My friend, the simple pastor (to whom the title does not refer), often talks about consumerism in our society in his blog, regularly naming and shaming various brands and advertisers who endorse materialism.
I was surprised, then, to see an advert on TV today that I had not previously read about on the aforementioned blog. The ad was for Aldi - a supermarket I rarely visit, and for good reason: I live nowhere near an Aldi. To be honest, my view of Aldi is along the "cheap and nasty" lines, but this is almost entirely based on the fact that they have the worst logo I've ever seen. I would guess that quite a few people share my opinion, for various reasons.
So, they have recently started doing TV ads that copy the M&S style - close-ups of mouth-watering, steaming meals accompanied by an alluring voice-over. Not much to complain about there (unless you find your expectations are unfairly raised), but today I noticed for the first time this slogan being used: "don't change your lifestyle, change your supermarket."
Grrr. Don't change your lifestyle? That is possibly the most unhelpful advice you can get directly from an advert. It's like telling a guy who doesn't wash and therefore has problems finding a girlfriend to just lower his standards, rather than have a bath. WRONG! If I was the type of person who shouted at TVs I would have done. In fact, I probably am, just not when there are other people in the house, which there were.
We all need to change, and the quicker we all realise, the better.
I guess that switching your weekly shop from M&S to Aldi might be a bit of a humbling process, and therefore beneficial, not to mention much cheaper. But if we go to Aldi looking to indulge ourselves for less, that's not good.