Ad Space – Cheers To You

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Cheers to You CD (and “three puzzle-shaped affirmative tokens”!)

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
It’s the next best thing to self-esteem!

Okay, I want to be really careful how I make fun of this. Because I am going to make fun of this. Watching that ad, there’s no way that I couldn’t.

But, at the same time, I don’t want to mock anyone who’s suffering from depression or self-esteem issues. There are many different ways of coping with those problems, and if there’s anyone out there who actually benefited from a recording like this … well, if that got you through a tough patch in your life, I don’t want belittle that. Everyone’s gotta do what works for them.

So instead, my mockery will be focused squarely on the money-back guarantee.

“We guarantee you’ll be feeling better about yourself and your life, or we’ll give you your money back.”

That is such a bold guarantee to make. I don’t think anything can be guaranteed to make a person feel better about themself; human beings have far too much individual variation for that. And even if there was such a miracle substance, I highly doubt it would be a Cheers to You CD.

What’s more, how someone feels about themself or their life: you can’t measure that. Even if the CD really did improve the self-esteem of everyone who bought it, people could always claim it didn’t improve their self-esteem, and there’d be no way to prove them wrong. It seems like Cheers to You should have been getting “I want my money back!” demands left and right.

Except … who’s going to go on the record for something like that? They’d have to admit, to other people, that “Yes, I bought a CD full of stock cheering noises and recordings of bland affirmative statements, because I wanted to make believe that all that positive attention was directed at me. And no, I don’t feel any better about myself or my life.”

Imagine a case like that going to court, having to say all that in front of a judge, your attorney, and any human-interest reporters who are skulking around.

Cheers to You were so bold with their money-back guarantee, because they realized few people could stomach the embarrassment of admitting their life was that depressing. That … that is diabolical.