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April 13, 2007


St Vincent

Count me in as one who is less likely to want to see/buy/do something if it's been over-hyped. When someone crosses that line (and it ain't far for me), I want to do what is the opposite of what is intended for the ad. Which, of course, makes contemporary ironic hipster anti-ads doubly annoying.

I actually love old advertising and have collected tons of old magazines mainly for the cool old ads. Beautiful layout, lithography, colors and actual TEXT in complete sentences that conveys actual product information, not just massaged images and sparse words invoking pleasant associations like we have now. Sure, many of those old ads were fatuous, crass and insultingly simplistic, but most were done by professionals with a level of craft and skill that's often completely absent today.

Having said that, if an ad can be straightforward about a product or service and is displayed and distributed with some restraint and taste, I don't mind it so much... that's usually when I'm looking at a niche publication regarding interest of mine, though.

The rest of the time, if I feel like my awareness is being preyed upon by ceaseless repetition and insinuation into my life, I get annoyed _really_ quickly. The handband ads squarely fall into this category. As does crap like naming public stadiums for corporations or products... Tidy Bowl Arena, Mega-Corp Stadium and such. Look, take your money and either support culture or don't, but please, just piss off with your ad campaign already, okay?

This is all just another symptom of the erosion of any kind of dignified public space in our culture. Feh.


A good book that I am reading right now that addresses wasted, boring advertising and promotes quality, creative advertising directed towards only those specific consumers that would either benefit or buy. It is called PUNK MARKETING. The book is in my car, so I can't tell you the names of the two authors, but it
is a really great read. They even go so far as to slam the ignorant, ill-mannered, self important, ugly attitude that so much of our modern society...err...population exhibits 24/7. Entertaining, factual and very thought provoking...and very, very PUNK!

Dale Hazelton

When I first saw advertisements above urinals and such in the late 80s early 90s, I knew it was the beginning of market intrusion in all aspects of our lives. Viral marketing will continue to increase as long as media buying companies come up with cheap ways to shove logos in our faces, and poor bar owners could use the extra $25 a month, or the free wristbands. I always went to a bar to forget my corporate job and that atmosphere, not have it shoved in my face while I'm relieving myself.


It may not be that they don't see anything wrong with it, but instead that they don't see it at all. We have become so accustomed to the ceaseless inundation. If someone pointed it out to the readers in such a way that it played to their political leanings, many would likely side with you. Unfortunately, we are very lazy and it takes a lot of media chicanery to really make us fume.

The recent Don Imus controversy is a great example. How many times does Ann Coulter have to refer to middle easterners as "ragheads" before FOX cuts the umbilical? Not that Imus doesn't deserve to be fired. It's not my place to say, but it does seem that our righteous indignation is often curtailed by our barely extant attention span.

As for compulsory advertising, this reminds me of Channel One, which, to paraphrase an old friend of mine, makes schoolkids sit through Oxy commercials depicting the ostracization of bepimpled loners, followed by preachy fluff pieces condemning the belittlement of teens with eating disorders. Thank God they're tanking, but it sure took them long enough.

We have been trained to accept this. Remember the 1980s? How many kids spent their parents money on Coca-Cola shirts and Spuds McKenzie baseball hats? Of course, our indignance didn't really bubble over until Joe Camel's ouster, even though alcohol is a leading cause of teenage deaths across the country. Shilling for Coca-Cola and Budweiser wasn't compulsory in the truest sense, but if you remember how popular that merchandise was, you'll have no trouble agreeing that it might as well have been. For many impressionable kids, at least.

I may be flogging a dead horse here, but I also hate the fact that every time I watch a movie at a theater, I have to sit through sometimes fifteen minutes of cellphone ads and $60M Coca-Cola GTA-knockoffs before the previews. And occasionally, even a few between the previews and the feature. Not to mention the product placement and the jerkoff blocking my exit with handbills in the lobby. No wonder people download.


Advertisers must pull their hair out when they realize there are 8 to 6 hours a night where they can't advertise to us because we're asleep.

When they figure out a way to project images into our dreams we'll be having them about sugar drinks, bad cell phone plans, and HBO specials.


I have been saying for years that I fully expect to live to see a day when advertizers will cut a deal with landlords and local communities that will allow them, legally, to come into your home and put advertizing on your living room wall. They will have the right to enter your homes periodically to check on "their" property, and there will be substantial fines for defacing or covering up the ads. Hell, they're already allowed to paste them on the sidewalks, in the streets, even over the manhole covers (readers who don't live in cities: no, I'm not exaggerating.)

And I, too, have long been wondering how long before they start inserting ads into our dreams. Either that, or they'll be allowed to tattoo ads onto the insides of our eyelids.


And while we're on the subject:


I know where I'm vacationing this year.


Really, if you're sick of the ads you should stop watching television. It's a machine designed to brainwash you into slavery, but at least now it still has a switch and you can turn it off. Better still, shoot it dead. Ahhh, blessed relief, like being cured of the clap after twenty dripping years...

As regards all the advertizing pasted on walls and the like, are we all so dead creatively that we can't add our own work? If the kiddie thugs in my nabe can piss on stuff, so can you, and to much better effect. I recommend a nice laundry marker, or print up a bunch of though balloon stickers for instant application. There, now that stupid ad has become an artwork. It's that simple. Do it now. Stop being consumers and start being creators.


Who watches television? Haven't owned one in more than a decade. It's all online, commercial free. But motion seconded.

Cheese Snob Wendy

Hooray for Sao Paulo!
But you don't have to get your passport to be in the land of no billboards.
Vermont hasn't had billboards in over 30 years. It's a law.
Go here:

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