Tag Archives: advertising
If Useless Information was at One Time Useful and Used to Accomplish Useful Things Then Who Decided it Was Useless?
With as many words as I spew out each day, occasionally I’ll wax poetic and my poor brain will begin to wander. Where it wanders is anybody’s guess.
On this particular day, it decided that a trip laden with useless information was its destination.
Let us delve deeper into the abyss, past the cobwebs and detour sign, which is my cranium, and gather the aforementioned information.
Here comes one now, it says, “lawyers banned in all fifty states from advertising. The ban was lifted in 1977.”… Too much, too much, this must not be!
Now we are in a place where the cobwebs are at their thickest. There’s another one entwined within the webs. “Why do some motocross drivers beat their bike with a riding crop? …Beating inanimate object beyond ludicrous, must go!
Look! There’s one lying in the muck and mire of my sad empty brain cavity. Everyone knows the Wicked Witch of the East died due to a drop in the housing market, but did you know her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West had a severe… and I mean a severe, twice personified body odor problem? She hung around with monkeys and never took a bath, being as water led to dissolution problems… Movie debut in 1939. On a quiet night you can still smell bubbling b.o.
I guess when you really get down to it, there’s no accounting for taste… or for that matter smell.
Those Two Little Words No One Pays Attention to Until You Hear That Phrase, “Didn’t You Read the Fine Print?”
I don’t want to mention any names, but the first is a company that offers legal services that you can purchase much cheaper than consulting with an actual attorney in your area. You can form corporations, LLC’s, or even get your final affairs in order by composing your last will and testament in the comfort of your own home. The confusing part of this process is the fine print (it can be difficult to read because of size and time so pause your TV when the fine print appears). It says that this legal service does not take the place of an attorney or legal advice.
The same company offers lawyers you can speak with that have your back. The problem here is (as we learn from the fine print) this service comes with a prepaid package. The more I think about it, the more I believe I’ll just find a bartender (someone who passed the bar) in my neck of the woods.
Then, there’s one of my favorites: “results not typical.” Now, you can bet this will always be in that micro world known as “fine print.”
“I lost 24 lbs. on Fat Be Gone.” Results not typical.
“I tried every diet that came down the pike. I’d lose 10 lbs. then gain back 20 lbs. Once I found Fat Be Gone my life changed. I lost 89 lbs. in just 4 short months. Thanks, Fat Be Gone.” Results not typical.
“After having to be lifted from my bed with a fork lift (not to mention the exterior wall removal) for an ingrown toenail, I decided something had to be done. With Fat Be Gone I could eat what I wanted and in 7 short years I’ve lost 468 lbs. and 11 ozs. The doctor says once I drop below 699 lbs. the towing company can pick me up for doctor appointments. Way to go Fat Be Gone! You made a believer out of me.” Results not typical.
And, we mustn’t forget the little pill that sells for a mere $29.95 a bottle that in an independent study vs. placebo, this miraculous drug showed an average weight loss of 4.9 lbs. Absolutely amazing if your weight loss goal is 5lbs or less.
Beware! Many times, also in “fine print” you’ll see these words: in combination with an exercise and diet program. Go figure. So, live your life, have a one-on-one with Jesus every day and read the fine print before you buy!
I have often mentioned how much I enjoy writing as I pen the various posts in my blog.
The same rings true with the one I am now working on. I guess I could say writing gives me that
warm and fuzzy feeling not unlike the folks that care deeply for our welfare and prove
this notion by wonderful gift offerings.
Case in point:
I turned my television on and, what do you know, someone thought enough of me that they offered $90.00 worth of skin care products for only $19.95. Wow! …and all this from a total stranger.
Then out of the blue, another caring individual was eager to sell me $180.00 worth of fitness products for only $29.95. Boy, is this my lucky day or what?
Then wonder of wonders, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a total stranger, for whatever reason, showed their genuine concern for my ability to hear. They were actually going to sell me a product that I could shove in whichever ear I chose for only $60 bucks.
Now I want you to stay with me on this one, because you are not going to believe it; they actually cut the price in half before I could pull out my credit card. This is where it really gets weird…they offered a second device for the same price!
When I finally came to, I quickly ordered the skin care products, fitness items and even though my hearing is fine, I just couldn’t resist these two tempting devices (and just in case I didn’t mention it, they fit in any ear I choose to cram them in).
So now, having been fortunate enough to stumble across these three wonderful products for which I would have gladly paid triple the price, I can actually hear my skin growing softer. And my fitness product, well once I get it put together, I have no doubt that it will make some type of noise that only I, with my super hearing, will be able to decipher.
And to think, it only costs $190.90 and $300.00 shipping.
