LETTER TO EDITOR: Holiday commercials: Friend or foe?
December 23, 2013
Holiday commercials: Friend or foe?
Imagine, lounging on the couch watching a Christmas movie. Suddenly, the program is interrupted!
"Twenty-five percent off all laptops…" says a booming voice.
Now not only has the movie interrupted, but the rest is being missed to buy the product that has been advertised. It's happened to all of us! Nothing good comes out of these commercials. Only greed and ungratefulness is caused. Not only that, but many tell small white lies that continue to grow as the commercials progress. Worse still, is the fact that these holiday commercials have changed our holidays drastically.
As the holidays near, the advertisements for them become more and more frequent and so does the greed. At this time, people want everything they see. If a young child sees a commercial for the newest Nerf Gun, he instantly falls in love with it. The toy is added to the child's fast growing Christmas list. For weeks this continues to happen. The list is now impossibly long with every toy from a crying, walking, talking baby doll, to a real-life walking, yapping puppy. The parents' stress level raises because they want to abide their child's every wish. They end up spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on presents. Christmas morning arrives and the children furiously rip through every present, not even stopping to thank their parents. When the tree is once again bare, the child stops and looks for the doll she saw in the commercial. After searching all the gifts, she realizes there is no doll. The kid is now unsatisfied. The holiday commercials have turned her into an avaricious and unappreciative monster.
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Commercials also lie to make their product more interesting or to appeal to the public. An ad shows a child bouncing four feet on a pogo stick or a radiant mother using the latest cooking appliance. The viewer becomes intrigued and decides to buy the product. Pulling it out of the box, they decide to give it a try. However, it's too late to return the knockoff product by the time the buyer realizes it doesn't work. According to Mckinsey National Institute, 72 percent of all companies lie in their product commercials. People everywhere are wasting so much money, only to be disappointed when it doesn't work.
Lastly, these holiday promotions have changed the true meaning of Christmas. Before TVs existed, people used to go caroling, go to church services, and spend Christmas Eve together. Today, kids are only worried about the boxes carefully wrapped and delicately placed under the tree. They tear through every present without giving it a second thought. Christmas used to be a joyful holiday. Now kids become upset over the one toy they didn't get. This is all because of the commercials they saw. The advertisements have destroyed family traditions and slaughtered the true meaning of the holidays
Obviously, the holidays are far too commercialized. They have caused greed and ungratefulness only to lie about their products. Not only that, but the true reasons we celebrate the holidays have long since been forgotten. However, a change can be made. Whatever you believe, take a minute to remember why holidays are celebrated. Remind family and even friends. Forget the commercials that have only told lies. Rebuild traditions and relationships, rebuild the holidays.
Makena Sanger, Windsor Middle School seventh-grader