Where I speak "your" dirty lil' mind!

The Evil that is… Advertising

In Human Rights, Humour, India, Rights, Things that Piss Me Off ! on July 20, 2009 at 12:07 am

NOTE: Being new to the blogosphere, I was recently advised to keep my posts short and sweet.

“That’s why a site like Twitter* works so well,” they said.

While neither “short” nor “sweet”, describe me very well, I do occassionally post shorter, less time-consuming pieces like this Note you’re reading currently, and then THIS ONE here.

However, in case you are NOT someone possessed by the attention span of a gnat, then I suggest going through some of the lengthier posts; such as the following, too.

* My own opinion of those who like to call themselves the” Twitteratti”; is that they should consider what it is that makes a “fing”, into a “finger”.

And then re-think that which they so claim to “luv”


I’m considering moving the only TV in the house, from the living room, where I spend most of my time, to Mum’s room. I find myself switching it on so infrequently nowadays, that it just makes more sense for Mum to have it in her room for all her oldies and soaps (which I detest).

I’d like to be able to say this is also because of some “good son”-related benevolence on my part, but the truth is that I just don’t even WANT it around any more.

For the news; I get the newspaper every morning, a couple of weekly publications (Tehelka being one), and then, the fastest source of any important news in the world; this all-encompassing digital consciousness we call the internet, which also provides for all my entertainment needs (music, movies, sitcoms, porn etc. ) as well.

The main reason behind my desire to evict the boob-tube from my immediate environment is the fact that nowadays, there are just too many ads in my face All-the-F*@#*ing-Time !!

I used be the kind of annoying/irritating person (I still am in most other respects) whom people call a “channel-surfer”. This is not intended as a confession or an apology in any way(!) but rather, an explanation. So, read on…

The reason I used to switch between channels so incessantly was because I hated the ads which dominate most channels. They disrupt what is supposedly MY entertainment time, and 99% of the time, hawk products I-Don’t-Need.

Now, some people (especially ad agencies) will tell you that we need advertising, and that it’s there for the benefit of the consumers!

Case-in-point: there was an ad campaign some years ago on Indian TV which stated:

“Advertising. YOUR right to Choose!”
(Advertisers advertising advertisements?!? Wtf)


Couldn’t I just ask the shopkeeper if he had any options for me if for some reason I wasn’t completely satisfied with my soap, detergent, bread or butter?

In fact, increasingly, with the glut of convenience stores and supermarkets everywhere, I don’t even need the shopkeeper for that. I can just pick and choose from a number of options for any given product myself!

So isn’t advertising actually limiting my options by trying to present just one particular product, when in fact there are hundreds available?

What the ad i referenced above was really saying:

“Advertising… OUR right to Exist!
…and make a (very comfortable) living providing you with a non-essential service, therby justifying our existence.”

I know I’m not going to be making any friends with what I’m saying – I don’t really give a fuck about making any new friends, the ones I have are good enough – but I do hope I don’t lose any (friends i.e., or even potential employers ;D ) either.

You see, I do have a few close friends who are extremely successful copywriters, working in ad agencies. I’ve also come across at least a hundred more in 13 years or so of my so-called “career”, and here’s what I’ve learnt about the more successful ones:

A good ad-copywriter:

• Is a good writer (duh!!), but more importantly..
• Is an extremely confident person
• Is always oddly attractive, even if “aesthetically-challenged”
• Has the twinkle of mischief in their eyes.
• Makes a lot of money (compared to other writers)
• Has an innate understanding of human behaviour.

It’s a shame these people don’t use their powers for Good… hunh?

My main problem with most ads is; that they are intended specifically towards deflecting my own attention away from wherever it is – which is generally more interesting than that bottle which kills the cartoon germs, the cute puppy or even the ST with flapping wings which they tout – and into their own warped, consumer-targeted mindspace.

Here’s an interesting hypothesis; if the ads were all true, and those sanitary pads really are “30/50/100%… More Absorbent” …

Considering that the commercial ST became popular around the 1920’s and that there are hundreds of manufacturers in the current market scenario; where every manufacturer proclaim theirs to be supposedly “better”, and claims some sort of numerically-established “improvements”

Well then, shouldn’t we by now, more than 80 years after it hit the market, be able to fling one of those things into a swimming pool and instantly drain it?

No, I’m not just trying to be funny here… do the math yourself. If every new ST that was introduced really was “better” and exponentially more absorbent than the others before it… and keeping in mind that these improvements have been going on almost a hundred years now, right?

How long before one of these manufacturers gets it right and invents one that is absorbent enough to get the job done?
Man has landed on the moon; discovered new planets, stars and constellations; and explored the depths of the deepest oceans on Earth in the same amount of time!

Because it’s all a fraud, that’s why.

The only way an advertiser or manufacturer can claim their product to be “Better” or “More”, is when it’s “more than” or “better”, than it itself used to be. Not the competition.

So what are they (all ads) – and I’m not just talking about the one’s promoting feminine-hygiene products – really saying here?

Let’s explore 2 commonly made assertions by some ads:

“We’re giving you MORE for FREE!”
(…than we used to)

No it’s not FREE, we’re still paying you good money! You’re just finally admitting that you were giving us less than you could have, all along. Ergo, you’ve been ripping us off all these years.

You bastards!

Or this one…

“Now 30/50/100% …BETTER!”
(…than we used to be)

Which really then, is not saying much at all…
If you think about it, it’s like the child who comes home all excited with a marginal improvement in his or her report card.

Really? We should treat a million-dollar conglomerate (and the hundreds if not thousands of adults involved) with the same exuberance one might show to a child?

…and in that, I guess, lays the crux of my anger toward most ads and some of the ad-makers as well, the fact that;

Advertising intrinsically tries to use subtle psychology in it’s ploys most of the time, fails miserably and insults my own intelligence…

Through utter bullshit! It automatically assumes that I (or my behaviour), can be predicted and influenced by cheap images and words which have no substance behind them.

But then I guess it does work. And there are numbers to prove it too. People do go out and buy things which they see advertised, and therefore, the stuff which is advertised, sells more.

So yes, it works, and I even know some people who say that they actually enjoy watching commercials…

For me, that’s just more sad proof that most people still swim (with those ridiculous inflatable baby floaters around their arms!), in the shallow end of the gene pool.


Interestingly, I have myself been advised by a number of people at times, to consider getting into the field    😀

What if a ‘client’ came to me, looking to peddle some sick pigs?

Todays’ Special :

Swine Vindaflu !!

… anyone?

  1. fling a sanitary napkin into a swimming pool to DRAIN it?

    waah bhagwan. aap mahaan hain!

    • Of course, and the sooner every one realises it, the better.
      Btw, bhagwan is spelt with a capital ‘B’…

  2. Agreed! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • 😀
      Jus’ one of those “gets my goat”‘ rants

      I’d start an anti-advertising campaign myself, except that it would involve advertising the campaign… :p

      We all advertise (ourselves) every day. The secret lies in knowing when to shut up.

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