7.16.2005

The So-Called "Power" Stripe

A brand of personal deodorizer has been released as-of-late which makes some peculiar claims in its televised endorsement. The makers of this product are attempting to whip up some ballyhoo regarding a much-touted "stripe" of power. The advertisements feature a ragtag group of nerds and misfits who defeat NFL superstars in the schoolyard game "Red Rover" apparently because of their analogical connexion with said "stripe" of "power."

Fair Readers!, I would like you to stop and consider what exactly is being advertised here. The viewer is meant to think that oh, look, this deodorizer is like a regular deodorizer, PLUS it contains a "stripe" of a more powerful deoderizing agent. I ask you this, what is this other substance and if it works, then why in god's name would they not simply be selling an entire bar of the superior substance? What sense could there be in drizzling a thin stripe of it over top of the regular, less-effective deodorizing substance?

While our troubles are great, in this instance, their source is very specific -- Marketers! Marketers have painted themselves into a corner over the years and now they are at their most dangerous and vicious. Watch as I make plain their devious terfuges and sub-terfuges.

Let us suppose that some sort of "pharmaceutical scientist" at the company in question has actually designed a substance that is more effective at deodorization. Imagine said company were to release this substance in the regular format and televise an advertisement which proclaimed, honestly and accurately that their product was "Now 50% More Effective."

What would happen? Absolutely Zilch! No one would care!

Years and years of mendacious boosterism have created an entire planet of jaded and untrusting consumers. Language itself has been reduced to a flaccid squishy pablum of meaninglessness! Language and its incident capacities (ie -- the ability to record, communicate and analyze) are what seperate men from beasts. Language is the great canvas of the human spirit, but it has been sullied, perhaps unredeemably so, by the hyperbole of marketers.

For too long we have allowed advertisers to play fast and loose with the truth.

I do not refer to simply to the outright lies that occassionally occur, or the misleading statistics or slogans, but to virtually all advertising. Indeed to endorse a product for money that one would not endorse for free is to prostitute language itself and to sell the very trust which is the foundation of human culture and society! To be an advertiser is to auction off one's position in public discourse to the highest bidder. To be an advertiser is to willingly severe one's beliefs from one's self-expression. To be an advertiser is to be opposed to human culture.

But perhaps you are already too jaded to care? Perhaps you are willing to accept the devaluation of language in exchange for the increased production of material goods? I have chosen to speak upon the "Power Stripe Deodorizer" not because of what we can learn about the history of marketing, but because it is an OMEN of what is to come.

The meaning of the "Power Stripe" is this; the Marketers did NOT simply repeat their hackneyed claims about 'clinically proven' increases in effectiveness! It is far worse than that! Instead, they co-opted the job of the product engineer, who would certainly have chosen to use only the more effective substance and they have redesigned the deodorizer to make it WORSE! Marketers will not rest simply because they have succeeded in making advertisements themselves useless and unintelligible. Instead, they seek to spread the boils and pustules of their ungodly plague into all other fields of human activity!!!

In the past people designed a functional and useful product and then attempted to promote its value and utility to the consumer. In this form, capitalism made some sense and served humanity. But now, in the 21st Century, we are designing products that SEEM good, but AREN'T. In the past, we made things for people to use and then tried to sell them. Now, we are making things to sell them, USE BE DAMNED! We are destroying our planet in order to make things that aren't helpful to anyone. This is why the "Power Stripe" is a sign of the apocalypse. I am well aware that this post is verbose and unruly but I am deeply disturbed by what I am seeing around me and I can no longer restrain my fabulous and breathtaking wrath!

And do not think the proliferation of marketing is limited to product design. Just think of the current trends towards guerilla advertising which are likewise driven by the supersaturation of the television medium with lies. There are countless companies who pay young, often attractive people to do things like surf the internet and lie in chat rooms about various products which they claim to enjoy, or stand around on crowded street corners and loudly discuss that fantastic film which they supposedly just saw. For marketers to overstep their bounds so egregiously is reprehensible and dangerous.

Conventional advertising has been ruined by marketers pissing in their pool until it is so polluted and vile that no one will step into it. Now they want to come and piss all over public space as well. We must not allow this to happen! I urge you not to accept jobs from these guerilla marketers, not to help manufacture products that are designed with only marketing in mind and to shun and revile any acquaintances involved in these inhuman activities!

In all honesty, I, Matteus Von Mustard would rather pluck out each and every one of my beautiful and well-manicured fingernails than debase myself and all of humanity by producing, selling or advertising a product which I knew to be worthless.

Now get the hell out of my website!

10 Comments:

Blogger deadpan said...

Your wrath is indeed both fabulous and breathtaking. Also entirely correct. I share your rage. Wanna start an ad-free commune? Maybe you can build a time machine, or make Rock Jesus build one for you.

8:20 p.m.  
Blogger justin said...

Yes, Mr. von Mustard. You have finally uncouvered our most devious scheme. But so what?! No-one listened to the logical positivists and no-one will listen to you, either! Language is a runnaway caboose travelling BACKWARDS down the track! And it does so because of OUR efforts! HAHAHAHA! Soon, you all talk pretty!

And BTW... taking shots at advertisers? Oh heavens! What's next? Perhaps you'll tell us LAWYERS are unscrupulous?

But, really, this debasement of language is not new to the world.If it's logic were so brittle as to be fractured by such parlor tricks as "50% more (...of what?)" or "virtually spotless (it still has spots...?)" we (the rest of us, that is), would have been reduced to pointing and grunting long ago. One might even argue that these mutations cause language to flourish and take on new and different associations. Plus, who can forget the joy and merriement given by such old saws as "plop, plop, fiz, fiz" or "meow, meow, meow, meow". Brilliant!

Once again, von Mustard, you miss the moon by gazing cross-eyed at the finger. The real culprits are not the pipers, but the rats!

2:18 a.m.  
Blogger justin said...

Dang! "it's" --> "its"

Maybe language IS dyeing after awl.

2:21 a.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

That was a shocking display of homynymitis Justin! I should have known one such as you, would be in the employ of advertisists!

Would you like to be my arch-nemesis? I have been in the market for an arch-nemesis ever since Ludwig the Black Prince of Bavaria, more recently the Black King, passed away from old age.

10:28 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question I have about advertising is at what point will the Law of Diminishing Returns kick in to make further advertisement pointless?

Think of it this way. Let's say you have a rock band. For fun, let's call your band Five Putrescent Mules. Now if there's a virgin telephone pole and you staple a flyer for your band on it, that's an effective advertisement, because there's only one thing to look at. But if you go to a pole that's already been hit by hundreds of other shitty bands and you know that minutes after you leave your flyer on the pole, hundreds more will come by and cover it up, then you have to wonder if you're simply wasting your time and resources in putting up a flyer.

Our society is a telephone pole covered in flyers. And yet, there seems to be no shortage of people who are eager to put new ones up on the pole. Presumably they do it because it is effective. There is a visible increase in the bottom line that is directly attributable to advertising. But at some point, we will inevitably cross that line where advertisement is no longer effective simply because of the sheer number of competing advertisements.

But where is that line? And how close to it are we?

-Mark Russell

12:37 p.m.  
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