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selling you product…24/7/365

January 14, 2015

Best example of a “progressive” company selling you product in a commercial:

Brilliant, human, and subversive – all at the same time.


Best example of postmodern irony in a commercial:

Harper’s Magazine has an excellent editorial this month in which they look at the first Apple Computer commercial – which aired during the half-time show at the 1984 Superbowl (the most watched television show of the year.)

Have a look at it again – and think about what Apple was setting out to sell us – and then think about what we actually got, thirty years later…

I especially like the notion of using Orwell’s dystopian nightmare novel ‘1984’ to sell us the notion that a female Thor would free us from our enslavement to The Screen.

Freedom would slay enslavement.

Thirty years later and our Screen addiction has risen from 5 hours per day, on average, to 10 hours a day, on average. (I’m looking at one, right now! And so are you!)

Some freedom eh? Every electronic move we make in a day is monitored and that information shared through a network of advertising, media, and political exchange.

And we all know this. It’s not like its some kind of conspiracy. In an ‘information age”, information is gathered, and shared, by a variety of people and interests. For a wide variety of reasons. Both good and bad.

But all of this is just distracting chitter-chatter from the fundamental reality that Apple ultimately sold us…increased desire for product and increased desire for distraction…Apple has become one of the largest companies in the ADHD world because it gives us exactly what we want, and we are willing to pay for it.

I’ve worked with homeless youth for 25 years. And I know addictions. Tell me that what I just wrote doesn’t sound like a drug deal…


Good example (there are so many to choose from) of a 2014 commercial looking like its still 1954 while also looking like an ad for Ikea and the women who like to shop at Ikea:

And another one:


Best example of a 2014 commercial showing us the world that we wished we lived in – and that if we did, in fact, live in that kind of world – we wouldn’t need the life insurance they are trying to sell us…

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