The world is full of diet scams, investment scams, credit scams, book club scams, charity scams and the list goes on and on. What appears to be a scam to some is just a way of making a living for others. It all depends on who you talk to.
Well, my approach to frugal living doesn't have room for scams, so I avoid them. Avoidance requires awareness and recognition. Some of the scams are very slick, so you'll have to be careful and thoughtful to find them out.
Let's look at one of the clever ways some folks made a living selling a diet product - it's called Dream Away.
Is Dream Away one of the diet scams? Perhaps. In any event, it certainly is a lesson in very clever advertising. I think this commercial really had people in America believing that they could take diet pills and go to sleep in an effort (if you can call it that) to lose weight.
This is a good example of how advertising helps us infer something rather than it be implied so it's mostly our fault if we don't understand what is being told to us and sold to us here as "Dream Away".
You have to see this video to appreciate the advertising techniques that are used. Watch this, and then let's continue the discussion of Dream Away, the too-good-to-be-true approach to weight loss.
Watch carefully, several times if necessary, and let yourself believe what is being shown and told here, or let yourself be convinced that this is one of the diet scams out to get your money. Then, let's see what my take is on this video.
Did you catch all the claims and endorsements and caveats and subtlety in this TV commercial? It's really one of the most amazing pieces of advertising with what appears to be extraordinary claims about it's ability to help us lose weight.
Let's take it apart piece by piece so we can see if this is one of the diet scams, or if it's just clever advertising that helps the viewer pull a "diet scam" on him or herself.
Any of the diet scams will set you up with a claim about weight loss. Here, the video shows a woman sleeping in bed and the speaker says "...and even while she dreams, she is actually losing unwanted pounds and inches."
The idea of dreaming away excess weight is planted in our minds.
Then the speaker holds up the bottle of tablets and says "Introducing Dream Away, the incredible new weight loss plan that helps burn away fat while you sleep." He doesn't claim to have a diet pill that burns fat (even though that's what he shows us), but rather a weight loss plan (which is never shown to us).
The confusion here is that the plan and the tablets are both called Dream Away. But viewers are encouraged to overlook any sort of confusion because we've been shown the sleeping woman and heard about her losing weight while she dreams, so we naturally associate the bottle of diet pills with the claim that "...she is losing unwanted pounds and inches."
If that thought isn't planted in our minds firmly, the speaker helps us along by saying "With the dream away plan, take dream away before going to bed, and you can wake up feeling slimmer and looking better than you did before."
So, the product name and the suggested time to take it is coupled with the idea that you can wake up with some sort of result. So, is this one of the diet scams?
Well, no matter what type of diet you're on, you could "wake up feeling slimmer and looking better than you did before" as long as you're making progress of some sort with that diet plan. So far there isn't a direct claim that the dream away pills are the cause of losing wieght; they still give credit to the plan (while never showing you the plan, only the bottle of tablets).
But, just in case you might think it's the plan and not the pills, one of the testimonials tells us: "...I lost weight, almost overnight." Again, there is the reinforcement that there is something happening while you sleep (and we're told to take the tablets before going to bed). It's starting to sound like one of the diet scams to me, but then I'm skeptical by nature.
And, again we are told about how it "...helps to attack fat and can aid people to lose weight, even while they sleep."
In addition, while showing a woman going to sleep in bed, the speaker tells us "...just take dream away and follow the plan whenever you're too tired to exercise...." So, we get a strong reinforcement that dream away is taken before you go to sleep.
Another testimonial says: "I lost almost two pounds last night." Clearly the implication is loss of weight during sleep. And our speaker tells us: "Now you can dream away those extra pounds."
If you take a close look at this commercial, you'll see that it never claims that the pills do you any good at all, it's only the plan that works. The text in the commercial advises: "The dream away diet plan should be followed in its entirety."
Nevertheless, the commercial can be very misleading if you just gloss over the words and focus on the images (which is the strong suit of TV in the first place). The product name, many visual images, statements by those giving testimony, and many statements by the speaker all focus on sleeping and dreaming.
Is Dream Away one of the diet scams designed to get you to part with your money in $20 increments? I'll let you decide. Think about it tonight, and sweet dreams.
Regardless of what you think of this product, my sense of frugal living allows no place for this "plan", whether it works or not. I've always heard that the best exercise you can do for weight loss is to "push away from the table" when you've had enough.
There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.
I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.
If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.