just when you thought
it was safe
to think
here comes mental piracy

-Incubus

How much would you pay now?!?! 50 dollars!? 60 dollars!!? NO!! You can get this brand new (insert thing here) for the low, low, price of... your brain!!!

As each generation grows up in an environment saturated with new media, people become less dazzled by flash and razzle ads. People successively grow more capable of understanding attempts to subvert their minds. People become experts at advertisement autopsies.

That being said, advertisers have had to adapt, growing more and more devious at every turn. Not only that, but they've had to compartmentalize, splitting their efforts and sending them every which way. These days, your average hard-core marketing mouseketeer probably knows more about demographics than a geographer.

The most effective way to advertise these days is to hide your message. To slip it in with other content like a greasy date-rapist dosing up a hapless young girl before he fucks the life out of her.

That's right...

Your TV wants to fuck the life out of you.

More specifically, the people behind it want to. At least, they don't care that it's a by-product of their massive revenue in-flux. I don't know why I should have to make the distinction between the inanimate glass and plastic beast straddling the living room rug, and the people pulling the strings. Oh yes. Maybe it was the stupid editorial I saw in the Chicago Tribune in which the guy said, "Hey!? What's the big deal? It's not the TV! It's the bad stuff on TV!" Pure genius, this guy!

Not just TV, but all media is being hijacked by the marketing beast. And it's not getting any better. It's getting worse.

Recently, due to an astounding decrease in advertising revenue, media companies of all forms are more willing than ever to whore themselves out any way they can. That's their bread and butter. It's sad to say so, but they can pour ipecac down the throats of their viewers/readers and the faithful little monkeys will take it all, as long as it has a bit of sugary taste.

WENDY'S SAY EAT THE SALAD, HO!

In an early March 2002 episode of The Rosie O'Donnel Show Rosie showcased a new Wendy's salad as part of her new diet. Her producers told her, through her earpiece to damn well eat the salad right there on the air. She ate it and she said, "Mmm. That's good!"

"FUCK YOU! I've got BURGER POWERS!"

The Wall Street Journal had this to say about the Wendy's + AOL TIME WARNER example of the slow transformation of TV shows into really long commercials:

This is what it takes to get advertising these days. When Wendy's International Inc. committed to spend more than $23 million on ads with AOL Time Warner Inc.'s media outlets, the burger chain asked for -- and received -- a host of extra goodies. The media giant, which produces "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" through its Warner Bros. unit, agreed to have the host eat a "Garden Sensations" salad on air. The salad also made an appearance on TBS Superstation's "Dinner & a Movie." And this month, AOL Time Warner magazines such as Sports Illustrated and InStyle inserted a Wendy's promotion personalized with each subscriber's name.

They're hungry for prizes!

Okay. So a sponsor calling the shots is nothing new, but, Wall Street Journal again...

Now, on the heels of the worst advertising slump since World War II, advertisers are getting a startling array of services that have turned publishers and TV channels into full-service marketing companies.

May the BLING be with you... always

Product placements / VNR's / Yoda on the cover of Time Magazine / Lara Croft in a U2 video. Sugar Ray wearing new fashions in Maxim / the style section of every newspaper and magazine / AOL Today / A Playboy centerfold with a car on it!?!?

Hey! Wendy's!? Where's the beef, yo!?!?

1984


There was a time when such prolific, subversive advertising would actually have been subject to Federal law.

Ever heard of something called the Federal Communications Commission? They used to have a restriction on how much time could be devoted per hour to commercials.

The Reagan Administration, the people who brought you such favorites as The Iran Contra Affair, and Reaganomics, lifted the ban, leaving the floodgates open for infomercials!!.Yes. I shit you not. This happened in 1984.

Infomercials weren't so special at first, but soon, everyone, from small companies to huge conglomerates, discovered their appeal, and the appeal was, you guessed it, money...

...gross annual sales of products generated by infomercials have grown from approximately $350 million in 1988 to well over 1.25 billion dollars in 2000.

It's not so bad...

Or is it...? It's okay for Rosie O'Donnel to eat a salad. She needs it. What's going to happen when McDonald's is stuffing a Butterfinger McFlurry down Sarah Michelle Gellar's throat every week? I don't know, I won't be watching TV, but it doesn't sound too promising. And when you turn on CNN and find them talking about what's hitting the box office this weekend with RECORD REVENUE, and the hottest new clothes, or....THE NEWEST VERSION OF AOL?(It's better than ever!!!) When the news is relegated to a tiny, five minute spot itself, what happens? I don't know. I'll be reading FARK.

sources: "Prolonged Ad Slump Puts Media In the Mood to Pander to Buyers," By MATTHEW ROSE and SUZANNE VRANICA

The Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB102089211635400,00.html

and of course, Mad Pr0pz to my DAWG Douglas Rushkoff! Man you are one l33t m0f0. SHIT!

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