[Marxism] Fwd: Advertising at the edge of the apocalypse | MR Online

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 9 17:48:56 MST 2018

With advertising messages on everything from fruit on supermarket 
shelves, to urinals, and to literally the space beneath our feet (Bamboo 
lingerie conducted a spray-paint pavement campaign in Manhattan telling 
consumers that “from here it looks likes you could use some new 
underwear”), it should not be surprising that many commentators now 
identify the realm of culture as simply an adjunct to the system of 
production and consumption.

Indeed so overwhelming has the commercial colonization of our culture 
become that it has created its own problems for marketers who now worry 
about how to ensure that their individual message stands out from the 
“clutter” and the “noise” of this busy environment. In that sense the 
main competition for marketers is not simply other brands in their 
product type, but all the other advertisers who are competing for the 
attention of an increasingly cynical audience which is doing all it can 
to avoid ads. In a strange paradox, as advertising takes over more and 
more space in the culture the job of the individual advertisers becomes 
much more difficult. Therefore even greater care and resources are 
poured into the creation of commercial messages — much greater care than 
the surrounding editorial matter designed to capture the attention of 
the audience. Indeed if we wanted to compare national television 
commercials to something equivalent, it would the biggest budget movie 
blockbusters. Second by second, it costs more to produce the average 
network ad than a movie like Jurassic Park.

The twin results of these developments are that advertising is 
everywhere and huge amounts of money and creativity are expended upon them.


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