Thursday, September 06, 2007

Most money spent on advertisements, evah!

The real joy of having 653 trillion television channels (c/o Foxtel), is not so much that I have now multiplied by 653 trillion times the odds that I’ll be able to watch back to back Hogan’s Heroes at any given time on any given day.

Rather, it is that I will truly be getting value for my tax-dollar through maximum exposure to all those useful ‘government information campaigns’ (certainly never to be referred to as ‘political advertisements').

There’s the very useful ‘NetAlert’ advertisements, featuring an endless supply of young children with computer monitors for faces.
The waiting list for elective plastic surgery is truly shocking

And, just so you know, we have been able to have several, very constructive conversations with Tobias about drugs, thanks to the helpful hints in the government information campaign on drugs. Tobias now knows how hurtful he can be when he is coming down off catnip. And how stealing my Christmas savings to buy liver-treats is not cool.

I sleep well at night knowing that he is no longer at risk of selling his body on the street for drug money.

There's also the 'Know where you stand' campaign:

I particularly like how the slogan features on a post-it note. Post-its are normally used as reminders, so it makes sense. As in "must stick a post-it note up at my desk to remind me to calculate how much worse off I'll be under an AWA".

Or perhaps it is a representation of how much standing the advertisement's promises have in the event I do end up worse off under an AWA. As in "Oh, those promises about protecting your rights didn't mean anything. They were only ever on a post-it."

However, by far the most prominent of the ‘information campaigns’ would have to be the television advertisements ‘informing us’ of “Biggest reforms to superannuation, evah”.

Joe, the 53 year-old soon-to-retire hardware merchant, who’ll now be able to draw upon his superannuation tax-free, keeps popping up all over the joint. Just today, I saw him wedged between double-entendres on Will & Grace, propping up the Nuremburg Trials on the History Channel, and catching the bouquet at the end of Bridezillas (I’m off sick, so I have been able to sample the full range of delights offered by modern culture today).

Not so prominent, but equally memorable, is Julie, a receptionist at a medical centre, who doesn’t yet want to retire, but would like to cut back her work to three-days a week.

Both 'campaings' feature comforting, non-confrontational scenes of very ordinary Australians getting on with life in a completely non-fussed, contented way. Real ‘relaxed and comfortable’ type stuff, and something we can only expect to see more of as the Government attempts to build a platform of perceived prosperity upon which to launch massive scare campaigns (flesh eating unionists, the ALP killed Princess Diana, Kevin Rudd eats baby seals, etc etc).

All I can think of though is Joe, the 53-year old former hardware merchant, who had to close his small suburban hardware business when a Bunnings opened up nearby, completely undercutting his profit margins with massive loss-leading discounts. Joe, who had planned to retire at 53, lost a bundle trying to stay in business and now works 10-hours a day 6-days a week as a casual at that Bunnings, selling cheap, $15 electric drills and dangerously sub-standard electrical fittings. He'll have to work until he is 67 in order to cover the loss of savings incurred when his business went under.

Or Julie, who does work 3 days a week at the local medical centre, but spends it processing invoices for medical consultations charged at twice the AMA rate (with no bulk billing) and turning away those people who can’t pay up front (even if they are oozing strange substances or barely able to walk). She’s become quite good at getting through to people who are in considerable pain and discomfort, to communicate to them exactly which local buses (which run 2-hourly) will drop you off near the emergency department of the nearest public hospital, 35 minutes away.

But obviously, I am mis-thinking. I haven’t been paying enough attention to the ‘information campaigns’, which explicitly tell me that ‘everything is fine’ and we’re all going to be perfectly happy just as long as we have an over-taxing government that tries to convince us we are lucky when they sell us back our own money rather than spend it on services extra $14 a fortnight in tax-cuts.

Must get back to the TV.

1 comment:

Enny said...

I can't tell the difference between the ok/evil on the computer heads ad...