Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I hate advertising. Always have. I turn the sound off during the commercial breaks on the television and then go for a piss (whether I need one or not) so I don't have to look at the pictures - I take the remote with me in case anyone else in the room is tempted to turn the volume up in my absence*. I don't listen to any commercial radio, and throw junk mail straight in the bin unopened.

Over the past few days I have finally realised what it is about the bloody stuff that I loath so much. All advertising is designed to make you buy something or, at the very least, feel good about some 'Brand' so you will buy something off them later - or not mind if they do something really shitty in a Third World country because well, they did do those funny adverts with the monkey after all, so how evil can they really be.
There are various ways you can be made to buy something. You can be made to want it because it will make you feel better. It will make you happy if you use this product or that. Or you could be persuaded to want something because evil things will happen if you don't. Paranoia advertising - "Look at all those fucking germs lurking down your kitchen plughole!" stuff.

Or snobbery. "People will sneer at you if you haven't got the new cool technological gee-gaw in your pocket." - or, even better - "If you get the new cool technological gee-gaw in your pocket NOW! you can then you can sneer at THEM!", That will make you feel better "Ha! Ha! I'm officially cool You're not!" and you'll have a nifty up to the minute do-dah which you won't know how to operate properly but everyone will be jealous of it and you for at least three weeks - till it becomes obsolete.

The one thing all advertising seems to have in common (and I feel really dumb for only having really worked this out at the tender age of 48) is that to be effective it has to make you feel unhappy.

Advertising is all about identifying people's miseries then dangling the magic carrot that will cure them.Advertising is all about telling people they are sad, lonely, miserable, depressed ugly and stupid - then selling them the cure.

I don't know how many adverts the average person is exposed to during the day but that bombardment of negative messages must have a qualitative effect. I don't need overpaid 'Creatives' telling me I'm shit.

That's what my family is for.

*This is a total lie - but a good idea.

Meanwhile if anyone has a copy of the original of this they can lend me, I WANT!

Any film that has dialogue like:
"Follow our example, Comrades!
Unite into a family of workers in a
Martian Union of Socialist Soviet Republics!"
has to be worth a look.

The full 100 minute version is, by all accounts, a total chore to watch but the Martian sequences look extraordinary. Especially the battle towards the end. I remember the 1950s American remake Flight to Mars being a total turd. And I don't remember there being impassioned speeches about the dignity of Labour and the Rights of the Proletariat, lumpen or otherwise. It was all running around corridors with zap guns, and girls in short skirt heaving their interestingly large 1950s pointed Martian boobies (well maybe not a total turd) at hunky square jawed Space jocks.

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