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Advertisements are everywhere. How many times do we need to be enjoying a stream of songs from our favorite artists only to have Spotify interrupt us with a meta ad about how annoying that is. Only then to have them give us 30 minutes of music without ads! We’re fighting fascism in our streets, must we fight fascism in our music players!? We’re so tired we just want to unwind and listen to Kendrick without having appease your corporate overlords Spotify! And don’t say you can pay for that service! We wouldn’t continue to be on our parents health insurance if we could just afford the frivolities of a Spotify playlist!
The question to be asked is: Are all ads inherently bad? They sure are used for a lot of bad things. At the moment most advertisements are used to manipulate us to buy a bunch of shit we probably don’t need. That’s what ads have become. They aren’t a tool to help us find utilitarian and fun products to benefit our lives, but rather a psychological weapon to drive profit and sales.
Ads use a lot of psychological tricks to get us to make a purchasing decisions. This involves a touching story & music. And if they really want to be crafty, they’d interrupt their touching story with music with an ad for Spotify. An ad within an ad. A Russian nesting doll of manipulation. Rachel Maddow and the staff at MSNBC just had 100 orgasms at the thought that this could mildly prove their Russiagate fantasies. They also use attractive people in their ads so you can purchase things you don’t need with your genitals after they’ve confused your brain with unresolved daddy issues.
And we have seen all of these things in action all the time. Most recently we’ve added social justice belief systems into the mix. [B Roll of Ads over talking] Kendall Jenner was used to sell Pepsi using the stories of Police Brutality. Colin Kaepernick’s stance against Police Brutality was used to try to sell shoes by Nike. And earlier this year, we saw Gillette go against toxic masculinity to sell their razors. They weaved stories, beliefs, epic music to tug at your brain and heart strings to empty your wallets.
A big way ads use psychological triggers is with the use of colors. We make decisions on an advert within the first 90 seconds. So colors need to grab your attention quick and draw into the brands and the products. But often times these colors are misused to create a false sense of security. Like banks use blues and darker tones to establish trust, which is bullshit considering you can’t trust most banks. If you’re calling the next crash down to the hour, you can’t be trusted.
Sidenote: All banks should have the same logo. Just a middle finger to a baby, which as we all know is the representation of the future.
Reds and Yellows are used as impulse buys. Red increases your blood pressure and elicits various emotional responses. And Yellow creates a sense of alertness and danger. Black is supposed to represent power and sophistication. Except when it comes to the Black Panther Party, then they don’t associate any power with the color Black.
White is supposed to represent purity, newness and cleanliness, which is right next to Godliness hence why you see White Jesuses everywhere. For a middle eastern prophet that walked the desert he sure looks like he’d be getting sunburnt a whole lot for the sake of purity and cleanliness. Which begs the question: if you’re getting sunburnt, are you the omniscient creator of all things or just a bro that didn’t use the right melanin protection?
Green represents environmental friendliness and sustainability. Which is why our money is green to show the world how much we are willing to spend to get rid of the environment and replace it with cash. Literally get to a point where grow money on trees to buy oxygen to keep ourselves alive. See like I said the colors used in ads are a misused to create false narratives. Advertisements are ruining rainbows and the prism.
The advancements in technology have also evolved the ways advertisements work. Because we live in a digital space all our platforms are connected to each other. Our data is being used against us to sell us razors, shoes and the lie that Kendall Jenner is relevant!
Our digital identity is being tracked. Everything from you emails, your statuses, tweets, amazon wish lists are working in tandem together because your cookies track your journey on the internet. It’s like a Creepy Guardian Angel, who’s trying protecting you but their hands always down their pants for some reason.
And based on this data extraction, these digital platforms can figure out what makes you happy, who your family is, your religion, sexual orientation, and so much more. At this point Big Brother is not just watching you, but Big Brother is trying to become you. This is like some next level serial killer shit.
Using this data that’s being shared across all these internet platforms, companies like Amazon and Facebook might know you better than your wife, or in some instances think you are your wife. Over Christmas my wife was looking for a new handbag. So she looked online to find a bag. A day later I was getting ads for the exact brand of handbag she was looking the day before! Stay out of my relationship adverts! We will figure out what we need to get each other on our own terms!
Look after what happened with Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Trump we should not be ok with companies collecting our data to sell it off other companies to use for nefarious or advertising purposes. And sure you can add a paid service to keep your data safe. But you can also make data safety and security the standard instead of a luxury! Spotify subscriptions shouldn’t be the standard for safety & privacy! Facebook and Amazon should build their own personality instead of stealing ours through Buzzfeed quizzes and shopping lists!
And that’s where we are in our dystopia! Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg are using their giant multi-billion dollar corporations to mine personalities for themselves and appear less sociopathic! They’ve officially put a dollar value on personalities. According to Facebook it’s about $1.62 per personality. That’s kind of a bargain for anyone not just rich megalomaniacal viruses.
So lets ask the question again after we’ve gain a little more knowledge about how ads are used as a weapon against our psyches; Can ads be used for positive means? Even if you call them ‘recommendations’, like Amazon does, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re using my psychology to sell me shit and attempting to force me to buy it instead of letting me make the decision on my own. So my answer is no.
And there are some folks that will make an argument against this. People like Jeff Rosenblum claim if advertisements were empowering instead of interruptions we’d have a better outlook about them. So if Spotify just played music and paused for a minute and said “You’re doing great. Wanna keep listening to Foo Fighters or perhaps you’d like to go back a little further and enjoy some Nirvana?” Well that’s still an interruption regardless of its politeness! I’ll let you know when I’m ready to change the music!
Jeff Rosenblum’s thought is that through empowerment, corporate brands can get rich saving the world! The only problem with that they’ve already gotten rich without saving anything so why would they switch. Basically companies like Nike, Gillette and Pepsi are noticing that people are starting to make decisions based on their conscience. Hence they placate to the social left with a heartwarming ad, using a lot of deep tones. Getting those warm and fuzzies out there.
The main problem with this idea is that it’s not getting rich saving the world. It’s getting RICHER saving the world and not really having to save the world. Just say it and the pleabs will give you their money anyway. And if the bottom line is profit, usually that means passion isn’t involved. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a profit margin in mind, but if that’s core of it, you don’t really care about the empowerment or issue you’re trying to speak about.
This is basically like Nike using a black athlete who practiced civil disobedience to talk about overcoming hardships, while using slave labor and more hardships to create your product! And like Gillette talking a big game about how men need to be more accountable for their toxic masculinity and gender inequalities and not decreasing the price of their female razors. And it’s Pepsi using Kendall Jenner…end of sentence.
Advertisements continue to be used as a psychological weapon instead of tool of betterment. It’s about consumerism, not about social progress. It’s about new ways to sell us things instead finding a way to get access to things we need.
We don’t need to depend on corporations or brands to empower our lives. We can just do it ourselves. There’s a bevy of information out there and we don’t need a corporate university. When corporations are trying to give out scholarships to education services that should sound the alarms that our education services are too damn expensive! There are people that can teach out how to be a better musician, artist, teacher. We can create a better way to get the word out, especially when the bottom line of brands and corporations is to make money off empowerment. Technology and advertising can work together help drive positive social change. The primary motive is going to have to be the social & policy change not the profit margin.