Thursday, 3 January 2008

I hate ad’s

I hate ad’s, I do just about everything to avoid them. When an ad break comes on TV I surf, put on the kettle, go to the loo – anything to avoid watching them. But of course I still see them, read them, watch them. I’m bombarded by hundreds of ad’s a day, they are impossible to avoid and that is one of the reasons I hate them. But over the past few years I’ve notice a huge increase in ads that encourage selfishness and I find this really troubling.Advertising is not a passive force – people's actions are affected by it (why else would _anyone_ drink budweiser?), so a constant drumbeat encouraging selfish and petty behaviour is something to be worried about. But are people becoming more selfish? More petty? To be honest I don't know, I think they might be and besides, why glorify selfishness? I think the way advertising is carried out must change. At the very least I think advertisements should not encourage bad behaviour (I feel I would be qualified to define 'bad' in case your wondering ;-).

Off the top of my head here are some of the slogans I’m talking about, I’m not going to link them to products as that would be advertising and besides, more than one product uses each slogan.

"Too Good to Share"

"Just For You"

"It's Mine"

In an ideal world an advert should only be able to clearly define the what the product is and what it does, so for example any advert for bottled water would look something like this -

ProductName : Bottle Water, It will rehydrate you.
A picture of the product could also be shown but not any people, scenery or cute furry animals.

While thinking this post I came across a “controversy” I didn’t know existed – ad-blockers. Apparently people other than vendors and advertisers think they are evil! Don’t believe me? Check this out . I love this quote

So what about when you install an ad-blocker? That’s bad news, folks, really bad news.

Now to be fair the author probably thinks its not as bad as say, war or famine, but its pretty darn close by the sounds of it – as far as I was concerned it was all I could do to stop myself running screaming into the hills. This brings me to another thing that annoys me about advertising – the notion that it pays for things - as if sport, the Internet and news papers didn’t exist before advertising. Maybe advertising makes (some) things cheaper (pun intended - it certainly makes them glossier) but this cap-in-hand gratitude we’re supposed to have is infuriating. I know there are always going to be ad’s, I just want them toned down a bit --- ok a lot.