adventures in lunacy

January 22nd, 2008

Adventures in Lunacy

With all the financial happenings in my house lately, the tone of the posts have been a bit on the serious side. We’ve been trying to navigate a past setback and prevent a future necessity from becoming a setback of its own. So I thought this morning, I’d try and bring a little levity to all the financially conscious out there by discussing a few advertisements I’ve seen or heard in the past month that made me laugh out loud or even spit out my drink.

The first is a local radio advertisement that ran in the week before Christmas. It was so absurd that I had to pull the car over to write down a synopsis of it before it left my brain. Basically it goes like this:

Drowning in debt? Have more presents to buy and no cash? Keep charging and charging and dreading the bills? NO MORE! Come in to <insert local car dealer here> and buy a new car! We’ll give you a $500 gift card to the local mall so you can buy those presents! No car payments until February! Stop drowning in debt and come in today!

Um… WHAT? I’m drowning in debt so I should go buy a new car. That’s a sensible solution. Too bad my car didn’t die until January I could have taken advantage of this deal…

Okay not really. Of course I’m not going to try to solve my financial difficulties by buying a new car. That actually makes so little sense I don’t understand who exactly is going to fall for the gimmick. But, moving on.

The other ad that actually constantly plays during the football games I’ve been watching on TV recently is for Free Credit Report dot com. First off, if you want a free credit report go to annualcreditreport.com not “free” credit report because the “free” site is not really free. You have to sign up for a free trial of a service and if you don’t cancel it, you pay. But, anyway. The commercial (and some of you have probably seen it) is a guy singing about how he married the love of his life, but her credit stinks and so they have to live in a parent’s basement instead of buying a house, and if he’d gone to the website, he’d have known and not married her and he’d be a happy bachelor.

Well, call me naive but seriously, are you not going to marry someone because they have bad credit? Sure, it’d be good to know, and you’d want to financially protect yourself, but at the same time, there is more to love than money. Well, I think so, at least. And second, can I just go to that website and get anyone’s credit report? I sincerely hope not. Yes, I could pull up my spouse’s, but only because he’s trusted me with his social security number and we share bills so I know what his accounts are. I couldn’t pull up my brother’s or my mom’s or something. So… exactly what would you have learned by checking your own report, the only one you should have access to? Unless you’re snooping in your wife-to-be’s stuff and stole her social security number. That commercial doesn’t even make sense to me.

Have you seen or heard any absurd or laughable commercials lately involving money? Share them in the comments!

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12 Responses to “Adventures in Lunacy”

  1. I’ve seen that dumb free credit report dot com commercial too, my reaction was exactly the same. When I was dating my wife I wasn’t running credit reports & background checks on her.

    Plus, I have had enough hoops to jump through proving I was Mark Framness to get credit reports on myself.

  2. Those commercials exist only to get a cute jingle in your head and hopefully you’ll break down and enroll in Triple Advantage. Brilliant marketing ploy. Bad financial advice.

  3. That credit report commercial is hilarious, not in a funny way, but in a “what the…?” kind of way. It is ridiculous to assume you need to check a future spouses credit report! And the fact they claim it is free should be illegal!
    Locally, we have a commercial that airs regularly during the news that advertises “free” telephone service, the catch? It’s only free for 3 months, then they charge you more than the average conventional company.
    I hate these types of commercials because the truly poor and uneducated may take them as real and will unknowingly put themselves in a bad financial situation.

  4. The car commercials have got to be the funniest! They killed themselves with 0% interest offers that now in order to try and sell cars they have to “give” use money. Those of us that are smart enough to know better know that you are going to pay for that money- probably twice over! But someone has to be falling for it because there in Oklahoma they advertise that they will give you $15,000 cash to pay off your “high interest credit cards” to help you “save money”- on dealership will even “pay off your mortgage”! Crazy!

    And honestly the freecreditreport.com adds are too funny! I know they are a gimmick but the song is so catchy! “F-R-E-E that spells free! credit report dot com baby!” My husband sings it all the time, but it did remind me that we need to go to annualcreditreport.com and check things (our January ritual!)

    Thanks for the Great Post. I think I will laugh all day!

  5. There was another one where this guy wanted to get a special present for his girlfriend. So, get this, he goes down to one of those places where you give them your car title for CASH today!

    So basically–sell your car to get your girlfriend a present. And don’t sell it at the best price, sell it quick and easy.

    Ugh.

  6. The world has gone mad alright! The sooner people figure out that you can’t borrow your way out of debt the better. I get really mad at the TV loan adverts I see which say something like “we paid off all our debt and had enough left over to go on holiday”.

  7. Glad to see the reactions on the Free Credit Report commercials. I felt the same way.

  8. We received a phone call from a company that wanted to “help us get out of debt”. When my husband said he wasn’t interested, the guy said, “But you have more than $10K in debt. I can help you.” My husband said, “I didn’t ask for your help.”

    We’re signed up for the “no call” list. I’m curious how he got our number.

  9. If the car helped you get a job, then…

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