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Ads about economy capitalize from struggles

Story by Julie Hedrick

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The economy sucks. This is a known fact.

I don’t even have to mention the fact that banks are failing, unemployment is taking its toll and the country’s budget is in shambles.

I don’t have to say that most Americans don’t know how to continue their lives without the ability to spend money freely.

But they are dealing. Many have lost their homes, and more have found themselves buried in debt.

Paying bills is a nightmare. Job security doesn’t exist. All these are no-brainers.

Everywhere we go, we see reminders that the money we have shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s infiltrated the news and now it’s seeping into entertainment.

But what may be more disheartening than the economy itself is the countless number of advertisements trying to capitalize off the economy.

For example, Charles Schwab exploits people’s hardships and fears of the future to sell its services.

An older couple is worried about its retirement. Another man is worried about his 401(k). All the while, intense music plays in the background, giving the viewer a sense of urgency and conflict.

The newest Domino’s Pizza commercials boast three medium pizzas or oven-baked sandwiches for $5 each.

This isn't a bad deal.<br/>What is a bad deal is that the ad campaign is called the "Big Taste Bailout," and claims that Domino's Pizza is the bailout for "hard-working people on Main Street."What is a bad deal is that the ad campaign is called the "Big Taste Bailout," and claims that Domino's Pizza is the bailout for "hard-working people on Main Street."
What is a bad deal is that the ad campaign is called the “Big Taste Bailout,” and claims that Domino’s Pizza is the bailout for “hard-working people on Main Street.”

First of all, $15 is not going to save anyone’s bank account.

Second, capitalizing on people’s misfortunes is slightly offensive.

Ads should show that products’ prices are competitive and that the products themselves are worth the prices.

However, commercials that take a bad situation affecting millions of people in a negative way and use it to try and make money goes beyond advertising good prices and seems slightly unethical.

Ask the parents who are struggling to buy enough groceries every week if three pizzas for $15 dollars is really helping them out. Probably not.

People also don’t want to be constantly reminded of how horrible things have gotten.

When I turn on the TV, if I want an update on the economy, I turn on CNN.

However, a majority of the time, I’m looking for entertainment. I want a way to escape. I want to take my mind off of things going on in my life.

Sure, “The Hills” is pretty brainless. The characters thrive on drama, and I struggle to find any examples of ways I relate to them. However, something about a bunch of twenty-somethings in LA who lead some of the simplest lives is so entertaining to me.

Especially in a time when people are looking to save money, it’s never a bad idea to suggest legitimate ways for people to save money.

I like seeing how one product is going to be more economically rational than another.

Ads that show how much money I’ll be saving by buying one brand as opposed to another are helpful.

But bringing the average person’s fear and hardships into the mix is taking things over the top.

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