Friday, January 25, 2013

Advertising - warning, possible triggering content and images.

Late night infomercials make humans look like the most incompetent species on the planet. After midnight, people can be seen poking eardrums out with Q-tips, scratching heads while wondering how toilet paper and blankets work, exposing boobs and stomachs that can't be contained by regular clothing and attempting to hide limp penises or butts that don't look like those found on models and strippers. Plagued with chronically dull knives, we search for the one kitchen gadget that will top all others. We long for fresher body odor and healthier cereal choices. Hair: We have too much it or not enough in the right places. We are incapable of training or dogs or simply don't have the energy to take them outside, so they must resort to peeing on fake grass indoors. It's all too much, and fuck it, who can crack an egg without spilling its contents all over the stove in a flood of runny albumen and cholesterol-filled yellow fat? The world is HARD!

There's something really weird about this commercial:

These kinds of odd commercials don't bother me as much as ones that attempt to blur the lines between what's ethical and what's not. With the FCC's deregulation of ownership rules relating to the media, standards in the community have changed. What was not acceptable in the past is suddenly wildly encouraged. Fast food advertisers and fashion designers are leading the race to the bottom of the integrity barrel, but we accept what is put in front of us as normal, even if it borders on pornography, degrades humans or isn't truthful. Being the celebrity-worshiping society that we are, if someone famous is featured in an ad, we embrace it even more.

Paris advertising something

Not sure who the marketing idiot was behind this one.

We don't usually expect companies of athletic wear to behave in unacceptable ways, but it happens. Recently, a gym in Germany affiliated with Reebok ran a "Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout" ad campaign. Fortunately, there was a universal facepalm and complaints that resulted in the company issuing an apology and pulling the ad. What's surprising is that anyone thought this was a good idea. Somebody had to think up the concept behind the campaign, and someone else had to approve it before more people ran the ad.

More and more, it seems businesses are skirting any social responsibility. Robert Vaux, professor and writer, states the following about social consciousness in advertising:

"Ethical advertising refrains from appealing to "base" human emotions such as fear, greed or lust, according to Carroll College. It remains positive and optimistic, and doesn't exploit stereotypes based around race, gender, religion or age. Unethical advertising, on the other hand, will prey upon the baser emotions of its target audience. For instance, it will raise fears for the audience's health if they don't purchase the product, or rely on sexually explicit images to generate interest rather than the virtues of the product itself. Unethical advertising will also make use of socially reprehensible imagery: depicting minorities as stupid or incompetent, for example, or women as dehumanized objects of sexual conquest."

Though I have posted some images before, the following are some of the more shocking ones that have been used in advertising and fashion. Sometimes a picture truly is worth more than what can be written or said.

Again, some of these might be triggering, but I put them out there to show how far companies and the fashion industry have strayed when it comes to ethics:

A 12-year-old model made to look much older

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