Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Line in the Sand

Really, I spend a lot less time listening to NPR (via MPR) than I used to. Just a few minutes in the morning when I wake up and then daytime if I happen to be in the car.

But it's amazing how many odd sponsorship messages I've noticed over the years, even now. Today's was from ADT, the home security company. This is what I think it said:

ADT: It's more than a yard sign — it's a line in the sand.

What?! A line in the sand sounds pretty ephemeral, while at the same time threatening, as if there might be an armed guard inside your house.

When everyone knows that services like ADT don't offer protection, they just ring a bell somewhere and rely on the police to come. (If you're lucky... here's a case where a Minnesota woman was murdered by her ex despite spending almost $2,500 with ADT just weeks before.)

It's just one more piece of the incessant drum beat of fear we've got going in this country (RNC, I'm talking to you) that makes people afraid to go outdoors, let alone talk to strangers. It's good for certain types of businesses — from alarm systems to defense spending — but bad for just about everything else.


Here are a couple of past posts about NPR sponsors:

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing


Luther Seminary's God Pause



Michael Leddy said...

I'm puzzled to see that Wikipedia's article about "line in the sand" makes no mention of Achilles. (What?!) The expression does seem overly aggressive: cross the line and I'll go berserk and destroy you! Not NPR territory.

Daughter Number Three said...

I admit I had no idea what the source of the phrase was. I had a vague idea of a Charles Atlas ad, but I guess that was about skinny guys getting sand kicked in their faces, rather than drawing lines.

Charlie Samuels said...

Yes, I was shocked when I heard that "line in the sand" quote on the radio today. I even called the public relations department as a "concerned citizen" to tell them (here's the contacts URL: that I thought it was a direct reference to violence and that is is analogous to war talk and that they may have a public relations problem with that ad.