Do adverts on the telly stop us being ‘generous’? When we suffer yet another commercial break that inconveniently interrupts what we were attempting to enjoy, does it matter? Do we kid ourselves when we say that we just ignore them; that they don’t have any influence over us… that they don’t alter our efforts to shop less, to buy local/fair trade/organic/eco-friendly, etc?
Take the recent hype over the cream that claims to get rid of your wrinkles, by No.7. When the ‘news’ broke recently, that scientists had done a study and found that for once, a beauty product’s claims were accurate, the result was predictable. In the Boots’ outlet at Liverpool Street, London, over 400 bottles were sold within 90 minutes of the store opening.
But those of us who are hard-core Generous Shoppers aren’t so gullible.
No, we’re not.
Errrr… yes, just a bit.
When last in Boots (and I’m rarely in there) I passed a huge display of said product. I paused. I have wrinkles. As they say in the States: do the math! Now, please bear in mind I am not one to splash out on beauty products of any sort and don’t even wear make up. The essentials I do buy tend to be of the generous sort. But I paused, picked up a bottle of said product, held it for a few seconds, thought about my skin and the fantasy of turning back time… then realised it was twenty quid and swiftly returned it to its display.
Proof, then, that adverts have power, even over those of us who consider ourselves immune. What if it had cost two quid – would I have bought it? Please don’t ask me that as I’m trying to put the whole sorry episode behind me. But beware – we’re only human, and while we know that wasting money is not helpful to us, or to people and planet at large, sometimes we’re more susceptible to clever advertising than we realise.
And sometimes we just have to learn to re-name our wrinkles ‘laughter lines’, and move on.