one benefit of poverty -and i say this completely unironically- is that if you cant afford TV, you dont spend hours watching it and acclimating to the bullshit of constant advertisements. (i remember when we had stolen cable for a few months, how i distinctly felt like my head was fuzzier after a few days of TV.) with the blessing of adblock, the only commercials i see now are the ones that are on sports channels at work.
i saw a commercial for the New York Times today. just words printed on the screen, “he said. she said.” over and over, and then “she said. she said. she said.” filling the screen. then, bold words: “the truth has power. the truth will not be threatened. the truth has a voice…..” and then the advertiser’s logo.
i scoffed, how manipulative. a cheap appeal to pop feminism, a pseudo-rebellious statement about The Truth meant to prey on people’s outrage at the creeping totalitarianism of our government, wrapped up by implying that their newspaper has a monopoly on The Truth. but then i thought, how sad that it’s actually a very clever approach to take; people want to believe a powerful corporate voice has interest vested in The Truth. that they can be trusted to defend The Truth, when it’s really always a matter of their discretion what stories they decide to tell, and how.
advertising can really shine a light into not just the desires of a people, but their fears as well.