Wednesday, March 28, 2007

For sale: Madison Avenue

Okay, so we all know that marketing and advertising have become so omnipresent in our society that it's actually difficult to find someplace to escape from all of it.

The question this poses is simple enough: how do we, as a society, fix this?

This problem is in my mind right now because I encountered a new form of media today. I went to get gas for my minivan ($3.209 a gallon, thanks) at a local Shell station. Above the pumps, they've installed a lovely video screen and speakers. I was treated to a slew of infotainment as soon as I picked up the pump handle. I saw the same Jack in the Box ad three times, along with the weather forecast, a trailer or two, and some NBC late night ads. I was fortunate enough to get the entire show - the minivan was thirsty enough to take longer than the entire loop.

That's not really the worst possible example, but it's a new one for me. (The worst one, so far, may be the quick service restaurant I visited that had ads in the urinals. Above them is one thing, but c'mon!)

It's not a real surprise that we're all such good consumers. We've been conditioned for it from birth, more or less. Breaking out of that pattern is something that individuals can do, but people, on the average, are sheep, so we're all pretty much stuck with all of this. Call me pessimistic, but the people that put ads on the 'up' escalators are the same people that would put advertising over our beds if they could figure out a way to pull it off for a profit.

How depressing.

(This post brought to you by.......)

1 comment:

Libba said...

Thanks for writing this.