Many people are being held hostage. Not by terrorists from third world countries who wish to do you harm. By Madison Avenue executives who wish to squeeze every penny they can out of your wallet. Do they sneak into your home while you're sleeping and pick your pocket? No. Do they hack your accounts online and steal your credit cards? No. Do they bribe the cute teller down at the bank to siphon funds from your account? No.
They trick you into giving them your money happily and willingly. You do this every time you buy something that you saw advertised on TV. How do they do this? Well, they've been doing it for a while. When the TV was invented, a certain group of people rejoiced. They rejoiced more than those lucky folks who discovered gold in California back in 1849. Who were these people? Happy housewives looking to pass the time? Lonely widows who wanted some company at night? No. These happy people were corporate advertisers.
You see, when people sit down to watch TV, they let their guard down. Imagine that you're reading the paper. You are reading an interesting article on the sports page. You turn the page to complete the article, and you are hit with an advertisement. You have a choice. You can continue to read your article, or you can pause and read the ad. You have a choice. Most people skip over the ad and read the article.
But what happens when you're watching TV and an ad comes on? You have to wait. You figure it's only thirty seconds, and the program will come back on. So you relax, and enjoy the commercial. But some of those commercials are pretty entertaining. Some of them are even better than the TV show. You're actually interested in the commercials.
All the while, the desire to buy those products is seeping into your unconscious. So much so that when you hit the shops, you have an almost unconscious desire to buy those things you've seen advertised. You feel you aren't complete unless you own them. After all, those people in the commercial were certainly happy when they had them. Won't you be?
Naturally, the way to avoid such shenanigans is to shut off the TV completely. Or do something drastic. Change the channel when the commercials come on. Watch DVDs instead of what's on TV. Use your TV to play video games instead. Whatever you do, don't let those commercials invade your brain and turn you into a product purchasing zombie.