Monday, April 08, 2013

Madvertising (part 1)

Wherever you are right now, there are several items all around you emblazoned with logos. These logos aren't put there by the manufacturer to keep their corporate competitors from stealing things. They're not like cattle brands. They're there to remind you of their presence in your life and ultimately, to influence your spending habits. You are surrounded by advertsing. It's everywhere and there's no escaping it. From a purely scientific standpoint, here is exactly what your environment is comprised of right now:

  • Water or other liquids - 13%
  • Furniture or other stuff to sit on - 15%
  • Nothing (aka oxygen) - 34%
  • Advertising -  38%
 Don't believe me? Here's a snapshot of my immediate desk environment at work:

From left to right...
Keep in mind, this is stuff I put there. These are the things with which I choose to surround myself. There are no pop-up ads or handbills or any otherwise obtrusive commercial breaks. Yet, out of all the stuff that I'll stare at, and will stare back at me, for (at least) eight hours today and 40 hours over the week, exactly one thing, a cheap rubber toy, isn't seeking to influence my spending for more office supplies or tickets or souvenir t-shirts or newspaper subscriptions or college tuitions or other goods and services. And why do I even have the stupid little rubber toy? I don't recall when, where or why I got it, but if I had to guess, I'd say I've become so conditioned to a constant barrage of advertising on every one of my senses at all waking hours that I probably found myself at a point in my life where I had gone more than five minutes without spending any money on stupid shit that serves no purpose which made me feel weird and sick, so I felt obligated to drop a quarter into a gumball machine to make myself feel better.
It's enough to make you afraid to look around... which is what we'll do here Wednesday.

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