Streamlining Part 2 - Advertising
So after last week's brief Bill 6 discussion, I'd like to return to our previous topic which was streamlining. This week, I'd like to dig into advertisement as it relates to lifestyle simplification and to focus on it's intention and volume in society today.
Selling a Lifestyle
David Ogilvy was a famous businessman in the 60's who Time magazine once called “the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry” and is more or less the father of modern advertisement. He was once quoted as saying “A good advertisement is one that sells the product without drawing attention to itself.”, meaning that a good ad is one that sells the idea of a lifestyle. Any rational person knows that the acquisition of a cologne or a watch won't drastically improve his or her life, but unless you take a second to actively and intentionally appreciate that that's the con, it becomes very easy to be drawn in by the camerawork, the mood of the music, and the beautiful people in these ads. Therefore, when considering a new purchase, especially a major one, it's important to picture your life – your REAL life – with the addition of that purchase and decide if it will improve to a degree consistent with the price.
And y'know what? Just because I'm digging this site I pulled the Oglivy quote from, HG Wells once said “Advertising is legalized lying”. So there's that.
Take some time today to appreciate the volume of advertising you are subjected to in a day. If you want to get an exact number, bring a scrap of paper with you and make a little mark every time you notice one. You will be amazed! I was. This includes radio ads, spots that come on before YouTube videos, banner ads, billboards, even the little signs on the handle at the gas pump that tells you what snacks they have on special. It's easy not to notice, but we are literally flooded with images of what we should spend our money on and how it will make our day a little better. I'm not saying I don't grab a Monster and some jerky every now and then, but the volume of advertising the average person encounters every day is something we should all be conscious of.
Last thing I want to talk about today is our parents' and grandparents' generations. Obviously these generations (especially the ones that lived through the war) were not a throw-away culture, but this isn't a lecture and I don't believe they lived that way because they were better people. They literally didn't have the OPTION to chuck something if it broke and get a new one from Wal-Mart. The point is though that they were still basically the same people that we are. Same needs, same drive to provide for the people they love, but they were able to do it with less. Less money, less toys, less square footage, less distraction. That's not to say everyone did it perfectly, but there is something to be said for the fact that when we moved out to a 476 square foot house many of our friends were supportive and interested but didn't think they could live in a space that small. My granddad just told us, “Yeah. That's about the size of the place we brought up your dad and your aunt.”
So that's all for now. We'll be back again Monday with some fun motivational bits and pieces (I missed this Monday because we had a Christmas party at the farm Saturday and I am very easily led astray).
Thanks again for visiting!