I was reminded of this story as I was finishing my Post on Star Wars and Consequences.
A little over 3 years ago my oldest son was entering 1st grade and in August this meant it was time for some back to school shopping. My wife loved Stride-Rite shoes for the kids because the price was right and they stood up to the boys well. For some reason my son had gotten it into his head that he wanted Skechers though. Luckily (so we thought) our Stride-Rite store just started carrying Skechers brands shoes. Our big man tried on pair after pair of these shoes he just had to have and in every pair was just wrong, wrong, wrong. After what seemed like the 15th pair he was in tears about these shoes. Since we were at an Outlet Mall we told him we would try the Skechers outlet next door but had the same exact results. We tried other brands… Nike, Stride-Right, Adidas. All of them fit but he was bound and determined to get Skechers – the “right kind” of Skechers.
In a moment of frustration my wife and I looked at each other then at big man and asked why none of the Skechers he tried on were any good.
“They aren’t BOUNCY!” he cried back at us.
As confusion must have obviously washed over our faces he clarified – “The commercials said they were bouncy!” OOOOhhhhh…. He must have seen something like this on TV
This turned into a great lesson on advertising and propaganda. We discussed how advertising is exaggerates claims,ignores bad parts of the product, and sometimes are not fully truthful. Commercials are designed to make you want things you don’t usually need.
“Skechers” has become shorthand in our household anytime we think someone or something is making up a lie or exaggerating to try to sell something or convince people of something.
We are entering into the 2020 election season now. The South Carolina Democratic Primaries are coming soon and we are getting a lot of Tom Steyer ads on the radio. There is one where Steyer talks about creating a bank to help poor people during the financial crisis and I usually hear one of my two older boys say “Skechers, dad?”… Yup…
This is going to come in handy when the General Election campaign starts and the Trump ads begin. Maybe we will need something stronger…