Recently, at the end of a rather hectic day, I decided to reward myself with a soak in my jetted bathtub. Normally I lock the bathroom door and peacefully relax without interruption. However, on this particular evening my husband was away so I waited to put the girls to bed before running the water.
“Just in case” the girls needed me, I left the bathroom door open. Within two minutes after settling into the tub, my four year-old daughter walked into the room.
Jenna: “Hey mom…are you taking a bath?”
Me (sigh): “Yes.”
Jenna: “Why are you taking a bath mom?”
Me: “It was a crazy day.”
Even when I’m relaxing, I feel the need to be somewhat productive. So I had the shave gel and razor sitting on the side of the tub.
Jenna: “Hey mom…are you going to shave your legs?
Jenna: “I know how to shave legs.”
Me (surprised): “Really? How?”
Jenna: “Push the button on the can. The stuff comes out and you put it on your legs so you can take the hair off with your razor.”
I’ll admit that shaving one’s legs isn’t rocket science, but I was curious as to how my four year-old could describe the leg-shaving process since I was pretty sure she’d never watched me do it.
Me: “How do you know all that?”
Jenna: “TV. It’s on the commercials.”
This is one of those moments where my work/life balance goes completely outta whack.
The mother-in-me thinks: “Good grief…my four year-old has figured out how to shave her legs by watching the dumb TV. What else is she learning from boob tube?”
On the other hand, the marketing-professional-in-me thinks: “Wow…TV advertising really works! My four year-old recognizes the product and understands its functionality simply from watching television.”
So there I am…sitting in the tub…where I’m supposed to be relaxing. What am I thinking about? The good and the bad that comes along with TV advertising. And how my career perpetuates product promotion and education in the lives of everyday people.
On the one hand, I don’t want advertisers influencing my family. I want to control what they see and hear.
On the other hand, I want my company’s advertising to influence everyone else. I have an important message that needs to break through the clutter!
Am I living a double standard?
In some way, shape or form…aren’t we all selling something?
We’re probably not selling shave gel. But we’re all selling a product, or service, or an idea, or a way of life, or a philosophy. We’re probably not all promoting on TV either. But we’re promoting via social media or in community gatherings or perhaps even good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.
And if you don’t think anyone is paying attention to your messages, both verbal or non-verbal, then think again.
Just ask your young kids if they can explain to you how to shave your legs.