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How Advertising is Robbing Your Soul
When Things Trump People
When one begins giving more importance to things than to people, the person is in a dangerous state-of-mind. One in which dehumanization and the loss of self-identity is imminent.
I am a copywriter in a fairly well known ad agency. You can be sure that as a result of my designation and the organization I work for, I know quite well what I'm discussing here.
As a copywriter, my job every day is to write lines for my agency's clients. I write lines for all sorts of things. I write copy for ads that appear in newspapers and magazines, and for bulk e-mail, and for brochures and websites, and for product boxes. I write lines for a tech startup, and for a struggling underwear brand. I write the copy that appears on sweet boxes, and the copy that appears on event invitations.
I listen to briefs and work on them. Often, the brief itself evolves as the ad campaign takes a definite shape.
I proofread my and other people's lines, and ensure that no errors are present.
I work with a bunch of fairly talented designers who are capable of making abstract concepts appear really alluring and attractive in concrete reality.
I am well-placed to observe the impact of advertising on people, because that knowledge is critical to my success at my job
The Impact of Advertising
Advertising is making people more dissatisfied and unhappy with their lives. The father of modern advertising, David Ogilvy once famously wrote, "Our job is to make women unhappy with what they have".
As a copywriter, it is my job to come up with lines that will make people want to buy my client's product, even if they have no use for it, and even if it is, in reality, an absolute waste of time. Its called 'increasing sales'.
Slavery in the Advertising Industry
I don't know if you are aware, but it is a pretty well-known fact that an advertising job entails being on your toes pretty much every day of the week, and at all times. The client is king.
Many of the public holidays that most people take for granted are an extreme rarity to ad professionals. Without a doubt, personal life takes a big hit when one is in advertising. Forget ever being able to find the time to go on a date, or even visit the doctor for a checkup for that matter.
The Devil's Workers
I feel as though I am contributing to the general degradation on the world. I am writing copy for clients who grow as you shrink, becoming richer as they pry every penny that you struggle to hold on to in an inflationary world.
I write copy for multinationals who grab land from poor farmers and who destroy thousands of square kilometres of forest land each year. I write copy for their corporate social responsibility initiatives that are a mere eyewash. I am supposed to elevate these corrupt companies in your eyes when I'd rather they were forced to shut shop so that humanity would be able to live in peace.
Promoting False Values
Advertising, by virtue of its ability to reach a large segment of society, changes perceptions. Sadly, in the present day, all it is doing is promoting a meaningless consumerism. It pushes the message that one must fit into a certain mould in order to be a person of substance. It gives the message that you are not good or valuable as you are.
A Whole Lot of Noise
In the present day, pretty much every single person in a city or big town is being assailed with an advertising message every few seconds. Wherever you turn, whether you realize it or not, there is an ad looking back at you.
We are becoming immune to ads. This is our body's attempt at trying to establish some sense of peace and equanimity in our lives.
What do you think of advertising?
Use the comments section to let me know, as clearly as possible,what your thoughts on advertising are, and if you think if it deserves any thought at all.