Adverts tend to fall into a number of categories, and one of the most popular is the use of fear. Your chopping board contains more bacteria than your toilet seat. You won't die in an NHS hospital if you buy private medical insurance from us. Your brickwork won't fall apart if you treat it with our chemical. That sort of thing.
What we are seeing now is the most ferocious advertising campaign we'll see for five years. It's all being paid for through your taxes (see the huge tax benefits the big parties can derive from your donations) and licence fee. You are paying for this campaign on your own senses. Neat trick, huh?
So looking back to the lessons I had about advertising, what conclusion can I draw from this?
David Cameron has warned of the dangers of a hung parliament and said only a "decisive" Conservative government would "get the job done".
Hmmm. You see when PharmaCo advertise Klapaway as the only treatment you can buy that won't have the ladies running for the hills next time you get a dose, are they doing it because they really, really care about your venereal health or are they doing it because they really, really want you to buy their product?
The answer is obvious.
So when Cameron says:
A hung parliament would be a bunch of politicians haggling, not deciding.
They would be fighting for their own interests, not fighting for your interests. They would not be making long-term decisions for the country's future, they would be making short-term decisions for their own future.
Are we supposed to believe that he really cares for us or do we suppose that he's trying to make us scared of a hung parliament?
Why should we be scared of a hung parliament? Where is the difference in a hung parliament where politicians would be fighting for their own interests and making short-term decisions for their own future and the majority parliaments where for, as long as I've been alive, politicians have been fighting for their own interests and making short-term decisions for their own future?
It doesn't seem any more scary to me than what we've experienced thus far. Let's face it, the decisions that have been made when there has been no haggling have hardly been excellent, have they? Labour have had a huge majority for the last 13 years, the economic decisions have been poor. At best. Yes, David, I can see you putting your hand up, but your record isn't exactly glowing, is it? ERM ring any bells? Oh? That was the fault of the EU was it? Would this be the same EU you've refused to let us have any say over?
No, when Dave says a hung parliament is dangerous, he means it's dangerous for him. A hung parliament means he's toast if he can't command a minority government or put together a coalition. Given how hard Gordon was tonguing Ned Clark's (or whatever his name is) arsehole on Thursday, I don't fancy Dave's chances of managing the latter.
What is even more dangerous for the Tories is if the Limp Dims have got such a significant bounce from the debate, and continue over the next two, that their share of the vote goes up so much that you can't put a fag paper between the three. They'll be demanding PR then and could hold the balance of power so firmly that any partnering party would have to give in. You wouldn't like that, would you? I've no love for the Limp Dims, but I'm all for PR, mainly because it is more representative than this 'representative democracy'.
No Dave, it ain't dangerous for us, and all the time you bleat on about it, the more you reveal how scared you are, and with good reason, any Tory who can't despatch this hated government and despised PM isn't worth a wet paper bag.
Your turn to be afraid, it doesn't work on me any more.
Oh yes, I've just seen ITV's rehash of The Prisoner, and it's rubbish.