Monday, August 18, 2014

Deceptive Advertising

I think I'm going to start making wine. And I'm going to call my wine Deception. I'll put a little nymph on the label with a sly smile.

I recently saw these signs (here I go with the signs again!) in the deli. Really? Mommy's Time Out? There's a picture of a chair in the corner, and next to it a table with a wine bottle and glass on it. It almost makes Time Out seem appealing. I'm sure it appeals to mothers of young children. They probably look forward to their "time out" with their bottles and their "sippy cup."

I get it. It's actually pretty clever. But what's the message? When you can't handle your kids, go in the corner and drink?

How about Lady Lola? No corkscrew! How convenient! And a beautifully attractive bottle! Who could resist? I almost bought it! I still might. The bottle looks like it should hold perfume, not wine. And besides, the ad says, "I'm irresistible!"

I don't advocate drinking, but I don't condone it either. I do enjoy a glass or two of wine every now and then. And I do prefer twist off caps. But these advertisements, signs and bottle labels can be so appealing that you forget you're drinking alcohol. 

Lest you think I'm on my soapbox about drinking, that's not the case. Rather, it's about deception. Advertising is all about making something attractive, right? The companies are only doing their jobs, and some are doing them quite well. I'll bet Mommy's Time Out sells a lot of bottles.

The thing about deception (or deceit) is that it's a deliberate attempt to fool or trick you; to make you believe that something that is not truth is truth.

When we think of a biblical deception, we most often think of Adam, Eve, the garden, the apple, and the serpent. The Fall. Here's how the serpent tried to trick Eve: Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden (Gen 3:1--emphasis mine)? Deception often starts with a little, insidious seed of doubt. Hmmm, Eve thought, He's got a point. "Weeelll, He actually said we could eat from any tree in the garden except that one...and that one we can't even touch or we'll die! (v3, paraphrased)"

"Nonsense! You won't die! In fact, your eyes will be opened and you'll be just like God, knowing good and evil! (v4 paraphrased)

Well, we know what happened next, right? She partook and shared some with her husband, and guess what? Then the eyes of both of them were opened...(v7). 

This is deception: It's not quite a lie. It's more like an untruth, but there's always some truth in it. Satan told Eve that their eyes would be opened and they were! That they would know good and evil, and they did! But they could never be like God. The tree was not the "tree of good and evil," but the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." They didn't know good and evil before. They just knew God. Deception clouds our judgment.

I'll bet my blog that the women (and I believe that probably 99% of the buyers are women; the other 1% is a stressed-out dad buying it for his wife in hopes that she'll relax) buying Mommy's Time Out subconsciously believe that if they drink that wine, they'll be better equipped to take care of their children because they'll have had their "time out." Who cares what the wine tastes like? I need my time out! Deception. 

If I buy that lovely Lady Lola, it will be because I might (subconsciously) believe that I'll feel more beautiful because of the beautiful bottle and the beautiful ad. Who cares what the wine tastes like? If I drink the whole bottle, I'll be deceived into thinking I am irresistible, like the ad implies but in reality...I'll just be drunk!

I'm not saying that these companies and their advertising are evil; they're just trying to sell their products and that's how you sell-you attempt to make people believe what they see and hear. There's a lot of deceptive advertising going on in the world today. Not quite a lie, but not quite a untruth. A deliberate attempt to fool us!

So, how can we combat deception? Know the truth and don't allow yourself to be led astray. Be alert and of a sober (clear-headed, self-controlled, vigilant) mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)...Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows through it (Prov 4:23). I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).

A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful

Blessings as you stay on the Path,

Video of the Day-a little levity with a classic I Love Lucy:
Lucy Stomping Grapes

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