Advertisers have become desperate to find new ways to reach the masses.
Yeah, old news. Advertising has always attempted to reach into the consumer's mind, searching for the golden switch that induces a fevered period of purchasing, with cash, coins and credit. After all, what else are we to do with that excess space in the garage/backyard/spare room/under the bed?
Anyway, advertising sells the lifestyle rather than the mere product – I mean, is a cellphone really going to make you look as though you belong to the jet-set-crowd? Or does it make you a sucker for marketing/shiny gadgets/pickpockets?
But in a culture that is super-saturated with advertising, people have become almost immune to adverts and marketing devices. Think about it. When watching TV, the sight of the station's theme music and logo has become a cue for most viewers to suspend their attention for a while; to run to the bathroom/go get snacks/carry on with homework. This is because we've been conditioned to know that that particular screen shot presages an ad break that's often longer than the average person's attention span (I made that up but it makes sense to me).
And so, that cue makes us ignore whatever is sandwiched between the station-logo-and-theme-tune. That second one acts as a cue to switch one's attention back on, to refocus on the program.
The invention of TiVO, allowing people to watch TV whenever it is convenient to them, fast forwarding through the adverts.
Flyers and pamphlets handed out at intersections: what do you do with them? Most people spare a cursory glance, then shove them into the glove compartment, throw them on the floor, make paper planes... You get my drift.
So in this society almost jaded to advertising, what is an advertiser to do?
They bring out the big guns, stop playing Mr Nice Guy and begin to step into the private realm – an almost invasive movement into one's household.
Bread. More specifically; bread packaging.
It spans various cultures, subcultures, ethnicities, minorities, majorities, classes, religions and pretty much any factor we come up with to divide ourselves into groups. Tax-free (last I checked) and widely available, used on an ongoing basis, seen by a large number of people... It's prime advertising real estate.
Next time you're at a local store that stocks bread, look at the plastic bag the bread is in – a certain cellphone network provider has monopolised this space, plugging its 'amazing' deals and services alongside the ingredients and nutritional information of our staple diet.
I don't know about you, but it makes me vaguely uncomfortable. Bread is set up as... an innocent, wholesome, life-sustaining substance, and well, by splatting corporate logos and unashamed consumerism across it... it's a little upsetting.
But that could easily just be me.
Anyway, I can see why it's such a genius idea – shelves and shelves of bread all stamped with distinctively styled logos and colours... even if you aren't buying that bread, you will encounter the advertising.
What if we start associating that brand of bread with the logos it sports on its packaging? Strange. Mildly upsetting, again.
So yeah.. advertising is becoming more and more pervasive in order to counter its negative effects on the consumers – that we begin to ignore adverts due to familiarity. Will it ever end? What's next? Milk bottles? Logo-shaped cereal? Ha that would be so bizarre, I dibs that idea! Copyright! Mine!
*ahem* Anyway, I find it interesting to watch the evolution, in a sense, of advertising. I grudgingly admire the industry's determination even though it sometimes leave a bad taste in my mouth.