"It" Is Everywhere


As I ride the bus, it’s there. As I use the washroom, it’s there. As I drive along the highway, it’s there. As I study at the library, it’s there. As I walk the streets, it’s there. As I study the map at the trailhead, it’s there. As I listen to music, it’s there. As I surf the web, it’s there.
What is “it”? It is advertising. Advertising is everywhere. I can’t get away from it. It clutters our public spaces, interrupts our music and delays our films.
Movies have traditionally had a huge advertising budget. Whether it is an intriguing trailer, an eye-catching poster or a celebrity interview, the film industry has had to get creative to make each movie stand out. Advertising doesn’t stop after the film is released. There’s a lot of revenue to be had from movie-themed products. Even toy giant Hasbro, the creators of games such as Risk and Life, are in on the fun with toys for Frozen, the Avengers and High School musical. It’s only fitting that the little girl who watches Frozen may want a doll to play with.
Until now, it has always just been children’s toys that were movie-themed. As I walked through a mall though, surrounded by ads, one poster surprised me. It was a promotion for movie-themed jewelry. Yes, for $975 you can buy a blue topaz pendant, themed after the newly released Aladdin. How have we gone from selling movie-themed toys to selling movie-themed jewelry for hundreds of dollars? These aren’t $15 action figures to play with, they are several hundred-dollar investments. Was the movie that instrumental in someone’s relationship that they might want to memorialize it forever? Don’t people want their own unique jewelry? The specific campaign may have surprised me, but seeing ads everywhere doesn’t surprise me.
In Brazil seeing an ad might be a surprise though. São Paulo passed a law against billboards and outdoor advertising in 2007. Google it; the before and after pictures are outstanding. All billboards and outdoor advertising were removed. The city looks so much cleaner and simpler. There is no sensory overload. There’s space to breathe.
I’m not a marketing expert. I don’t know how much of global advertising is spent on the film industry. And I’m not sure how successful the campaign to sell Disney themed jewelry was. But I’m smart enough to know that if companies are advertising it, people are buying it. Advertisers aren’t stupid; they do research to know what people will buy. When I see ads for expensive movie-themed items, it makes me wonder what products sell and what our nation values.

Comments

  1. I've actually thought about this before, and it seems like I was thinking about it just recently! Funny timing.
    I wonder how the average American life would change if ads online and outdoor were outlawed...It seems like we would have more space to breath, more money (since we wouldn't spend so much), and more energy.
    Thanks for writing!

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    Replies
    1. It is interesting to think about isn't it. I think you're right, less adds would be helpful in many ways. I wonder if we could be more productive with less distractions also. Even public washrooms have ads in the stalls, sports have ads on the field, it's crazy how many ads there are everywhere.

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