We live in Huxley’s New world. But instead of Soma we have media.
The never ceasing assault of messages that feed to us in every place, every device and every moment imaginable. A constant barrage of knowledge, thoughts, ideas and demands.
Sometimes they are resonant stories that pander to our emotional desires, pleading with us to feel as the author feels and then selling us the consumptive relief to our most base human concerns.
Sometimes they are abusive calls to action, dictatorial invocations that thoughtlessly blurt corporate commandments to buy or invest, download, upload, call now. Whatever it is, it’s varying demands are all connected by their desire for immediacy.
All of this noise becomes an opioid. A comforting drone frequency that rocks our minds to sleep, letting us construct a vision of our world defined by the products we have to purchase, the feelings we are supposed to have or the melodrama we need to keep the whole cycle interesting.
Occasionally, something stands apart from that. The mental version of a bird chirping above traffic, the melody of a familiar song heard distantly in a car park. This is all that advertising can ever aspire to. To raise itself from the daily milieu and speak to a person in a way that is both empathetic and self-aware.
These are the kind of thoughts I want to speak on here. How doing good and effective work in advertising is actually the most ethical and humane way to approach it. And of course the inverse.
Excuse me for provocation.