What a bargain!
deeply for us
As many of you may know, becoming a published author can be a daunting task at best. Once I achieved this uphill struggle I thought I would careen down the other side into the world of sales with this fantastic novel I had created.
Not so. It seems that there are more than eight hundred new titles coming out each day. This translates to well over a quarter million every year. We may have over three hundred million people in the United States and six or so billion in the world, not all of which who read, but no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of books vying for not so many eyes.
If I were to add all of my royalty checks together, no doubt I could purchase a large case of bubblegum; however, man does not live by bubblegum alone.
I have been marketing to book clubs, bookstores, magazines, newspapers, radio and television, social media and if I’m not mistaken, I even tried to sell my mother a copy.
I’ve done book signings, book fairs and numerous other activities designed to sell books. For the most part “Rising Tide” has received exceptional reviews. Even considering the four thousand emails I have sent out on behalf of “Rising Tide,” sales are still lagging.
Being blessed with a hard head I simply refuse to give up and because of this I’m always searching for new ways to market my book. This is where I’ll humbly ask for your assistance. I am starting a grassroots movement to further promotion. I am not asking that you purchase a book (although that’s up to you) but that you would spread this message to friends, family, and coworkers and ask them to do the same.
Use email, word-of-mouth, social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) or any other method you would like to incorporate. As a further incentive I’m offering one free copy of “Rising Tide” to the first one hundred book clubs (i.e., one copy per book club) who contact me through my website www.lynnsteigleder.com. I’ll require interested book clubs to supply a contact name, email address, mailing address, and name of book club.
The following is two sample chapter excerpts from “Rising Tide.” I hope you enjoy them and spread the word!
• • •
Ben awoke to a voice echoing throughout the chamber. “Topside to Ben, come in, Ben.” The transmission repeated. “Topside to Ben. It’s time to rise and shine, sweetheart.”
He moaned and rolled out of the sack. He didn’t have far to roll. The space lived up to its name; it was the size of a tin can. Two bunks, a dry toilet, and a panel to monitor life support, position, and temperature along with numerous small storage bays made up the interior of the Orion.
He reached for the COM and yawned. “This is Ben, Topside, go ahead.”
“Good morning, Ben. So glad you could take time out of your busy schedule to join us.”
“Good morning, Marty,” Ben said, rolling his eyes.
“Ben, it’s time to begin system’s check. You’ll be on the surface in just under thirty hours.”
Ben moved to the control console, yawned again, and rubbed his eyes. “Roger,” he said. “Beginning system’s check.”
He knew this was necessary, but why wake him at four a.m. every morning for the same thing? Couldn’t they do this a little later in the day?
“How are you feeling?” Marty asked. “Your vitals look good from up here.”
“Good overall, just a little dizzy,” Ben answered.
“It’s probably the nitrogen,” Marty countered. “We changed your breathing mixture again last night.” He paused. “Ben,” Marty continued, “don’t forget to check your interior hatch control also.”
“Everything’s operative,” Ben said.
“Good,” Marty replied. “Topside out.”
“Orion out,” Ben replied.
The one thing Ben loathed more than Pete’s cooking were the rations onboard the Orion. These things must have been around since the First World War, he thought. Unwilling to dive into another cardboard-based meal, Ben sat down on the edge of his bunk, hung his head, and closed his eyes. In this position he could sense the capsule’s movement intensify. He moved back to the COM.
“Topside, this is Ben. What’s with the bumpy ride?”
“A tropical storm,” came the reply.
He waited for further explanation. None came. Ben stiffened. “Is that it?” he said. “Why so tight lipped?”
“Ben, this is Marty. A tropical depression formed yesterday morning. We’ve been waiting to see how it plays out before we filled you in. I didn’t want to cause any undue alarm.”
“Well?” Ben questioned.
“The forecast calls for slow strengthening,” Marty continued. “According to our radar, they may have been wrong. The next update is due soon. Just hang tight. I’m confident that it won’t be a factor in getting you to the surface. If it’s any consolation,” he said, “they named this one Benjamin.”
“I don’t care what they call it,” Ben said. “Just keep me in the loop. It’s my butt in this can, not yours.” He started to say more then thought better of it. “Orion out,” he finished.
In this environment, hours seemed like days. Ben thumbed through the rations again and decided on a prepackaged breakfast bar. He sat down, unwrapped the bar, and took a bite. The Orion lurched violently, tossing him into the port wall. “What the—” It lurched again, throwing him to the opposite side.
The intercom brought him back. “Ben, can you hear me?”
Ben pressed the COM button. “What’s going on up there?” he screamed.
“Ben, it’s not up here, it’s down there. There’s been an explosion in the habitat.”
“Marty,” Ben said, “what about Pete?”
“I don’t know, Ben,” he said. “I don’t know.”
