Liv Tyler for The Face UK, February 1996
If there is an advertisement for something, the message here is actually counter intuitive. It does not mean you need it, it in fact means you DON’T need it. We don’t need to be TOLD about the things we need, billions of years of evolution have developed incredible systems to make sure we know what we need, food, water, sleep, etc. When ads come on in between your shows, think of them as a nice reminder, a list of a bunch of things that no one needs. If anyone needed them, they wouldn’t have to be advertized.
I honestly think advertizing should be illegal, or at least heavily controlled. There are no integrity or honesty control measures, there is no consideration for the ideologies our children take to heart, before they are able to see the motivation behind the reality they are being sold. Sure, some children become self aware later on, and they reflect on some of these things, but some do not. Some of these aspects, these lies we are fed are indoctrinated and remain unreflected, and they infect us for generations, we build our culture around them, layer upon layer until we cannot even SEE the lie at the bottom of it all if we looked.
Let me briefly paint you a picture of what would happen to the world if advertising were illegal. Products that were genuinely good, useful, well made, reliable, these would still spread through the world, though it would be much much harder to have a monopoly on them. No one would buy coke made in a factory made cities away, people might buy coke from a local producer, but unless the actual value of the product spread throughout the world by word of mouth, on its genuine merits, it would remain a local phenomena. People all over the world would be able to make their own beverages, and sell them, based on their own recipe, and people would buy them not because of a brand name, but because they heard they were good. THAT is how things should spread.
Imagine you never bought a product because of its brand name, instead you bought that product because you heard from someone it was good. Imagine the brand name itself was just a way to find the product, not a symbol of patriotism or family or indulgence or luxury, or some other concept that it has hijacked to make people feel a certain way about it.
Without advertizing, local economy would explode, massive corporations would falter, and be forced to actually consider their products, to instill something authentic in them. Advertizing, which actually benefits no one, and improves nothing, it is just money spent in order to get more money. It is wasted, it is cycled around, it is how the rich invest in themselves in order to become richer. It isn’t used to make a product better, it is just used to convince us a product is better. If advertizing were illegal, all that money could go into the product itself, to convince people by their own free will and experience to tell people about it, to try and share something good they experienced.
This is just the beginning. After a while, the gap between the rich and poor would narrow, because no one would be able to channel all the money for a certain good into a few pockets. The size of a company no longer matters, it becomes about the product itself. This promotes useful competition, that promotes ingenuity and creativity, not gimmicks and rebranding. Corporations can no longer ignore issues like global warming, because they won’t be able to advertize their way around it, frame their products in a better light, by putting a few shots of green grass before proceeding to push the tar sands down our throats.
I think reconsidering the effects of advertising is perhaps the most important things we can do right now, to increase our freedom, to increase the fairness of our world, to promote the right kinds of growth, integrity, truth. I think capitalism, minus advertizing, might actually be a serious improvement. Success should be that of a product, not of an advertising campaign.
Anyhow, rant over.
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