Lately, I’ve noticed a trend with commercials promoting all the wrong things.  I’m sure it’s not a new phenomenon.  They’ve probably always been doing the same thing, but maybe I’m just more tuned in to them now.

The first one that struck me was a mortgage commercial.  I won’t name the company but in their ad, they were talking about “power”… in that, getting a mortgage for a home was being powerful or in control.  I almost had to laugh because it is actually such the opposite of the truth.  Following “the crowd” and signing yourself up for a payment for the next thirty years is anything but being in control.  It’s strapping yourself to a financial obligation that will hang over your head for nearly the rest of your life with dire consequences if you are unable to follow through.

Not my idea of power.

Then there was the furniture commercial about having a place to put all of your “stuff.”  The commercial shows a woman on a shopping spree who comes home with bags and bags of purchases.  She’s perplexed because she doesn’t know where to put everything she bought.  The voice-over mentions the option of getting rid of the stuff, to which the woman makes a face and says “no way!”  So instead, she goes out and makes another purchase – furniture with more storage space for all of her stuff.  And then the moral of the story is, she can go out and buy more stuff because she has a place to put it now.


It makes me cringe now, but that actually is a pretty common way of life for many of us in this country!  If you don’t have space for your stuff, you better get a new place!  Ugh.

And then there’s the commercial where they actually make fun of tiny living.  In the commercial, the couple has decided to go from 100 square feet to 3,000 square feet.  They joke about having “freedom” and how they now use the tiny house as a yoga studio in the backyard, although their friends think it’s more like a tool shed.

Way to take a direct shot at tiny living, furniture company.  Gee, think they’re worried that it might catch on and they won’t be able to sell their over-priced, over-sized furniture anymore?

Again, it’s ironic that they talk about “freedom” (in this commercial, meaning freedom to “breathe” and move about their 3,000 sf home), when spending tons of money on unnecessary furniture is actually the very opposite of freedom.

None of these really surprise me.  We live in a culture where we are told to constantly buy, buy, buy and accumulate more, more, more.  We’re told it’s the right thing to do… it’s “power”… “freedom”… the way you should want to be.

When in actuality, it’s about being powerless, strapped down and stressed out.

But no matter what the messages that bombard us say, the choice is always yours.

Do you want to follow the crowd and have a bunch of “stuff”?

Or do you want to know what it’s really like to be in control and be free?

More from Beliefnet and our partners