Sean Berry's Thoughts on The Human Mind, Behavior, Movies, Video Games, Television, Technology, Internet, Culture, and Everything Else In Between


ArgueRants #13: Advertising

Posted by sean berry on June 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

On your shoes, your shirt, your coffee maker, your TV, your car, your computer and everything else you own is a label of some sort or quite possibly a logo. On television, people are pushing everything from toilet paper to luxury cars to bubble gum and at movies before the main attraction, you are being peddled products much the same way. On your way home from the theater you will pass a billboard of some sort selling you something else and damn if you think to yourself, you just can’t get away from advertising! It’s true as advertising makes ads themselves nearly omnipresent, but some people will have you believe that this constant flood of information telling you what to buy and do is a real problem and though much of the products that are advertised such as fast food and alcohol are not healthy per se, it is a natural function of the brain to filter out the undesirable and focus on what’s important.


When I was in college, I was a big “anti-corporation” and “anti-advertising” advocate and in retrospect I was really talking out my ass but my heart was in the right place. I saw the far reaching grasp of corporations and their commercials and sat rigid in my belief that these things were killing the mindset of the general population, but really it’s just people looking to make money and getting their name out there. We have to realize that once we reach a certain age, we cannot simply accept that we are slaves to certain tendencies or infallibly gullible to the sales pitch of any big name company with enough money to shell out for a creatively enticing commercial. I accept that eight minutes of my 30 minute show is dedicated to commercials, but if it weren’t for them, there would be no money for the shows in the first place so it’s a necessary evil. Advertising also help to keep down the cost of many magazines and comic books and there are a ton of company sponsored sporting events from a motley crew of companies from American Express to Bud Light.


So what if advertising is everywhere, most of us are trying to make money and one man’s profit is often another man’s gain. We should realize the advantage in being able to have fun at the expense of a company who just wants us to know who they are and what they sell. Is it evil? No. Do corporations sometimes get away with unfair tax breaks all the while many hard working individuals pay far too much in taxes? Yes. Blame it on the government, blame it on somebody, and boycott the product if you will, but at the very least, enjoy whatever fringe benefits they may offer if they apply or are appropriate.


At any rate, at least there seems to be a fair amount of creativity invested in a lot of the advertising that we see nowadays, everything from viral videos to hilarious commercials, the intellectual property of some company’s advertising seems to almost out value the physical property itself. They sugar coat the sales pitch, put the ad in the burger they put in your face and hope that in the back of your mind, you store it sub consciously and then miraculously are compelled to buy their product. The Super Bowl is a time when the advertising big boys premiere their new commercials in what has become a tradition for many, not all of them are great, but sometimes you’ll see a commercial on TV that is genuinely funny and I can appreciate a good laugh whether or not it’s done with the intent to sell me something. Is not every joke a comedian says not to sell their own talent?


There are some things you can ignore and they will go away and much goes the same for the companies that invest money for ads. If we are quickly able to forget them or block them out then they might find themselves with less and less sales and eventually will cease to exist, but then again, you can have a company that doesn’t advertise at all and do perfectly fine so it’s really not an applicable factor to every business. I personally own a business and don’t pay to advertise, I just count on word of mouth and the people I do work for will tell their friends I did a good job and when they need help, they’ll call me. We all have wants and desires and we ALL want them fulfilled, so people make it their business to ask around when they need something done and if as a company you are smart enough to have already anticipated someone’s problem, then you can show them a solution or service and they’ll show you their money.


Nowadays, with the advent of DVR’s, commercials are not even much of an issue when watching TV since you can fast forward through most of them and I usually read something during commercials any way because I could less about what new flavor Stride gum has come out with and what pisses me off even more is a commercial for a restaurant that isn’t even in my state. I think as adults we have learned to ignore just about anything we want to, as parents, we should not let the TV raise our kids but I admit to having watched a lot of television in my lifetime and I don’t consider myself uneducated nor out of shape. Well the presence of ads seems never ending, we all do play our part in determining the success of most any given company, in the end, what works will stay around and what doesn’t will wind up failing, business is much like nature in that it’s the survival of the fittest.

Categories: ArgueRants

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