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BRANDED

By October 21, 2008One Comment

I hate being advertised too, lumped into a demographic and assumed to be a certain type of individual, who will want to dress a certain way and drink a certain beer while driving a certain car. From a recent experience at the Gateway shopping mall (and more disturbingly a urinal in the gent’s bathroom) I have come to conclusion that advertising has officially gone too far.

Last Friday evening I made the dreadful mistake of braving Gateway (The theatre of shopping) to attend a movie at Cinema Noveau. One of the joys of Noveau is, of course, not having to endure the half- hour bombardment of trailers and adverts used to indoctrinate teeny boppers in the more mainstream movie houses. You know the drill””roller skating meerkats and offensive Kentucky fried stereotypes served up by the greasy bucket load. Teenagers at this mall thankfully avoid cinema Noveau like a plague of impending acne. This, you see, is the designated arena of the ‘arty fartsy’ types. Movies that are just like sooooo annoying cause you have to like read the film half the time.
Still advertising, which ever cinema you happen to frequent, seems to be same wolf dressed as a different lamb. Alas, at Noveau we get half an hour of aspirational bank and booze advertisements -all sepia washes and slow- mo. They all, rather optimistically, assume ‘us’ (their captive audience) to be the cultured high earner sort. ‘Cultural’ and ‘high earner’ in my mind not being two particularly compatible terms when ‘starving artist’ might provide a more accurate substitute for the latter.
But on my way to toilet, I’m accosted by a troupe of promo bimbos who take it upon themselves to introduce me to the ‘just launched’ joys of alcoholic spring water.
” Excuse me?”
“It’s like spring water that’s like alcoholic” they repeat in unison.
In the bathroom I find brief respite at the urinal, that’s of course before a recorded- voice kicks in, booming back at me from the porcelain potty (actually a minute speaker lodged in the wall) as if it were the burning bush speaking unto Moses.
” Unleash the beast” It commands, before adding, ‘” by drinking YeagerMeister“.
There is, I’m reminded, nothing these tenacious folks won’t try to sell you, no place too obscure or inappropriate to bombard one in. The public bog, being the captive cubicle it is (like the cinema) must now play its part in selling us things we don’t really need.Which is why I’m now considering there might just be a market out there for homeopathic crack, worth exploring. Who knows ,with the help of some ingenious ad execs, I might just be able to strike it rich and finally fulfil my life-long dream of looking like Ryk Neethling while seeking advice on how to blow my millions on cars and premium beer with those pervy old men at Allan Gray.

One Comment

  • langa says:

    I am an absolute fan of your writing – I read an edited version of the above in the Sunday times this weekend – I guess you can say… I am in awe :). Is there a way for fans to subscribe?
    Keep it up!

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