Monday, 6 February 2012

Rant about Advertising...

The other day a mate texted me that he was “Not happy Jan”. My immediate response was to groan and say to myself “That ad is, like, ten years old! Why do people still refer to it?!?”

Cue rumination on the beauty (note the Orwellian “doublespeak”) of advertising. Who doesn’t remember the following classic Aussie ads?

“don’t push me, push a push pop!”

“That’s not how you make porridge <insert annoying Scottish accent>”

“Guide dogs are either Labradors or German Shepherds” “Then what have they given me?”

“As I… shampoo my hair, I really love… my Decore…”

“You can get it any old how, matter of fact I’ve got it now”

The list goes on (feel free to share your own memories in the comments!). I guess the point of this ramble is that advertising scares me. Scares me, because it is just so goddamn effective. And Affective. Advertising companies are paid major major bucks to brainwash the populace into buying things they neither need nor want. I recall from Year 11 Business Studies (10 years ago- *gulp* I’m old!) the king, or rather the Grandfather of advertising, is Coca-Cola. Now, things had been advertised before, for a long time, but they were things that people essentially needed, or that made life more convenient or safe. Coca-Cola was the first product that was sold that had no real benefit to the consumer. “Here, have this drink, that not only does not quench your thirst, but actually dehydrates you and tastes terrible and rots your teeth…” Well, they obviously couldn’t use that as a marketing campaign. So they focused on an experience- how you would feel drinking coke, how people would think you were smart and sophisticated. Today their focus has shifted, but not much. They don’t tell you the benefits of coke (there are none) but focus on words like “happiness” “refreshment” “summer” to brainwash us to believe that by drinking coke we will obtain all these intangibles.

I find it rather ironic (not to say, devastating) that when political parties use tactics like this, it is labelled as propaganda. Yet when the same tactics are used to sell a product for profit, it’s advertising!

Share your thoughts/ favourite ads/ brainwashing techniques….


  1. I daresay Apple have done a fairly decent job on their marketing campaign. I didnt know i needed one until i got one and now could i go back to an Apple-less life? (Un)interestingly im typing this on an iPhone, all these capitalisations were not of my own doing. At any rate i agree whole heartedly about the advertising rant. Working in marketing now (sort of) makes me realise how much of a pawn i am. All this typing is working up a thirst.. Sadly no VBs here :(

  2. Ah Apple, imagine the glee of First Year Marketing Lecturers when the Ipod first came out- what a GREAT case study! Their ad's are so clean sharp and organised- like my life will be when I buy Apple products!

    Thanks for your comment Gooba, anyone else got a good example of how capitalism rapes our minds?