Most advertising you don’t see, because it jumps into your face, and you don’t hear, because it’s so loud. We all got a sixth sense for anyone contacting us with second thoughts. And we stop listening. It keeps us in control. We are only at risk losing control when advertising becomes so good we don’t notice we have been advertised to: stealth advertising is taking over…
In Hollywood, the ham actor shows us clearly what he wants us to know about the character. He advertises every little bit of his role, and overplays it mercilessy, shoving his act down our throats. And we resist, and the movie sinks, like Battleship.
If a screenwriter lets his characters explain the scene by telling us what is happening, it’s called Writing on the nose. We put our noses up to this.
The masters of art have always been able to hide their intentions, and make us live through scenes. They make us experience what they want us to experience – and we don’t notice until we have experienced it. This is why it works so well.
So far, the advertising industry hasn’t caught up to this trick and we are safe. I won’t go out and buy a car against my will as I’m well protected against car ads, which I recognize by over-photoshopped vehicles, shot in a studio, set in motion by specialty software that makes the wheels spin, in front of a fake, empty landscape in the background where all traffic jams have been beamed away to Klingon.
What a different thing with Aston Martin. Just because James Bond drove one, it became famous. That campaign has such long legs it’s still working, and ad people would break their own to get such a long-legged campaign off the ground.
Of course, attempts have been made. One is called product placement: you can recognize it by the sudden change of a movie from its story to a couple of shots that look like straight out of a car ad and that have nothing to do with the story. We realize the intention, and we don’t like it, least of all the car. The other way is celebrity placement. A celebrity is a person who is famous and you can’t find a good reason why. But the Kardashians and YouTube stars and Reality TV actors won’t ever match Sean Connery’s James Bond. Or would you buy a luxury car from a woman who publicly advertises her oversized behind?
By the way, the series Star Trek – Deep Space 9 knew about the bad things coming. The evil race in that show are the Cardassians. They got pretty close with their prediction. They saw that in 1993. There wasn’t even any reality TV at that time…
High end advertising is when we don’t know we have been advertised to. It’s been done for hundreds of years. When the church, for example, gave commissions to the painter Bellini (and may others) to glorify the Christian belief, he didn’t paint a freaked out bimbo and wrote “Believe” in big letters below it.
He developed fine landscapes in a captivating painting style in which you could get lost. And on the way there, you’d seduced into the fantastic world of legends of the church.
Now I have to get a Nuke Cola. I just played Fallout, and I came across some of them on my way of shooting a few dozen mutants. It somewhat made me thirsty.