Advertisements meant to lead us astray

Don’t you just love it when people give you problems you don’t have? Truth is, this is how a lot of advertisements work. The commercial convinces you 1) there is a problem, and 2) it’s a problem you have, and then 3) they have a solution for the problem you didn’t know you had until a few moments ago!

For me, the icon of this seduction is the now defunct McDonald’s McDLT. They doubled the size of the (then) signature Styrofoam burger box. On one side of this environmental nightmare (since banished to eco-hell by all faithful stewards of birds, fish, streams and landfills) they put the bottom half of the bun and the burger. On the other side of this StyroFest Motel went the top half of the bun, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. Over this television image came a voice both soothing and excited: “We’ve found a way to keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool.”

And I remember laughing. Just giggling. I couldn’t stop.

We’ve found a way? I assume “we” means the crack team of culinary scientists employed by all modern fast food corporations. Scientists who have given their lives to solving our thorniest culinary dilemmas. Step aside, Louis Pasteur. Make way, Johannes Gutenberg. What have you done for me lately, Bette Nesmith Graham? (A Dairy Queen Blizzard to the first reader who remembers what Bette invented.)

I pictured some retired guy, watching TV. Wife in the kitchen. He calls out – voice cracking, tears streaming – “Martha … they’ve found a way!” They collapse into an embrace.

I remember thinking, “I have to get out more.” I had never once stared balefully into the half-eaten burger I was holding, chewing forlornly and saying to a friend, “Geez, if only they could find a way ….” But apparently legions of Americans were suffering the burger blur of hot and cool in silence. It was a hope beyond hope, I suppose.

I think of these things as I dive into my RJ email box and am told of another “We” who have “found a way.” Specifically, a way to save Valentine’s Day. I’m not making this up. That’s the exact wording of the email: “… to save Valentine’s Day.”

The marketer greets me by first name, and then asks if I’ve ever misinterpreted a conversation based on a look. She continues: “Evidence suggests that our facial expressions are a central driving force of our emotions.” So, I experiment. I stand in front of the bathroom mirror and frown, but I don’t feel frowny. Next I scowl, but I don’t feel scowly. Now I stick my lip out and make my chin tremble, yet I don’t feel sad. Maybe I’m not doing this right. Or, maybe this marketer is M.S.U. (M.S.U. is a diagnostic term, used by clinicians. It means “Making Stuff Up,” except we don’t necessarily use the word “stuff.”)

Regardless, this marketer informs me they’ve found a way “to keep the romantic dinner conversation loving and friendly.” They’ve found a way to make you appear “less mean” and “more happy.” Botox! And Ultherapy! She even names the doctor who has found the way to do these revolutionary things. She calls him the “Looks Can Kill expert.”

The marketer writes, “Statements can be misinterpreted based merely on the look a person is giving off and this experience is ESPECIALLY true for patients who have undergone procedures such as Botox and Ultherapy.” I don’t get it. Botox fixes faces that are often misinterpreted? Or Botox is the cause of faces being often misinterpreted?

The email includes “before and after” faces so absurdly and obviously staged that I wonder how this kind of campaign actually works on anyone who’s not a sheep. Actually, sheep might be smarter than this. I almost never misinterpret the facial expressions of sheep.

Truth is, I’ve never met anyone who says, “The problem with Steven is I often misinterpret what he’s feeling, based on his facial expressions.” But, maybe people say this behind my back. Maybe my Valentine’s Day is in serious jeopardy.

And maybe sheep are smarter than us. Because, obviously, this crap works. In the words of George Carlin, “If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it.”

The marketer says Dr. Lookscankill “can speak about the impact of nonsurgical procedures on facial and emotional appearances to save Valentine’s Day,” and wants to know if I’d like to schedule an interview with him for Human Matters.

Nah. I’ve got everything I need for a column right here.

Steven Kalas is a behavioral health consultant and counselor at Las Vegas Psychiatry and the author of “Human Matters: Wise and Witty Counsel on Relationships, Parenting, Grief and Doing the Right Thing” (Stephens Press). His columns appear on Sundays. Contact him at 227-4165 or skalas@reviewjournal.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like