I have just escaped a pouring rain. This morning I took my husband to work, but I was feeling too lazy to put on pants and pack up my computer and sit in a drafty Starbucks to write, having just been there yesterday. I did put real pants on, but as we hustled out the door, I didn’t bother with my computer. I’m glad now, as it is thundering and I am not a fan. I feel I would not want to drive home in such weather.
So today I am drinking iced coffee form Dunkin’ Donuts and eating a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel with some strangely good hash browns. I don’t really like hash browns normally, but these little disk shaped ones are actually very tasty. I’m pretty excited about the iced coffee. It just feels so summery and nice. It will probably be watery by the time I’m done, but that’s okay.
I have been continuing my podcast listenings and I have made a discovery; I really like the idea of online stores and services. I’m not sure if this inclination comes from their own merits or if it’s just because they’re advertised on my podcasts which talk about their sponsors rather than playing repetitive, prerecorded commercials. Perhaps they just sound cool because these people I’ve been come kind of attached to are telling me they are cool.
Seriously, though, every time they talk about one of their sponsors I find myself wanting to go and check it out, even though half the time they have no real application to my life. Sure, half the time I could probably use what they’re talking about, but the other half are things that are more small business oriented or more grown up than I have reached and still I think, “that sound so cool, I should check it out.
For example: Stamps.com. I haven’t gone there yet, but it sounds super cool. Why? I have no idea! But they let you print exact postage and send you a scale to calculate it and you never have to go to the post office again! I can’t say that I’ve had to go to the post office a lot in my life, nor have I had any really adverse experiences there, but the hosts talk about it in such convincing detail that I’m sure it must be awful. I am so tempted to check it out even though I don’t send enough mail for it to be worth while to sign up for it. They always say it’s great for small businesses or people who sell stuff online and I do neither. I do, however, like the idea of sending packages to my far away friends. There is part of me that thinks if I got this online service maybe I actually would do it, but then there’s that reasonable part of my brain that says “You wouldn’t, don’t be silly.” I hate it when that part’s right.
Other tempting advertisements include Me Undies and Blue Apron, a service that sends you recipes with all the ingredients perfectly portioned so you just have to put it together and eat it. It’s supposed to be really tasty with a low calorie count, but super filling and, honestly, it’s really tempting to just look at it. I don’t know that my husband would actually go for it, but I really want to at least look at it and see what it’s like. The idea of having ready to make food come to my door sounds so cool to me. I’m a little concerned that we wouldn’t have everything we need as far as cooking implements go, but I’m sure we could improvise.
So basically I want to try out all the things, or at least look at all the things, just to see how they work and I’m a little surprised by this. I have never been super susceptible to the sway of advertisement before, so why now? Credit, I believe, go to the hosts of these podcasts more than to the products themselves. We are so very used to having our entertainment interrupted by advertisements. You can’t watch a video on Youtube or anywhere else, really without a ad at the beginning. Shows break regularly for commercials to play, taking you abruptly out of the story to hear about some product you probably don’t care about at all. We’ve become hostile to these types of jarring interruptions and annoyed by their presence in the middle of our media.
These podcast commercials are different. These “words from our sponsors” are brought to us by the same voices we’ve come to listen to. They warn us when they’re going to start talking about a sponsor and give a reason, at least on Stuff You Missed in History Class, as to why they’re pausing here to do so. Sure, the conversations that follow about The Great Courses or Dollar Shave Club sound staged and untruthful, listening backwards through the archives, I noticed every time they talked about Stamps.com around the change of stamp values they reminded each other of the change and sometimes acted as if they had only just found out about it that day. But the conversations are always slightly different, they aren’t the same mechanical regurgitation of a scripted ad over and over. They feel human and they talk about the products in human terms and how they apply to their own real lives. They talk about the meals that Blue Apron has sent them and things they were surprised that they liked. They talk about series that they’re going through with The Great Courses and how much they love the speakers and the learning. They are clearly making a pitch, giving all the information necessary, but they are also giving their thoughts and feelings and endorsing the products as they go.
So that’s why I think I’m inclined to check out all these online services and stores. Not just because they sound really cool in some cases, but mostly because these people I listen to daily have told me over and over in their own words why I should want to check these products out and how easy it is to do so. I feel better knowing that Holly forgets to change her razors too and that there’s a way to make sure you always have a fresh one that doesn’t require a trip to Target. I like hearing that these accomplished, educated women also struggle with working in the kitchen and figuring out how to cook. It endears me to these products and services in a way prerecorded ads can no longer accomplish.
I’ve gone on about this much longer than I thought I would. Sorry about that. I don’t know why this idea of better advertisement excites me as much as it does, but I find the idea of it to be really cool. I can’t think of how this personal sponsor talk can be implemented other places, but if someone else can, they should definitely do it. Then again, if other places do it and this form of advertisement becomes they norm we may quickly find that it’s actually just as annoying as traditional ads and be angry with it too. But, that’s the way of it, I guess.
Have a lovely day, my friends.