Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

We see it all the time; our heroes of various theatres of life using their heroic influence to sell us products. We see sports stars selling toothpaste and actors selling health insurance. Sometimes even rock stars that made their fame through a seemingly virulent hatred for the capitalist machinery can be seen selling Soda pop and time share packages.

If you’re honest with yourself (and even if you aren’t) the truth is, it’s inevitable. We shamefully drop our heads and let loose our volleyed arrows of protest, but secretly each arrow laced with an even more potent poison than moralistic judgment… secret jealousy. Admit it. We would all do the same. Sure we could say that perhaps we wouldn’t promote or endorse a certain brand or we’d prefer to endorse another, but when the sponsors come and drive a dump truck of money up to your driveway just for saying “I like to eat Coco pops” or “Make sure you have a Dental Care plan” it’s pretty hard to say “no thanks I’d rather not use my image to influence decision making”.

Now I’m not trying to get on my moral high horse. That horse got put down many years ago. What I’m trying to say is that if I’m ever given the chance to endorse or “sell out” I’m going fire sale on that opportunity. When most celebrities “sell out” you know there’s still a bit of stock in the back, it may be badly damaged or have a few cigarette burns in the sleeve, but there’s always a little left. Not with me. It will be a complete fire sale! EVERYTHING MUST GO! You want to see sell out? Hell I’ll even sell you things I don’t own.

I’ll get a tattoo of your corporation’s logo, I’ll even get the little copyright logo to go with it. Heck I’ll change my name if the shareholders think “Gareth Woods” doesn’t appeal to the products demographic.
I’ll put adverts in the middle of my blogs. During one of my stand up sets I’ll leave space for adverts. Why should stand up comedy be the only popular “art form” not permeated with unnecessary advertisements? Aren’t we good enough for your mindless/soulless commercials?

I’ll sell anything! Defective adults’ toys? Human hair? Organic tampons? I don’t care what you put my name on. Speaking of names, I’ll even sell the naming rights to my unborn children.

You can send me to all your stupid corporate events, gala evenings and Tupperware parties, I don’t care. I’ll even pretend to be your C.E.O. to sell cell phones (if only such a position existed). You can even put advertising on my tombstone (I’m thinking life insurance, but that might be too obvious, so may be for after dinner mints “Have the Afterlife without the after taste” or condoms “Another stiff one covered by Durex”)

So to any potential sponsors out there, get the best bits before they’re all gone because like I said earlier, when I sell out there won’t be anything left. Otherwise I could, of course, keep my dignity and self respect (I wonder how much I could get for those).

Damnit, I did it again! I promised myself I wouldn’t and yet for the umpteenth time here I am. I looked at my budget, I couldn’t afford to buy any new games and yet as the hype built around the “next best thing” I fell into the trap… again.

How many titles have I bought as a direct result of getting sucked into the hype machine? “Better graphics, unexpected story twists, new weapons, zombies with lasers, improved cover system, revolutionary new bla bla bla”, I fall for it every time.

OMG the new COD BlackCraft 2: God of Gears is coming out in 219 days! Pre-Order NOW… and I get a free key ring! Whoot! What? And an oversized T-shirt? WIN!

At this stage, if I don’t immediately pre-order the game due to a rare moment of lucidity, I will sit and ferment in my ever-maddening brew of insanity. Every forum will be abuzz with “strategically” leaked details about new features, speculation as to how the story will end; and purposefully vague press releases about how this game will “revolutionise” the way we see gaming.

And if I manage to get through this stage, as we get closer and closer to the launch or “what will surely be the greatest day of mankind”, the previews and hands-on demos will appear. Magazines and gaming websites will be filled with reviews about how this game “has everything”. “It will change your life, make you happy and even do your taxes”. At this point I am either rocking myself to sleep as consolation for the fact that I haven’t bought the “biggest thing in gaming since electricity”, or I have removed myself from all media that may inadvertently remind me that my life is going to remain a soulless void, unless I have this game.

Release day… today! And guess what?

Damnit, I did it again! I promised myself I wouldn’t and for the umpteenth time here I am again. Don’t get me wrong – when I first held the game in my hands I felt an immeasurable “oneness” with the Universe. For in that moment…there was nothing but pure bliss. I tore off the plastic covering and, shaking with anticipation, inserted the game ever so cautiously into my console.

After the mind blowing opening sequence of pre-rendered awesomnicity concluded, I was left with a weird sense of “that looked awesome” and yet “that made no sense”. It is at this point that a familiar little voice piped up from deep within me – the voice of bitter disappointment.

The game is buggy; the story is contrived; the game is essentially more of the same only rushed and is over far too soon, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth and emptiness in my soul and wallet that lingers long after it should.

The hype machine takes another casualty.

I go back to the forums to see if my feelings are shared and lo and behold, the former followers are all up in arms about how “fail” this game is. At least they would be if it weren’t for the fact that details about “WarCreed 7: Uncharted Warfare” are out and if I pre-order now I get a pencil sharpener!

And so the machine grinds on…

In the past if a brand had a spokesperson, all that spokesperson would have to do is stand in front of a camera and say “Hi I’m David Beckham and I think Adidas make the best shoes” while a dump truck full of money backed down his driveway. Life was simple, you as the consumer knew that if you wanted to be as “cool” as Becks all you had to do was wear Adidas… done. Check that one off the bucket list.

Then it became that it was only a certain type of product that was endorsed because regular Adidas is for wannabe’s and if you really wannabe like David you had to have the new Super Omni-core-max XP75’s (product may not actually exist outside of my dreams), which were no different from the regular range except for his signature, different colour laces, oh and about 300 bucks.

Now advertisements will show him going for a swim on the beach; then partying with his mates (other celebrities and lingerie models) then all of a sudden the Adidas logo will appear with no mention of the guy’s name or anything to do with what made him famous or why you should by Adidas. I’m left thinking does Adidas sponsor beach swimming? Or Lingerie parties?

It’s getting so bad that half the time I don’t even know what is going on in the ad till the brand logo appears at the end. There will be scenes of fire ravaging a small village; then terrible images of war; these are then interrupted by a few fleeting seconds of a young couple embracing; then a short clip of a massive dance party; then some home footage of young children playing in the garden; tanks; wildlife; storms; ballet; a frog leaping; an ice cream; a bomb falls from a plane….MASSIVE EXPLOSION! 

The screen goes black and the product logo appears…

“Tampax”

Corporations have started sponsoring sports teams to the point that it doesn’t even matter where they’re from. Remember the Northern Transvaal Blue Bulls? Well they’re now the Vodacom Blue Bulls, yet they play against the Vodacom Cheetahs and formerly the Vodacom Stormers (who are now the DHL Stormers). I worry that one day sponsorship is going to get to the stage where corporations actually NAME players…

 “Vodacom Brian Habana passes to Klippies and Cola Danie Rousouw who passes to Maybeline Bismarck Du Plessis (maybe he’s born with it maybe it’s Maybeline)…who gets put into touch. And now the line out brought to you by Tippex.

Will it get to the stage that regular people could sell their names or rent out their names as ad space? Could you offer up your children’s names as permanent ad space? Like at their christening?  

“Name this child…” “Pepsi presents Sally Smith”

 As well as several other hilarious possibilities that I will have to leave to another blog since my “one page limit rule” is severely under threat (and yes I know I could change font size, but that would be cheating). So it is at this point I would like to offer this blog up for any sponsors that may be interested as well as to thank my parents for not giving me a middle name, which makes it a lot more convenient to sell the space…