Another blast ripped through the Orion, cutting all power and knocking him to the floor. Ben lifted himself off the deck and found it was impossible to stand. He crawled to the COM panel.
“Marty! All systems down! All systems down!” he repeated.
“Ben, your umbilical has been severed. You’ll have to power up onboard support.”
“Understood,” Ben responded. “What next?” he whispered.
The mere push of a button would begin the conversion, but now even the simplest task was proving nearly impossible for Ben with the capsule bouncing violently.
He located the switch and managed to convert all outside life support to onboard systems control. The battery backup kicked in. The lights flickered and then burnt steadily, not as bright as usual, but it was better than the complete darkness that had momentarily filled the cabin. One look at his gauges told him he was still eighty feet down, too deep to blow the ballast and surface.
The Orion continued to bob up and down. Ben pushed the COM button. “Marty, why am I not stabilizing?”
“Ben, the tropical storm has been strengthening rapidly for the past few hours. The blast bounced you up almost sixty feet. You’ve gotten close enough to the surface to feel part of what we’re getting up here,” he said. “We’ve got twenty-foot seas, going to thirty.” There was a long silence.
“Give it to me straight this time, Marty,” Ben said.
“Ben, the storm’s going to get stronger, maybe a cat five, or worse. On top of that, with the new protocol in place, everyone on board the platform moves into the Ark. We’ll lose our COM link,” he said. “You’ll be on your own, Ben. I’m sorry.”
The Ark was a self-sufficient life station positioned beneath the drilling platform. It could support up to thirty people for a maximum of five days. With limited propulsion it could even be cut loose and move away from OZ if necessary, tethered by a one-inch, two-mile long cable that could be winched in when the “all-clear” was given.
“Great,” Ben said. The chamber lurched again, this time slamming into one of the oilrig’s massive legs. “Marty, I’m still tethered to the sea floor. I’m too close to the rig. I’m gonna have to cut loose from the cable and float free before this thing beats me to death.”
“Ben, do not blow your ballast. Repeat. Do not blow your ballast. You’ll need another sixteen hours minimum to complete your decompression cycle.”
“Roger that,” Ben said. Beads of sweat gathered on his forehead.
“What about Pete?” Ben asked.
“As close as we can determine, the storm wrenched the habitat’s life support umbilical loose, allowing the atmosphere to escape,” Marty said. “Once the pressure reached a critical level … ” his voice trailed off. “I’m sorry, Ben; no one could have survived that implosion.”
“Orion out,” Ben said. His mind was blank, his body numb. He disengaged the quick connects from the cable and began to drift. The oilrig’s stabilizer scraped the side of Orion, seemingly to say goodbye.
Marty transmitted one last time. “We’re moving to the Ark,” he said. “Good luck, Ben. Topside out.”
Overwhelmed, Ben didn’t answer.
The jolt knocked Ben to the floor. “Talk about a rude awakening,” he said. He rose and popped his head through the hatchway. The scene was surreal. A large vessel had planted itself firmly into the side of the Orion. Neither vessel was moving. It’s as though they’ve been fused together on contact, he thought. There was a man hanging over the side clutching the rail. Another leaned over and pulled the first man up. Within minutes three faces were peering over the side of the ship at him.
“Ahoy!” Ben yelled.
“Ahoy,” came the response. ”Can you leave your vessel?”
“I’ll have to blow the side hatch,” Ben said.
“Very well,” a voice replied. “We’ll ready the lifeline.”
A boom swung over the edge of the ship and began lowering a line with a survival harness attached. When the harness touched the water, Ben dropped into the chamber and made ready to make his escape. With his hand poised over the switch, he thought of the capsule filling with water and taking him to the bottom along with it. Before he had a chance to change his mind, he slammed his palm down.
There was a brief delay, and the hatch blew free from its mooring. Ben lunged for the opening, but he wasn’t moving. His boot had become wedged under the console’s toe kick. He fought off panic and reached for his boot to free it. It wouldn’t budge. He removed his foot from the boot. He looked toward the hatch expecting to see a wall of water.
Amazingly, there was none. The cabin was bone dry. The water had been nearly halfway up the hatch when he’d blown it, but it wasn’t filling the cabin. He looked closer and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was as if a piece of glass had been placed across the hatchway. The sea level remained constant, drawing a straight line across the opening, but no water entered in.
Ben pushed his hand into the impossible then pulled it back. It was wet. He twisted his boot free and laced it back onto his foot, still mesmerized by the sight before him. He shuddered, then, thinking more clearly, decided that he’d better get out before whatever was holding the water back changed its mind.
