IF YOU’VE reached the grand old age of 50 and are heading down the other side, I wonder if, like me, you are hoping—as we move towards the lifting of the COVID restrictions in mid-June—we will see an end to the constant barrage of television advertising aimed at us ‘oldies’.
You cannot turn on the TV at breakfast time or in the afternoon without being overwhelmed by ads relating to disability aids, life insurance and death! From rise and recliner chairs to adjustable beds, sit-down shower cubicles to disability scooters and a never-ending stream of insurance policies to pay for our funerals.
Frankly, over the past year, this bombardment has almost driven me to distraction. In my opinion these adverts are not only stupid, they’re also inaccurate and certainly don’t relate to their target market.
For a start, take the sit-down shower cubicle for the disabled. Nothing wrong with the unit itself—on the face of it—but the ad uses a fit, glamorous 30-to-40-year-old with absolutely no signs whatsoever of any type of disability to sell it.
The model glides across the floor wrapped sexily in a large, white bath towel, enters the shower and sits down. In the next ad break she walks out of the shower wrapped in the same towel… bone-dry!
Not only that but she’s walking in bare feet—surely an extremely dangerous thing to do for anyone with a disability! She appears to have no issues walking or need any assistance, which totally goes against the purpose of the cubicle.
The same issue arises with the adjustable beds and rise-and-recline armchairs, which appear to lift you up and catapult you onto your feet. Again, the models used in the adverts are fit and healthy—and so have no issues with their mobility: either sitting, standing or walking.
But how can you expect to sell an item of furniture to seriously immobile people without at least showing a disabled person using it? Or with a carer on-hand to assist them? It makes no sense.
The disability scooter is even more ridiculous. It may fold right down and fit into the car boot, but if you’re disabled and on your own who’s going to lift it and place it in the boot?
Then there’s the constant stream of insurance companies trying to sell us policies to pay for our funerals—and without any medical questions.
I can say from personal experience: “that is simply not true.”
They present their products either through well-known personalities who are obviously being paid a fortune, or via older actors who promote the product in a very condescending fashion.
Over the past 18 months there has been much talk of how our mental health has been affected—and I have no doubt the drip-feeding of these advertisements will have been a contributory factor for a vast number of people, particularly those who live alone.
I’m lucky to have my husband and, on the whole, we look for the absurdities in these adverts; hence this blog post.
So my message to the product manufacturers, TV companies and the advertisers is: please consider carefully what you’re advertising and its relevance to the consumer.
Whether we do or don’t return to ‘normal’ on June 21st, please give us a break and perhaps consider a new approach to making your ads in the future.
’Til next time,