Not only are the ads stupid and misleading, they perpetuate the stereotype that, no matter what else is happening, a woman will always drop everything to answer the phone. If someone just broke into your house, and the alarm goes off and you’re trying to figure out what to do, are you going to run to answer the phone if it rings? I’m surprised there hasn’t been more comment on this point, if only for purposes of ridicule.
I understand the commercial rationale behind these ads. They seem to be directed at women who are concerned about being victimized but who don’t like guns and aren’t willing to take other serious measures to protect themselves. They want to feel safe, but either the mere feeling of safety is enough for them or they don’t understand that alarms by themselves do little to protect them. And because most such customers will not be victimized they may conclude that their alarms are worthwhile.
One of the reasons why there are few criminal break-ins of occupied homes in the USA is that many Americans do have real security systems, particularly firearms. If you prefer not to own firearms, which may be a perfectly reasonable choice for you, you still benefit from the likelihood, which most criminals probably understand, that some of your neighbors are armed.
Of course, an argument about the positive externalities conferred on communities by community members who are gun owners would be difficult to convey in a simple-minded TV commercial, and it might not help the alarm company’s business to point it out. But it’s a valid point and that’s a good thing for all of us.