New And Improved – Enough Already
Woman Versus The Police
Back Then, I Loved To Watch TV
when it was young. I loved every show from westerns to police shows. All of America loved TV, and even the commercials that soon infected our quality programs. Then little by little, the same ad agencies began to promote everything from chewing tobacco to baby food. And we Americans stood and took it. Actually, we were so happy to just be a part of the New Wave of The TV Industry, that we did not want to cause trouble or even be heard complaining about the number of commercials running on our programs. Hush! Hush! We feared "The Establishment," before the hippies latched onto that term.
But we continued. Day in. Day out. Or night out. There we were planted in front of our TV's never missing our favorite programs because it was similar to helping our very own children being born, then watching them grow up. It wasn't too long before we watched TV shows come and go, and sometimes going faster than coming. That's show biz, was how Hollywood soon adapted this phrase to explain the changing face of TV.
We loved every minute of the TV at dark, or if the factories adapted their shift choices to the day shift, second shift, then the dreaded "graveyard shift," so some of us would be watching TV, slurping sodas, cold beer, (all advertised on TV and bought for that same reason) and families forgot their kitchens and dining rooms as they drifted to the living room and began to watch TV as they ate TV dinners on their colorful trays. And no one bothered to take the time to look ahead of what was coming.
Do You Remember The Phrase
"new and improved?" I hate to be blunt, but if you ever watched five minutes or more of any TV program, then you must have been privy to the commercials that used this phrase to sell more and more of their own products that they, the companies who promoted the same products told us that their goods were good, almost-perfect. Then the obvious question would be: why start saying new and improved? We did not take time to break-down this sly phrase. Nor did we question about the word "why" the adjective, "new" was used along with "improved?"
Folks, I hate to be a Johnny-Come-Lately, but we had spent scratch buying a product that ad agencies said for us trust someone's bath soap and for us consumers would never have to buy anymore soap . . .ever. Enter through the back door, new and improved. What? Great question, what was to be new or improved? We had already spent our money on a bath soap that was near-perfect and we were content, but maybe, those ad agencies, those professional phrase benders, (early prototypes of spin doctors) made us believe that although the soap that we bought was almost perfect, but we were not completely clean. And during this time, we all went about our days thinking that we were 100% clean. What doofuses we were.
Then Came The Actual Proof
that most all of our manufactured products (made in America) were obviously not made to meet certain standards, so Ed McMahon walked into our TV screens and started talking about “new and improved,” items he hawked on the air. Things like beer, cars, and even his signature selling ad campaign: (The Company He Talked About) Clearing House that came through our U.S. Mail with his photo on the left side, left top and him grinning like a donkey foraging on someone’s cornfield, but one time was not enough. NOTE: notice that I did NOT mention (by name) McMahon’s true company that he talked about.
McMahon carried on this ad campaign for years and with each letter, there he was telling us what and which sticker inside that we should send to the company . . .because it as New and Improved! What a sap I was for being sucked into such Advertising Propaganda. I know that I am not the only guilty party in our country. Did anyone win the thousands that was promised? You bet. Someone did. Not me. I can only guess that my sticker sticking and document selecting was not “New and Improved.”
From McMahon To Other
ad campaigns told by other celebrities, Alex Trebek, spokesperson for a big insurance company; Matt McCoy, actor, is selling some product that he “highly-endorses, and this one that we cannot forget: Marie Osmond, spokes-girl for some diet product, and yes, on one of their ad campaigns, I did hear, “new and improved,” but I only saw (mostly) the same diet-based products and meals that we used to see weeks ago.
Now I know that there is a place for products that have a place for “new and improved,” but not EVERY product that comes off an assembly line. Some products I tell you, do great by themselves and have been selling off the shelf for years. (e.g. remember the Frisbee?) Just tell me how, not why, the Frisbee company could ever make their famous toy, “new and improved?” Can you tell me if I am missing something?
A few of the products (like Frisbee) that can stand alone on their merits, integrity, and performance are: the jet airliner, sure in the beginning, airliners had to be tested and tested, but one day, the designers hit on something that worked and now if you want to fly from Alabama to Nebraska, you hop on a plane in Birmingham and fly like the wind to Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska in no time. Then there is that nifty product, the microwave oven. I would wager that most Americans have one of these time-savers in their kitchen. I do. And since I love popcorn, well the microwave and popcorn make a terrific marriage, and I do not see a way that the microwave can ever be improved upon. These are but a few great, American-products that will never need the label of “new and improved.”
I would be very guilty if I did not share one of the products that DO need the sign, “new and improved,”: (I’m not mentioning the brand name), but it is the latest TV-based product that costs near nothing per month compared to the big satellite companies. And upon reading on (this) new TV provider, I found out that one has to pay a “King’s Ransom,” just for the dish, receiver and installation fees. This product, if it is good enough to stay on the air, WILL have to be “new and improved” if it is to compete with the major TV companies.
Case in point. Take the string trimmer as the prime example of how one product that has been invented to save anyone the hard work of pulling-up weeds when they can use a string trimmer. But over the years, not just one company, but others invented their version of a string trimmer and these models literally flooded the American Market.
The FIRST string trimmer was, in my opinion, good enough. Now in 2019, someone else has come up with a string trimmer of sorts. The only "new and improved" scheme of the trimmer is that the owner does NOT have to thread the string in order to get it to work--all that the owner does is simply put the string into the hub at the bottom, and by pressing a button on the trimmer handle, the hub automatically threads the string for the owner.
What if the original owner of the trimmer chose to thread the trimmer his or herself? I think that sometimes, the first invention is way enough.
we have talked a lot about products, TV ads and the spokespersons who have also made a bundle by hawking these products simply because they are “new and improved.” But there is ONE product that is great on its own creation and performances . . .and the product is MY HUBBING. I love the company, HubPages, but my writing and topics can stand some major improvement, but not NEW.
I have been here for eight years. I’m certainly not “new,” but I am open to suggestions for the “improved.”
June 18, 2019__________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery