Show Me the Money

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Every now and then, I just feel the need to talk about something that bugs me.  Since I have this forum, why not use it?

So there’s a couple of commercials around that follow the same general theme.  Pictures of people gathered with a voice over that starts “This is XX.  You like him/them”.  And then it goes on to describe all the wonderful things about the person/people and paints them as generally very good people.  There are smiles all around and everyone seems happy.  Then, the tag line “You’d like them better if you made more money than them”.

?!?!?!?!?!?  Seriously, what the hell.  This is a commercial for a firm where you can open an account and trade all kinds of stocks and securities and whatever and the general message seems to be that the secret to happiness is making more money than other people.

I don’t know if this is supposed to be a joke (it isn’t really funny) or what the actual hook is supposed to be.  Who are they appealing to with this line of advertising?  What genius firm dreamed it up and what genius at the company said “Yeah, this is what we’re all about”.  Again, what’s the demographic?  The type or person who measures their self worth by the size of their bank account?

Even if it is supposed to be funny, think of the message.  That your actual opinion of someone could change based on the amount of money you make?  Really?  Does that change who these people are?  (I know it is a commercial and fictional but just go with me here)  Of course not!  So how shallow and insecure do you have to be to be the type of person who has to make more money than someone else in order to really like them?  Seriously, if I found the type of person this commercial spoke to, I don’t think I’d really want to hang around with them.

Not to get all religious on you but I’m pretty sure there’s a commandment about not coveting things of your neighbors.  And, greed is one of the seven deadly sins.  But this commercial celebrates these things.  You should covet your neighbors bank account.  And it is alright to want to make more money than them because that will improve your opinion of them.  I suppose I should give them some credit because they didn’t advocate stealing what your neighbor had – just start investing and, in no time at all, you’ll be the one with the bigger bank account and then they can be jealous of you.

There’s another one of these type of companies (TD Ameritrade) that uses Lionel Richie in its ads because they allow you to trade 24 hours a day (All Night Long -get it?)  Now that’s funny.  Its a little sad because I didn’t think Lionel needed the money but they probably would have just used his song anyway so at least he’s in the commercial.  If I was going to become a day trader in my spare time, I know which place I’d pick.   Well that’s my rant for the day.

One last little note.  I mentioned how hot it has been here recently.  There was a half marathon in town on Saturday.  No, I didn’t run.  I just know about it because it closed roads to the park where we take the dogs.  Anyway, I think they tend to do these things in the spring and fall because who wants to try and run for great distances in hot, humid weather.  Can you imagine signing up for it and expecting a nice fall day and getting something that feels like the middle of August.  I bet some of those people were hating life on Saturday.

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