Awhile back I subscribed to Consumer Reports. I think we were looking at cars and they shilled a car review book for subscribing. I remember, back in the day, my dad would buy the magazine. I’d read it, and find it interesting if only somewhat useful to me at the time.
So I subscribed.
And I found, as I do with many magazines, that I spend less time with them because time, and because when I do they are mostly uninteresting fluff. And so it is here.
They sent me a renewal notice, and I promptly cancelled. Then they send the obligatory review email:
I love these things. One thing that’s consistent with me is that my prose tends to get far sharper when I’m pissed off or don’t like something. I wish I copied what I said.
Basically, it came down to three things; First, about all you read about product is ratings. “Hey, we tested these things here’s how we rated them”. They used to go more long form, and tell you methods, criteria, etc. FWIW I find ratings better for kitchen items in “Fine Cooking” magazine. The do what CR used to do. How they tested, what they looked for, how things performed. Give you a recommendation, and a low cost alternative. CR does little of this these days.
Looking this mess over, it occurred to me that they are often wrong, and having more meat in the review would be helpful. For instance, as I recall they thought the Ford Taurus was a good buy. I’ve owned one Sable, and had two Taurus company cars. They were anything but.
Second, over half the magazine is content that has little relation to testing anything. The current issue, sitting on my desk, the longest article is 7 pages and is about how to throw a party, or event. Sure, it had a few suggestions sprinkled in, but it was really something you’d see in Good Housekeeping. I don’t subscribe to that magazine, why would I want that content in a consumer mag? Most of the magazine was useless silliness like this.
Lastly, I hate the super woke graphics. The graphic artwork has that silly millennial look which I can’t stand. You can almost hear the idiotic ukulele background music usually found with these things when it’s a video. And if there is an image of a person, it’ll be a black person. If there’s any other race, they’ll be paired with a black person. This is something you see on commercials a lot these days. Now, I don’t fixate on images in a magazine, nor do I pay attention to commercials (unless they are funny). But I do notice patterns, and I do notice when everything shown is the same theme. It’s been that way for at least the last four issues. The last commercial I saw with a dude like me was for Depends. That made it even more stupid, as I, and the models in the commercial, were way too young to need such a thing. There’s a lot wrong with me, incontinence isn’t one of those things…yet.
Content, imagery, and marketing is usually focused on a demographic. Usually the one where you expect most of your customers to be. I thing a lot of media has forgotten this. I usually stream video, and when you do that they’ll hit you with the same commercial over and over. The current one I see the most of is for the Hyundai Genesis 70 SUV. You get halfway through it and you think it’ll be about a vacation spot or sex lube of some sort. Then, turns out it’s a stupid car. Honestly I can’t connect the imagery to why I need a Hyundai. I learnt back in my teens that a car wasn’t going to help you with women whatsoever.
CR appears to be focusing on younger millennials with short attention spans and weak reading skills. Fine and Dandy.
That’s not me. So I’m done.