Saturday, November 13, 2004

PBS rocks!

I just finished watching a very interesting documentary from PBS’s Frontline called “The Persuaders.” Please check the website, it has lots of stuff and I believe you can watch the whole show. It is about marketing and advertising, or more accurately called manipulation and whoredom. It was quite informative, especially in a more specific sense about what certain companies are doing in various marketing campaigns to acquire our mental space. One starts to feel sickened at how much time, money and effort is put into convincing you to buy junk you don’t really need. What’s worse is that all of this research being conducted greater understand human desires is being used for evil purposes. It getting scary to think how precise targeted advertising will become. There are companies that exist to build profiles about who you are, how you live and how you will live and then target you over your lifespan. Not good.

"There is no secret that the American public, and the public of every society on the face of the earth, is willing to consume crap. They consume crap from their cupboards and their pantries and they consume crap on television. But they are very particular about which is which. And they don’t want to seem them conflated. They don’t want the purity of their telecrap to be adulterated by the merchandising of the fast food crap and they will rebel." – Bob Garfield, columnist, Advertising Age

I must say I was amused by this statement; mainly because of the matter-of-fact manner with which it was uttered. I disagree that ‘every society’ consumes crap. It would have been better to say ‘developed/corporate nations.’ (Make your own scat joke here). As well, I haven’t seen much of a rebellion. (For those who watch Friends, do you care that the Pottery Barn episode’s script was financed by Pottery Barn?)

"Once a culture becomes entirely advertising friendly, it ceases to be a culture at all, it ceases to be a culture worth the name. It has to have the constant mood that shoppers require, there has to be a kind of muzak playing in the background all the time. Now if you think back to those dramas, those comedies that have really stayed with you, that have moved you tremendously, that you want to see again, that you think about for days. Well, those kinds of works are increasingly unlikely when the stuff that’s on TV basically functions to sell Pepsis, to sell Nikes, to sell selling, to sell consumption." - Mark Crispin Miller, New York University

Think about that. It is not about a product. It is about selling selling. Selling consumption.


Blogger Jo said...

Hey, thanks for your commentary. I like what you wrote on selling "selling". Actually, it's kinda refreshing to think of advertising in this context. Ironically, I came across an article recently on advertising agencies; and how they typically do not advertise to "sell" themselves. (pun intended, maybe that's why!)


9:21 AM  

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