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by Rebecca A. Watson on September 16, 2008

in advertising, needs, product placement

Last week I sent a message to my friend on Facebook telling him how I really didn’t like the desert because the only experience I had with it was neon lights and soul-sucking gambling. Since then many of the advertisements on my page have had something to do with gambling addiction hotlines.

Last night I was told by a friend that Bert’s Bees products are actually owned by Clorox. We then discussed how sooner or later the air we breath in Steven’s Square (or Phillips or LynLake) will be brought to us by some corporate sponsor — most likely Best Buy or 3M.

This morning I read that the new Twins stadium will be called Target Field. (For now I will just ignore the fact that it was mostly funded with public money. That’s for another rant.)

You know how people freak out about our children being desensitized to violence at a young age? What about them being desensitized to advertising? I know some people that don’t even notice that Volkswagen paid for product placement in the Bourne movies, and the company had corresponding car commercials!

Being a journalism major gives me a small window into the psychology of advertising and it frightens me that some people don’t notice the barrage of commercials, billboards, and mind-reading advertising.

(Side note: If you read The DaVinci Code — one of the most popular books in the past years– did you notice the product placement in it? IN A BOOK???? Ack!)

I have challenged myself to rethink the attitude I have about wants and needs. I think this is one of the only ways to battle the steep mind control we are up against.

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