I willingly submit myself to nobility of advertising, without their patronage and insight into their fellow man, life would not only be a futile quest but we would be caught adrift. Hark, o benevolent lords and ladies of Madison Avenue, could thou'st quit bombarding us with products that we desperately need... I have no money left for necessities such as rent, utilities or sustenance. Please take pity on us, the lowly mass, for we do not know better.
What was the response to our impassioned plea...? A simple... "Nay."
One would assume being the graduate of a mediocre film school and a firm opponent of commercial advertising, I would have examined the industry much sooner. Now, you might wonder why I despise commercials. Well, elementary my dear Watson. Foremost, advertising is the second most pervasive element in our collective society/ culture... The first would --arguably-- be the government. (That is neither here nor there)
One must consider that a sweet chunk of change is spent on advertising. In 2008, American businesses spent "412,400,000,000 dollars American" on advertisements, nearly a half trillion dollars or roughly the amount spent on Defense. It is not hard to see where the money goes considering the bulk of television and radio programming provided for advertising. (Roughly eight minutes for a half hour show and eighteen per a hour long show)
What is the psychological or subconscious impact of advertising? I suppose it has a lot to do with the level of susceptibility or lack of vigilance on the part of the viewer. Regardless, it is ever present in all mediums, whether it is print, television, on-line... Hell, the side of a bus or tattoo on some doofus. (Trust me, I have seen them... check out ugliesttattoo.com)
What is a person to do? I am not narcissistic enough to speak for everyone (or think my opinion actually matters in the grand scheme of things) but I tend to yell at the television (much to the displeasure of my wife) at particularly offensive ads. It is therapeutic, though one day it will lead to the throwing of coffee mugs, crying and eventually a painful divorce.
I will say this, DVRs and DVDs have become a proverbial godsend for those who hate commercials... In particular stupid ones (Of which there are many). My hatred stems from the fact that I do not relish the thought of a company trying to influence my thought process or motivations. I can't say that I am immune to all advertisements nor can I determine which ones were effective and those which were not. I guess that's the rub, the subtlety is what makes them effective, it gives the impression of choice.
Much like this respective post, it is all style over substance... Now, that my musing has petered out, I will return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Addendum: In case you were curious as to what spawned this blog... It was the adverts for Aflac and the United States Postal Service featuring the characters for Toy Story. From what I understand that children are the untapped demographic in both insurance and shipping.