Advertising as a New Form of Entertainment

It’s honestly fascinating to think about what advertising has become in today’s day and age. In the beginning of television, advertisements were mostly testimony and hard selling. However, as the need to compete for attention grows higher, advertisers have been forced to create pieces that not only sell the product, but make the viewer want to watch the entire spot. Think about this for a second. A thirty second national spot has the tendency to take up to a week of actual production, not to mention the amount of pre and post-production work involved in its creation. The amount of personnel involved in these productions, matched with equipment costs, can easily send the budget into the multi-million dollar level. How crazy is that?

Well, it seems crazy when you first think about it. Be that as it may, if you really consider the possible revenue attached to a commercial makes complete sense. One that really entertains the audience while making them want to buy the product or service, creates a winning combination. If I see a comical, well-shot or otherwise A+ commercial, I remember it. In remembering it, I have the product subliminally attached in my memory. So when it comes time for me to buy a car, I’m more likely to choose the one that I remember the most. One with advertising that sold me an idea. An idea of what that product means apart from its physical properties. In a country where identity is heavily based on what you have and what that means to society, a good commercial sells the notion of being a part of something that is more important than the product itself.

However unethical the idea of mental manipulation may be, it happens all day, everyday and it works. It drives people in our consumeristic society to think about their lives based on what they own. I personally hate the idea of identity based on possessions but it’s what we have become. Nonetheless, I can honestly say, I can appreciate a good production no matter its form and to me, it creates a paradox that I don’t know I’ll ever fully understand.

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