Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Problem With Adverts.

Everybody wants to be a better person.

Not everybody realises just how harmful the effects of advertising can be though. The fact is the advertising companies (for the most part) are against you. They are taking advantage of every scrap of psychology they know because they want you to buy something. Even the Oxfam adverts are selling something, the only difference is that they LOOK like the good guys. Personally I don't trust them.

Every time you watch an advert, there are hundreds of little tricks in there to make you insecure, to make you believe that you need something. To make you angry, or sad, or excited and to connect these emotions to their products or to connect the solutions to their products. Remember that trope of a sleazy salesman who is good at their job, but you wouldn't trust as far as you can slide them across the ground on a trail of their own slime? That's advertisers!

All they want to achieve, is to make you need them.

They do this at great cost to the viewer and advertisements are a source of a great deal of psychological disorders (the obvious example being body dismorphia).

I watch a lot of youtube. Youtube used to be a great place. No adverts, can watch anything you like (almost) and it was a place where I felt like I could escape commercialism. Not anymore however. There are some youtubers that I watch such as Nerd3 who make their living from their youtube videos. This is of course funded by advertisements and he says [paraphrase] 'It's a 30 second advert for the sake of a 30 minute video'. Of course this is better than TV or radio or spotify but I just don't want to see them at all. I remember when advertising on youtube first started. The advertising companies were small fries, they felt less like the bad guys and more forward thinking. Now however, every single advert seems to come from Footlocker or HMV or some record label or yaddah yaddah yaddah. It seems like the price of these adverts has skyrocketed and it has shut out the small businesses once again.

There are some youtube channels that I watch exclusively to learn something, or to grow, or to think about things in different ways. Do you know what stands in between me and enlightenment? Youtube adverts! Well... and a few other things. But it is Youtube adverts that irk me the most.

I understand one thing though. I understand that capitalism is driven by advertising. It is driven and accelerated and has been very effectively. For better or for worse (for worse) we live in a capitalist society and advertising is a simple symptom of a larger disease. I don't have any suggestions where we can go - although the sort of oligarchy discussed in Plato's Republic has always appealed to my naive political sentiments - all I know is that this is not the last stop. We have been here for a long time but we are just waiting for the drivers to finish their coffee and scone.

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that I am not responsible for any
distress, discomfort, enragement or
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of this article. DFTBA.
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