise.
Axe deodorant will not increase your chance of having a threesome.
Nike shoes will not make you a faster runner.
A diamond won’t make her love you.
No chewing gum will ever really feel like sledding down an icy glacier.
You know all that. Deep down you know the truth from the lie, but if someone told you something 1.8 million times a year, wouldn’t some part of you start to believe it? I think the answer is yes.
For me, I believe on some level that if I had a cool apple computer I would be a better writer. That’s dumb, but that’s my little confession. I want an apple computer because I think it would make me cooler, or more interesting or more likely to meet artistic people with goatees and lower back tattoos at Starbucks.
Today, all I’m asking is that you pause for 14 seconds and think about the messages you digest every day. There’s at least 3,000 vying for your attention, what are they saying and what are you believing?
p.s. I think that seeing the words behind the words is a great way to live in the world but not of the world, which is something Christians are called to do.