Those Sneaky Magazine Ads…
We all know how much TV commercials kill the vibe.
They’re too loud. Fast-talking. And, generally, trying too hard to sell us crap we don’t need. (Plus, they always appear right when the good guy is about to catch the bad guy. So not fair!)
What’s worse is how most TV advertising indirectly reminds us that we’re not good enough. Like this infomercial legend telling us to “stop having a boring life.” Oh Vince.
According to a 2014 report on advertising published by a big consumer data company (Nielsen), approximately 15 minutes out of every TV hour are commercials. That’s 25% of your free time dedicated to commercials.
Now you might tell us, “Oh I don’t watch TV, I got Netflix, so I don’t see ads.”
True. Very true. This is a good thing. Bad thing is…
Ads are everywhere else
On the internets (like Twitter and Facebook.) On the radio. Heck, we’re bombarded with ads at every turn.
More than anything though, commercial ads are especially prominent in the product catalogues we all are familiar with. And by product catalogues, we mean magazines.
Sorry folks, but we’ve been duped.
The glossy pages that fill newsstands everywhere are just another version of the TV commercials telling us our lives aren’t good enough.
Just when we thought that losing 25% of the average television hour was bad, we found this awesome video [it’s the secret good link of the week]. In it, two very popular women’s fashion magazines have all their adverts ripped out.
The results (pictured above) were that between 65–85% of those two ‘beauty’ magazines were made of ads. Now that’s a lot of ads. And not a lot of content. (We can’t speak of the quality of the content, but you get the picture, wink.)
Okay so what?
We’re bringing this to your attention because, like the infomercials we see on TV, the message advertisers are working hard to convey is simple: your life sucks; you can make it better by buying this [replace with any product].
And their attempt at providing you with solutions is straight up cheesy and manipulative.
If only you had that faster car. If only you had that pretty new Spring dress. If only you smelled like those 6-pack abs. Only then, would your life be better.
Let’s be honest. Magazine adverts are visual reminders of how the grass appears to be so much greener on the other side. They’re a (bad) reminder of how you can better your life — by spending money on stuff you don’t really need.
Obviously, it’s all a sham (wow). As we mentioned last week, shiny, new products won’t fundamentally make you any happier, nor your life any better.
So enough is enough. Recycle those magazines. You’ll feel better ;)
The even bigger story here is that we want to remind you all that your life doesn’t suck. Also, quick reminder, you’re all smarter than you think.
No matter where you are in your life — financially, romantically, healthy-ly (is that a word?) — you’ll always be able to compare yourselves to the situation of others. And that’s exactly what advertisers want you to do.
Unsurprisingly, the worst ad offenders are those found in the major women’s fashion magazines. (We perused some popular men’s mags and they had a lower ratio of content to ads when compared to their female-oriented counterparts.)
Most advertising in the lady mags are flat out lame. Glitzy images of models (not smiling, booo!) striking silly poses trying so hard to sell an “escape” from reality.
We did some research comparing the stats of models to real world women, and we found that the models in beauty mags are younger (early twenties), skinnier (weighing ~20% less than the average woman), and taller (roughly 6” / 15 cm) than the majority of average readers. No surprise here.
In addition to these physical differences, we’d also bet that the vast majority of the female readership of these beauty magazines are focused on studying, kickstarting their careers or raising a family. Meanwhile, the majority of the ads in these types of magazines reflect a lifestyle that is a far cry from these realities.
Let’s not even get on the topic of how most ads are for luxury products that are not really within (financial) reach of the majority of those readers.
Our message is simple: don’t be fooled. Advertisers are paid lots of money to brainwash us all by unconsciously lowering our self-esteem. We’re all smarter than this.
Let them play their game. And next time you’re wondering which magazine to pick up, maybe consider picking up a classic book instead. They’re classics for a reason.
Final note: ladies and gentlemen, you’re beautiful the way you are. Trust us, nothing is sexier than being who you are, and owning it 💥👀
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