Advertising Politeness

While watching TV over the weekend, I was surprised to see a particular advertisement during the commercial break of SportsCenter. The advertisement was not trying to inform me of any product, but gave a friendly reminder of the importance of the phrases, “please” and “thank you”. The ad shows a hungry young boy at an orphanage trying to get more food for dinner. The staff of the orphanage seems to be appalled that the boy asked for more, but when he says, “please, sir” and “thank you” after receiving the second helping, the staff is instantly delighted and happy to serve him. After seeing this exchange, the rest of the kids in the orphanage rush up to the man serving dinner, knowing that with a little politeness they too can get a second helping of food. The message in this ad is explicit, people should be courteous; but the ad also shows that even intimidating, unapproachable people can become very friendly if you display good manners. The advertisement, for http://www.values.com, is enforcing the norm that people should be polite and grateful when receiving. Unfortunately, this norm seems to be vanishing from our society, people often take things for granted, which is what values.com is trying to stop.

http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/117-Oliver-With-A-Twist

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