Sometimes I feel much older than what my television viewing habits suggest. I enjoy the evening news programs on the big three networks’ schedule. While many feel that these programs have gone the way of the Dodo bird, I still find them relevant.
Just the other day, the weekend version of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt produced an excellent piece on the man who was portrayed in the new Bradley Cooper film, American Sniper. Holt profiled Chris Kyle the person who Cooper portrays in the film. Kyle performed multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and returned to the States to help out fellow veterans. As most of us know, Kyle's story did not end well. Fortunately, Holt had the foresight a few years back to conduct an in-depth interview with Kyle. The complete story is available online as of this writing. Holt presented this story again on The Today Show. The story is informative, enlightening and fascinating.
So, back to NBC Nightly News. Aside from the Kyle story, the show featured correspondent Mark Potter who filed a package from Cuba and reporter Anne Thompson who followed Pope Francis in the Philippines. It was a solid newscast that every one of all ages ought to enjoy, right? Wrong! Evidently advertisers of such programs feel that geezers are their entire audience. On that evening’s newscast, "old folks" like us were treated to ads on CIC-Chronic Idiopathic Constipation, OB – Overactive Bladder, ED – Erectile Dysfunction and an commercial for a “silver” multi-vitamin. I'm wondering if there is an acronym for the multi-vitamin. SMV? But doesn’t SMV stand for “Single Male Vulcan?” What's up with these acronyms? The marketers have enough confidence to put these issues into the spotlight with ads featuring attractive women who tout the benefits of ED drugs, but they're so embarrassed they have to make up acronyms to hide the problems? C'mon marketers, we're humans and any of us can experience these issues, you can say the full name of the "affliction" every time it comes up in the script.
I must come clean and admit that I’m lumped in with the "old-timers club." I’m classified as being quite old if I like shows such as NBC Nightly News. I certainly don’t feel old, but the advertisers with all of their research, must know more than me, so I suppose those products are suited for me, right?
It's not just the "embarrassing acronym issue ads" that are part of the marketing mix during the network nightly newscasts. The marketers think that we have money in our pockets for luxurious items like the oversized Lincoln SUVs driven by actor Matthew McConaughey. While I know that Mr. Conaughey is not in the "old-timers club," the producers must think that if we buy one of those SUVs, somehow we will become the young, handsome actor. Add those "I've fallen and cannot get up ads," reverse mortgage testimonials by the likes of former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson and actor Robert Wagner along with those accident attorney commercials, and folks like us are treated to a parade of ads that make our rather old heads spin. Should we take advantage of these offers, now with those easy payment plans?
Now that I know what demographic I fall into due to my tastes in television viewing, I guess that I ought to pay closer attention as to what is being marketed to me. Maybe things will turn around for the better in our lives. Yes, for me and millions of others, life will dramatically improve if we all just buy these products that are marketed to us. Once we make all of those purchases, the sun will be shining even more brightly. Birds will be chirping outside our bedroom windows. Butterflies will be dancing around our heads. There will be room for two classic bathtubs in our bathrooms where I hope not to drown. We will be able to stroll the beaches without a care or without falling down not being able to get up. And the most important thing: We will be able to view the evening news without any CIC, ED, OB or any other acronym that degrades our quality of life. Plus we can do all of this while having a great mortgage and gobs of money in the bank after we sue anyone who dares to even tap our cars on the road or look at us cross-eyed. Honestly, who could turn all that down? Well, I have to get back to the nightly news. Actor Matthew McConaughey has a car that I would like to buy and Senator Thompson has a mortgage offer that I cannot refuse.