Recent adverts have urged me to have something called “a semi-religious experience” at the Burning Man festival, to “live my myth” in Greece by allowing a cherub to blow at my face, and to come back to BT after briefly abandoning it for a fictional telephone service provider. All these experiences, which would perhaps have been fun or enlightening, are now tainted with meaninglessness.
Not content with dominating the world of consumer goods, advertising is gradually sucking everything into its gaping craw. There’s nothing, from AIDS to ziggurats, that can’t be used to sell the public a new car or innovative sanitary towel. And we suck it up greedily. “Ooh, I never knew I needed an iPod, because I never use a walkman or buy music, but now I’ve got one anyway. Sometimes I imagine myself in silhouette, dancing.”
Advertising and its evil sister, marketing, are the reason that going to the supermarket now feels like taking part in a boring game show rather than buying some food.
But I can’t help but feel a glimmer of respect for advertising, as its vast, slogan-bestrewn jackboot stamps repeatedly on my face. I often find myself staring, hypnotized, at the TV as a series of actors with Botox-severe faces wave products at me. At the cinema, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the ads, I’ve been known to grab the arm of the person sitting next to me and swear, with tears of rapture in my eyes, “I’ll buy it – whatever it is”, only to find that it’s an advert for something impossible like a credit card or flying business class.
Advertising: Sometimes depressing, but probably an inevitable by-product of civilization. 4 out of 10.
Things, objectively and comprehensively reviewed.
- Name: Eskimo
- Location: London
- Review: Maternal impulses
- Review: Camera phones
- Review: Packaging
- Review: Black people accepting Oscars
- Review: Crying
- Review: Scientology
- Review: Russian films/Russian literature
- Review: Simulating sex
- Review: Lunch
- Review: Love