Thursday, August 12, 2010

Advertising and the General Public

It's been said often--at least, from what I've read--that the amount of advertising is on the increase. Not only do you see it during TV commercial breaks or on billboards, but you also see it on websites, at the movies, sometimes even in the form of "product placement" during the movie, and even in video games. It seems like you really can't go anywhere or do anything without seeing some sort of advertisement.
Now, here's the thing: I understand the purpose of advertising: to sell products. Advertising can be informative; sometimes, movie posters and trailers are the easiest way to find out a film's release date. Like a lot of things, advertising is good in moderation. However, in the past decade or so, it has just gone into overkill. Not only did the Spider-Man GameCube game (and, I'm guessing, the PS2 and X-Box versions of it, as well) have real-life company logos like MetLife featured in it, but, also, while I was at a library in my city today, I was looking at an issue of Teen Vogue--which is not a magazine I have ever read before, mind you, and the only reason I was looking at it was because it featured Victorious star Victoria Justice--and the first fifteen pages were nothing but advertising, and it continued after that! That is entirely too much!
Truth be told, the power of advertising is difficult to overcome. So many products advertise themselves like they're something they're not. For example, way back in 2002, I went to see the movie Snow Dogs. The previews showed the dogs talking, making the movie look like it was one of those talking animal flicks in the vein of Disney's original 101 Dalmatians, but live-action instead of a cartoon. However, the movie did not deliver that. Although the dogs did talk, the only scene that they did so in was a dream sequence that Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character had. Outside of that, the dogs did nothing but bark like normal dogs. The movie was still cute and fun, but I've always wondered if some people, especially little kids and their parents, didn't feel cheated when they watched it. There have been other movies that I've only heard or read about--The Village and Land of the Lost currently come to mind--that also had quite misleading previews, according to my sources. Yet, because of what the previews promised, people still went to them in droves, and a good part of them ended up wishing they didn't.
I would hope that, sometime in the near future, advertising will tone down a bit. However, with ever-evolving technology, it probably won't. New technologies will just mean new ways for companies to push their products, and there isn't much that can stop them from doing it. Frankly, I've had about enough of excessive advertising. Has anyone else?

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