Ben emerged at the surface and started to swim toward the harness. He strapped himself in and gave the thumbs-up. As he was lowered onto the ship’s deck, a lone figure approached. He was tall, fiftyish, with a neatly trimmed, slightly gray beard, and a uniform complete with cap that almost appeared military. He saluted and extended his hand.
“Welcome to the Morning Star,” he said. “Captain Evans at your service.”
Whether writing a novel, a novella or short story, I’ve learned that just because I know what’s in my brain, doesn’t mean my readers do. I must convey my ideas to my readership in a clear and concise fashion. In other words, they must know what I know.
I find that in the advertising and packaging industries, this particular formula does not ring true.
For instance (and allow me to set the scene):
A slightly disheveled bedroom, early morning light streams through the windows. A young couple awakens. The man, in his early twenties, rolls from the bed, donning nothing but tighty-whities. He pulls on a pair of pants, all the while smiling at the attractive young lady still lying in the bed. As he heads for the bathroom, the woman throws back the covers and steps onto the floor, wearing a man’s button-up shirt with the fringes of her underwear visible from behind. She also makes her way to the bathroom.
The scene changes: Both stand in front of a large mirror, the female shaving her head with a disposable razor as the man scrubs his teeth with a used toilet brush. The camera pans back, the screen darkens and a company’s logo appears, finally revealing what the commercial is actually trying to sell.
Not exactly “clear and concise”, is it?
I’ll admit that example was a little over the top, but come on. It seems that some commercials are written for absolutely nothing… Kinda makes you wonder from which elementary school these advertisers obtained their degrees? Moreover, what company would actually purchase these ads to promote their products?
Maybe I should rethink my career choice?
Continuing the bedroom theme, in the early 1970s, the Ivory Snow Company chose a pretty young actress cuddling an adorable infant to grace their boxes. This young woman turned out to be none other than porn star Marilyn Chambers. Talk about burying the lead…clear and concise? I think not.
Now let’s jump on our ladders and crawl out of the bathroom.
There’s a commercial that has recently surfaced that promises pure dog and cat food. It asks the viewer if the food that they’re feeding their pet now contains the proper nutrients in the appropriate amounts; such as, “Is your pet getting too much protein?”
Stop the presses. Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless things have changed recently, cats and dogs are carnivores. If they were living in the wild, they would eat nothing but protein, except for the occasional grass salad. If you want to sell me dog food, sell me dog food. I don’t need a multivitamin for my pet…clear and concise? Nope.
I believe I have laid some of your most worrisome questions to rest which leaves me with a very satisfied feeling. One could almost use the term “warm and fuzzy” to describe it.
Oh, and the product being advertised in my example earlier in this post? It was obviously a commercial introducing a new anti-inflammatory cream exclusively for vegan dogs and cats. Duh.
At one time or another during our lives most of us will require the services of a good barrister–for example, responsible documentation such as wills or legal papers for business start-ups. This also includes irresponsible behavior including, but not limited to, DUIs, robbery, vandalism and other criminal activities…and we mustn’t forget the ever popular divorce proceedings.
Even I have not escaped this legal mud bog. Although I’ve managed to remain misdemeanor and felony free all my life, I have had to retain the services of legal counsel in the past. My will is in order. My business was started legally and ethically. Even though the economy sent it swirling down the toilet, we twisted and turned knowing that we had been flushed in good conscious.
I’ve started a new paragraph thinking that the next topic deserved a place of its own on this post…and that would be my divorce. You can’t believe what you are missing, especially when you have kids… what a wonderful experience this is. The years it takes from your life are all planned for you. The resources it relieves you of gives you that much less financial burden to worry about. And the friends you incur during this endearing process last a lifetime, or at least until the child support comes to an end.
I have met and worked with lawyers of integrity, moral fiber and an ethical sense of right and wrong. Now enter the circling buzzards. You know, the meat wagon chasing belly crawlers we frequently encounter on our electronic picture boxes they use to enter our homes.
From near as I can tell there is a lawsuit for every drug ingested by man since the advent of aspirin in the early twentieth century until whatever new drug comes out tomorrow. There are suits against surgical implants, common analgesics and even denture cream. And please know that my heart pours out to those affected by the side effects.
This entry in my blog is a partial repeat but I believe it bears saying again. If our pharmaceuticals are taken off the market due to lawsuits then where do we find ourselves? Since I asked the question I suppose I should come up with some kind of answer. Go back a hundred years to the flu pandemic of 1911 and 1912. Aspirin at that time was a miracle drug. Do we really want to give up oral medication for more invasive procedures? And what about my dentures? They’ll keep falling out.
As awkward as it may seem, I can easily relate this post to writing. And that would be, and I emphasize: DON’T WRITE ANYTHING STUPID! Now excuse me. I’m having a heart attack and my doctor told me to take two aspirin and call him in the morning.