Advertising Advertising

I feel a mini rant comin’ on.  But just a little little one for now as I’ve not yet recovered fully from my 2200 word I-Rant on Ken Burns.

I bought Vanity Fair, the magazine, on a whim the other day.  It was a good thing I had a grocery cart because the weight of it was about the size of a small turkey.

Once home, I opened it on my lap because just holding it out in front of me produced a rain of inserts falling to the floor not to mention arm fatigue as it required Michelle Obama’s toned triceps to hold it without support.

Seriously,  I thought the magazine, in my absence from readership, might have decided to become a pop up book they had so many thick paged advertisements.

Somewhere in between these advertisements were articles but I never read them. To locate what pages the articles were on took too much counter intuitive navigation because they weren’t listed on just one page, but several, due to the amount of advertising on each page. You can call me lazy if you want but my attention span is like a teenager–that of a mayfly.

I resolved never to give in to whims again and dropped the magazine on a rug bubble (you know what they are, don’t you?) that needed flattening. Bingo!   A purpose for this magazine: it’s not words or images, it’s the sheer weight of it.   I’ve not been able to flatten this rug bubble since I laid the rug down two years ago.   I’d start advertising that, Editor of Vanity Fair, whoever you are.  Just think of the insert graphic possibilities?  Images of blocks of concrete flying out come to mind.

Then, the next day, I listened to a segment about the death or it could have been the future of advertising on NPR, Tom Ashbrook’s, “On Point” and in trying to figure out which it was (death or future), I went to the website for additional materials.  I tried to download from the website three chapters of a book called “The Chaos Scenario” that was about the current dynamics of advertising.  It downloaded to my hard drive but could not be opened because the Adobe Reader warning said “This document is corrupted”.  I went to the website for the book where the chapters were offered as well  and same thing happened: “Document is corrupted”.

What can one expect from a magazine you may five bucks for?  To be able to read the articles.

What can one expect from a website that says “Click here to Download Three Chapters for Free”?  To be able to read the chapters.

Ok.  Here’s how they connect in my little eloquently irritable mind.

I’m thinking things are really really bad if a book about advertising is corrupted before even one word is read or the sheer weight of advertisements in a magazine prevents one word from being read.

And, then, this morning news of The Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama.

What?  I love him, I truly do.  In my lifetime (64 years), I’ve never been more impressed with an American President or the promise of what years of his leadership might accomplish.

But, what?

Yep, I may be living in a world where there is actually no longer any necessity in having an actual product, just the promise of a product.

I think maybe even he’s embarrassed at receiving this news of the Nobel Promise of Peace Prize.

All I can say is “Look out for those inserts, Barack, and whatever you do don’t drop it on your foot.”

©Pat Coakley 2009


7 comments on “Advertising Advertising”

  1. Gosh.. I was out shooting pictures all day and haven’t yet read the news… Ummm Aren’t you supposed to create Peace or something really huge to get that? I mean, astrophysicists and scientists who mapped our DNA, and other really important scientific discoveries? People who have really done something already? Being the first Black President doesn’t count in my book. Sorry I don’t get it at all.

  2. Amber, I get it in that the possibilities and promise of the man is unlike any other leader in recent times (and I am 100% in that camp) but I think the Nobel committee is so devoutly anti-Bush, to my mind, almost lunatic fringe anti-Bush..just like the folks now who question Obama’s birth certificate…that they simply couldn’t resist. I hope it helps him achieve his promise rather than hinders it and his remarks yesterday I thought were pitch perfect for such an awkward situation.

  3. Editorial content? Just the camouflage for the ads designed to separate us from our money in return for things we don’t need. That and taming a nasty rug bubble are the magazine’s real values. So who cares if the content is corrupted?

    I agree that Obama recieving the Peace Prize is sign of how bad it has been for the past 8 years. but unlike the corrupted unreadable content of Vanity Fair, I believe Obama’s accomplishments are already monumental. For example, his speech to Muslims in Egypt and the move to dismantle and redirect America’s European missle defense plans are huge reversals in a longstanding misguided strategy of arrogance and planning for unimaginable military violence. If all he can do is reintroduce the concept of diplomacy and negotiation as a possible alterntive to war — then he deserves this prize and more.

  4. By the way, I forgot to say that this is a startlingly gorgeous image. Love the colors.

    • Don, this photo is one of many that I take of the Queen Anne Lace along the pond. I thought it fit this blog post not because of its beauty (although I agree it has a striking color background) but because although past bloom…way past, in fact….the promise of regeneration is within these decaying blooms.

      I know what you mean about Obama…I, too, feel he has already been such a uniquely positive force but I feel like he has carefully been setting the table as only he can and the dinner has not yet been served and is not totally in his control.

  5. A general studies course I did at uni was the subject, “mass media and communication”. One of the questions were were asked in the exam was, “what is the function of the mass media?” The answer was, “to sell advertising”.

    Needless to say there are people out there who think that is a Marxist veiwpoint. Just like the people who think that reform of your country’s healthcare system is an act of communism.

    To such people I say, “wake up and smell the rapacious behaviour!”

    I’m with you about our mate Obama getting the peace prize. As much as I love and support the guy, I think it’s far too early for way too little. I’m afraid that I want to see something much more concrete than hopes and wishes.

    I’m reminded of what my grandmother used to say.

    “If, ifs and ands, were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers”.

  6. Razz, your grandmother and mother’s sayings should be a blog post when you get back home!

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