Jonathan Begley

February 9, 2010

C.S. LEWIS’ PERCEPTION OF HELL

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonathanbegley @ 7:02 am

“I like bats much better than bureaucrats.  I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of ‘Admin’.  The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint.  It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps.  In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.  Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.” 

–C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, p. 233

February 8, 2010

WHAT MAKES YOU BUY?

Filed under: Character,Current Events — jonathanbegley @ 7:58 pm

Yesterday I sat down with a handful of friends to watch the best of the NFL battle it out in the Superbowl. The game did not disappoint. I can’t say the same for the commercials. For much of the country (myself excluded) I believe that the game is secondary to seeing the million dollar ads that organizations and companies produce. It amazes me that at the end of a three hour game I had a hard time remembering even a handful of good, quality commercials despite the astronomical amount of money spent.

 I define a quality commercial as one that not only is clear and memorable, but one that gives America a reason to buy that product over a competitor’s similar product.

When companies like Budweiser or Pizza Hut can shell out millions of dollars for a thirty second spot that is forgotten thirty seconds later, what does that say about their priorities? What does it say about who they are and what they want to represent? Giving away a free pair of pants or a free Grand Slam breakfast doesn’t get me excited about a product or company. Neither do cows and Clydesdales, men without pants, or Punxatony Palamalus (okay that last one was hilarious, but I still cannot recall what the company was).

In the weeks before we all heard countless opinions about the Tim Tebow Pro Life ad. Whether I agree with a woman’s right to choose or not, I know what Focus on the Family stands for and what they believe. I heard several commentators today complain about the sexist commercials that were so prevalent during the game. How offensive a particular commercial was can be debated but it is clear to me that some companies just flat do not deserve my money.

So while some commercials are funny and others full of sex or star power the mark of a good commercial is one that makes you want to act, to choose that product or service over another. In an attempt at name recognition I think that many companies are turning off the very people they are trying to reach. Name recognition is important, but not as important as a company’s character.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which commercials were great? Which were not? What makes you want to move?

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