Some of the less-watched cable channels, which air re-runs of older favorites, also run some of the seedier advertising. This is the result of low cost-per-thousand price and audience demographics. Since I usually record my favorite programs, I fast-forward past these messages. Still, I cannot avoid the graphics.
Recently, advertising for a subscription to a set of music CD’s caught my attention and made me wonder how these can survive. They must make money or would not be run. I have seen this many times in the past, and they seem to repackage the same songs with different covers. I’m certain that many old people purchase the set, not remembering an earlier purchase. It has to be aimed at older viewers, because young people buy music on iTunes
This practice of buying sets of music, reminded me of the encyclopedias of my youth. Now, no one (or someone really dumb) would by a set of books with knowledge, when they can click on Wikipedia. But, there was a time when salesmen darkened front doors and convinced residents that their children could not succeed in life without the benefit of having an expensive encyclopedia in the house. My father fell for the sales pitch, and I did enjoy discovery afforded by every delving into a volume. I do not recall a single fact, but my horizon must have been broadened. I’m sure that this set of books still collects dust and mildew in the family cellar.
I admit buying a set of music CD’s from Time-Life a few decades ago, when music was less easy to source. My favorites from the past were unavailable in Europe or ridiculously expensive. Home computers were a glitter in the eye of someone clairvoyant, and the internet was a military-industrial secret. I also bought a set of history books for my children, which neither touched. My interest in history was not in genes passed along to the next generation. From where I sit, I can see those books gathering dust.
Salesmen, subscriptions, and bad deals will be with us as long as humans roam the earth. Some of us will be too soon old and too late smart, and some will never be smart...which explains why salesmen, subscriptions, and phony deals will survive.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.