I was watching a mildly interesting Super Bore yesterday when a commercial came on telling me how to behave. I am always interested in commercials that inform me that I am stupid and uncaring if I do not behave the way the producer of the commercial wants me to. Most of the time these commercials are produced by the government and paid for by the taxpayers. All of the ads from the Ad Council that tell me to stop bullying and "pay it forward," whatever that means, are of this genre. To my surprise this commercial was paid for by a profit seeking corporation. Here is a brief description of the commercial:
"Colgate toothpaste will air its first Super Bowl ad in February's
game, and it has little to do with oral care. The 30-second spot titled 'Save Water' aims to focus on the millions of gallons of water people
waste by leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth. The ad will be an adaptation of a 60-second ad originally created by
Y&R Peru for the brand in Latin America last year. It will
dovetail with an #EveryDropCounts social-media campaign, a spokeswoman
for Colgate said in an e-mail. It all aims to point out that Americans
on average waste 4 gallons of water per day by leaving the faucet
running while brushing their teeth.
The ad is set to air during the two-minute warning during the second half"
I have several comments to make about this advertising campaign and none of them are good. Let's start with the fact that it is never good business to insult your customers. I switch back and forth between Colgate and Crest. After being told that I am a stupid idiot who does not even know how to brush his teeth properly I will no longer be using Colgate. I do not appreciate having the money I spend for a tube of toothpaste being used to make a commercial telling me what to do. What business is it of Colgate's if I choose to keep the water running while I brush my teeth? And where did they come up with that ridiculous "four gallon" number for the amount of water that allegedly runs down the drain while the "average Amerikan" brushes his teeth? I find that impossible to believe. Do the math yourself. Fill up four one gallon jugs with water and slowly pour them down the drain while you are brushing your teeth. By the time you have finished pouring the water down the drain you teeth will have either dissolved away from the hours of abrasion or you will be left with a mouthful of bloody stumps where your teeth used to be. Come on Colgate people, have some respect for common sense.
Why is Colgate even concerned about water conservation in the first place? What right does the Colgate company have to tell me how to brush my teeth? I can't believe that Colgate would pay the $5 million it costs to run a 30 second ad telling me to turn off my faucet. There is no way they can recover that cost. So what are they up to? My best guess is they are pandering to the greenies among us, hoping that they can convince them to buy Colgate products because the company is so obviously green. Pandering to greenies is, I believe, a good way to increase profits these days. Pandering to the semi-greenies is even better. That is not because so many people have become tree-hugging environmentalists. I believe it is simply because so many people want to pretend, due to peer pressure, that they "care about the environment," whatever that means. People will pay a premium to be able to tell themselves that they are environmentally aware even though that awareness has no impact upon their daily behavior whatsoever. Those people are the semi-greenies. You can always spot them from a mile away. They will engage in all sorts of tokenistic environmental behaviors that have no impact upon the real world but that allow them to tell themselves they are good people who care about mother earth, whatever that means.
The commercial was entitled "Save Water." I had no idea that water was in need of saving. Human beings are in desperate need of salvation but, the last time I checked, water was doing just fine. There is no hell for water to go to when it dies, if it could die, which it can't. Even if there were a hell for water to go to it would most likely put out the fire. Of course I suspect if I asked the advertising executives at Colgate why they entitled the ad campaign "Save Water" they would not tell me it is due to the fact that water suffers from the consequences of original and actual sin. On the contrary, I suspect I would be told that water suffers from the sinful activities of men, as men open their faucets and allow water to run, unused, down the drain. I am not sure what that sin is but I am pretty sure most people believe it to be a sin to waste water, whatever that means.
Colgate and its greenie constituents would not have to spend $5 million on a Super Bore ad if the government would get out of the water business. As is always the case, if there is a problem with water, and I believe there is, it can be traced to the activities of the government. The problem with water, however, is not that people waste it. The problem with water is that government claims ownership of all of it. Water should be just like any other commodity. It should be traded on the free market and it should be priced according to the inexorable law of supply and demand. If water were to be regulated by the free market rather than the various governments which claim ownership over it, we would find that its price would vary widely around various parts of the country as the relative supply and demand for it would set its price. The best way to "conserve" water, if that is a desirable or even a possible outcome, is to let the price mechanism do the work for us. I would put a lot less water on my lawn in the summer if I had to pay ten times the price I currently pay for it. Thinking realistically I believe we all know that a free market in water will never happen because career politicians would lose too many votes from constituents who have become dependent upon taxpayer subsidized prices for their water. So rather than letting the free market conserve water career politicians and their lackeys use guilt manipulative television commercials to do their work for them.
I conclude my post today with what will, no doubt, be a revelation for Colgate and the greenies who admire the company. There is a physical law which tells the informed among us that energy can be neither created nor destroyed. That is a rather simple concept that even a simpleton like me can understand. There is another simple concept that is incomprehensible to all career politicians, environmentalists and Colgate executives. Water can neither be created nor destroyed. It is impossible to "waste" water. Every drop of water that was created by God thousands of years ago is still here. There is not one more drop of water in the universe today than there was the day God created it. Water may exist in different conditions (liquid, solid, gas) but the total amount of water on the earth is exactly the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow, even if I leave my faucet running all night long. Since the total amount of water extant on the earth never changes it necessarily follows that it is a meaningless concept to speak of conserving it. Water is always conserved. It is conserved by the earth itself. And not only does the earth conserve water, it purifies it as well. The natural water cycle, controlled by the providence of God Himself, regularly cleanses all of the water on the earth more efficiently and effectively than the most expensive government operated water purification plant. I suspect that gets to the heart of the issue for career politicians, environmentalists and the Colgate company.....they want to play god and attribute to themselves the ability to conserve water. That is called idolatry and is not a good idea to practice it.