First off; what I am about to say, in a no doubt rambling fashion, is certainly going to be much better summed up by a famous Bill Hicks statement at the end of this blog post. So I won’t be upset if you ‘skip to the end’ here and just go to the quote.
I hate advertising in all it’s hideous forms, but especially loud, in your face, TV ads. BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE! TAKE TWO BOTTLES INTO THE SHOWER! HAD AN ACCIDENT? YOU CANT GET BETTER THAN A QUICK FIT FITTER. Yes, at some point you may need to advertise a new product to let people know it’s there, but they should ‘A’ be honest and ‘B’ not keep on going on about it. If it’s good we will come back and buy more, products or services will spread by word of mouth. It makes me suspicious if I see a shed load of ads for one product, if they need to promote it so much and spend all that money convincing us to buy it, whats wrong with it? Seriously. If its any good won’t it sell itself?
Many years ago I worked for an advertising agency, it was during the recession of 1990 so you had to take what jobs you could find. I used to edit together things called stealamatics (creating a commercial from films & TV to get an idea of how an ad may look) for creatives. Creatives are the people who ‘come up with ideas’ for ads, they generally work in pairs. I have worked with these people. On the whole they simply spend days and weeks trying to find what other material they can rip off. Makes you wonder why they are called creatives really. If they fail to come up with any real idea they generally just hire a well known actor or personality and get them to try and pedal their wears. This approach probably works best when someone famous says ‘I use product x and would not use anything else’ they legally have to sign a form saying what they have said is true. Call me cynical but I am guessing 99% of the time these people are lying. Even if they are not, why should you bother taking advice from an actor? They just take direction from other people and are told what to say and do.
I believe it’s been said that zombie movies are an analogy for mindless consumers shopping. Certainly this behaviour can be seen with Apple fan boys. Look how many people bought iPads site unseen. Before the final specs had been released or knowing exactly what it would do and it’s sold out. When I buy something I have to sit down and work out the pros and cons and find the best product, then go out and find the best price, perhaps I am mad in this approach, but I think not. Apple zombies simply see ‘new product’ and place an order, amazing. Mind you this is the same group of people that scream with joy when a soft fabric iPod holder is released, seriously people, it’s like a sock that you put an iPod in, a sock! There is no reason to whoop it up.
I guess you could argue that at least an iPad is something that may have a use, even if it is severely limited and overpriced with other products that do more for less money. What totally confuses me is; who in the hell buys those ‘Build the Bismark’ magazines, and similar products?
GET THE FIRST PIECE FREE WITH THIS ISSUE. So this model, made of cheap plywood, is in 140 parts. So you need to buy 140 issues, one a week, over the course of two and a half years. ISSUE ONE ONLY 50 PENCE! Then issue 2 is £2.99 and all other issues are £4.99. So with the aid of mathematics that’s a shitty unpainted plywood model of the Bismark for £692.11!!! Just to recap, a plywood model for nearly £700!!! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
Now back to the actual ads. I understand that without ads it’s difficult for TV networks to make money. It can be done other ways like product placement, but this is tricky of trying to sell cars in a period piece. A subscription model is another way to achieve this, or if you are feeling particularly Orwellian follow the BBCs example and ‘create’ some license that everyone has to purchase on pain of a prison sentence.
So advertising enables us to have ‘free’ services that are funded by people that are suckered into purchasing whatever these people are peddling. SO what can we do to avoid this? You could pre recording your TV shows and skip the breaks and I hear it’s possible to download ad free TV shows from the internet. When I browse the web I use Firefox with AdBlock & NoScript which pretty much blanks out any net ads, this also helps in download speeds of sites as it does not bother downloading all the ad content. I don’t read dead tree newspapers but download them onto my eBook, which is also free of ads. So there are ways to defend ourselves against this barrage of selling.
Now a word from our sponsors…
Cash4Gold. An advert targeted direct to fucktards (sorry, there is no other word for them) who are stupid enough to send these people their gold.
Post Office. A superb example of ‘We have no idea how to make the post office look good so we hired someone old famous person and hoped that would persuade the blue rinse brigade people to use the post office’.
Virgin Trains. For sex starved women living in the sticks who’s leather jacketed boyfriend lives in the big smoke, use Virgin trains, they will pop your cherry luv, GIGGIDY GIGGIDY! Seriously, popping corks, Trains into tunnels? The only thing missing is her wearing a pearl necklace.
Phones 4U. Not sure what this ad is trying to say or how it’s supposed to make me want to buy a phone.
Tool Station. Enough said really.
Bill Hicks on Advertising
By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising…kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I’m doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan’s little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now.
Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: ‘There’s gonna be a joke comin’ up.’ There’s no fuckin’ joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself…borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something…rid the world of your evil fuckin’ presence.