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"Livin' out some ad man's dream in Idiot Joy Show Land"
August 4, 2007 2:22 PM   Subscribe


 
"If anyone here is in marketing or advertising... kill yourself. There's no joke, no punchline. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself. You are Satan's little helpers. I don't care how, hang yourself, borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, suck a tailpipe, there is nothing good about what you do. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself. Just planting seeds.

The sad part is, the marketing guys are sitting back there going, "Oh, that's very clever. Going for the anti-marketing dollar. Very big market these days, very nice."

[whining voice] Quit it! Quit it! Do you have to make everything into a fucking dollar sign?

"Oh, the plea for sanity market! Huge numbers! Look at our research!"

*pantomimes shooting himself in the head*
-Bill Hicks
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:38 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Frontline's "The Merchants of Cool" makes a nice companion piece.
posted by googly at 2:38 PM on August 4, 2007


Oops, meant to toss in the Wikipedia link in there, but you all knew where that site was anyways.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:41 PM on August 4, 2007


And then there's BzzAgent and other "lower-than-low" "viral marketers!"

The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders. Previously - 1, 2.
posted by ericb at 3:27 PM on August 4, 2007


Because the delivery is so very good, here is Pope Guilty comment in YouTube form.
posted by quin at 3:48 PM on August 4, 2007


The more I understand about such things, the more I think that come the Revolution long lists of people must be lined up and shot.
posted by davy at 4:03 PM on August 4, 2007




Yeah. Funny thing. Bill Hicks had an agent (marketing) and used advertising.
posted by tkchrist at 4:39 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


A three year old post with cortexdeleteomol!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:41 PM on August 4, 2007


What is that first track after the frontline theme?
posted by phrontist at 4:45 PM on August 4, 2007


I didn't need a marketing team to tell me whether or not I liked Bill Hicks. ..or Frontline, for that matter.

""This is really just the first step," says Meaux, who points out that no one has discovered a "buy button" in the brain. But with more and more companies peering into the minds of their consumers, could that be far off?"

About a hundred years ago, marketing expletives began experimenting with subliminal advertising. Fifty years ago, reports of subliminal messages in movie theaters led to increased concession stand sales during films. This caused special interest groups and governments to panic. Subliminal advertising is reportedly banned in some parts of the civilized world, although the alleged instigator of the original movie theater subliminal ads, James Vicary, later admitted it too was a marketing ploy and a scam.

People have explored areas of hypnosis and meditation. Past life regression. Creative Visualization. Most recently in the past ten to fifteen years, great strides have been made in the areas of neuro-surgery and a deeper understanding of how the body's nervous system works. The brain is being charted to determine what happens where, and the entire genome has been mapped so that someday we'll know which genetic code does what to the entire body.

We haven't found a buy button. There isn't going to be a buy button. There's nothing that takes away one's free will. Buyer Beware. If you don't want advertising to affect you, stop looking at it.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:46 PM on August 4, 2007


We don't really have free will ZachsMind, circumstances merely create the illusion of one. From our perspective we can't tell what's really driving us.
posted by chlorus at 4:52 PM on August 4, 2007


Also see Weapons of Mass Deception on the uses of propaganda.
We get sold a lot more than cars & toothpaste.
posted by maryh at 4:59 PM on August 4, 2007


I didn't need a marketing team to tell me whether or not I liked Bill Hicks. ..or Frontline, for that matter.

I know. But would you know either even existed if both did not have media representation promoting and marketing them? Bill hicks had his gigs advertised on local radio. Hicks did promotional spots on radio shows. So his little bit expressing his acrimony for the business should be taken for what it is.... a bit.

I worked in Advertising for years. It is a terrible business on many levels. That is why I left it. But, like lawyers, advertisers are easy to hate... until you need one. And in the modern saturated media market if you want people to know about you need marketing. On one level or another.
posted by tkchrist at 5:10 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't know about a 'buy button', but I would actually welcome some of the new advertising techniques that are coming out if I could do it conditionally;

I don't mind advertising, as I understand that in some cases (like the web) it is a primary form of finance and many sites that I enjoy wouldn't exist without it.

With that in mind, I don't mind targeted ads. Ones that are unobtrusive and relate to what I'm looking for, and I would happily accept them if, and this is key, it wasn't on top of all the other advertisements that I have to deal with day to day.

I was driving home from work a couple of days ago, and I realized how much of the sides of the roads were taken by billboards. When I got home my mailbox was overflowing with junk, when I turned on the TV, not only were there commercials, but now the shows themselves are going back to that old standby, in-show product placement.

It's amazing to me how much of everything around me is designed to try to sell me something.

I'm not anti-advertising. But my god, can I get a volume knob here? I mean maybe I really don't understand marketing, but isn't scarcity a way of making something valuable? Show fewer, better ads, and I'll pay a lot more attention.

So yeah, develop your neuromarketing techniques, refine them to the point where we can pull down the billboards and get rid of the commercials on TV. If you can do that, I will definitely buy your product.
posted by quin at 5:22 PM on August 4, 2007


Advertising used to be fun.
It when it became Marketing that it all turned to shit.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:23 PM on August 4, 2007


I haven't seen any of this, but I've always found it very, very clever how the "ad wizards" have co-opted the criminal thug culture and spun it into its own lucrative market.
posted by hodyoaten at 5:53 PM on August 4, 2007


Chlorus: "We don't really have free will ZachsMind, circumstances merely create the illusion of one. From our perspective we can't tell what's really driving us."

That is more small man within the small man thinking which is just overthinking. We choose to live in society because it suits us. The alternative is to go become Grizzly Adams somewhere. You always have that choice. You don't take it. Why? It's less convenient. That's your choice. There's your free will.

If you choose to be manipulated by your environment, that's your choice. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. Sometimes I like being manipulated by my environment. I choose to stop at red lights and go at green, because the alternative doesn't suit me. I don't like car crashes. I don't like sirens and flashing lights.

You either pull your own strings or you choose to let them be pulled. Anything more is overthinking, which as cute as Sara is, sometimes overthinking ticks me off.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:04 PM on August 4, 2007


There's nothing that takes away one's free will.

Wow, what a loaded statement that is.
posted by j-urb at 6:14 PM on August 4, 2007


"what a loaded statement."

Go back in time and tell Thomas Jefferson his free will was taken from him. He'll laugh in your face.

We choose to let it be taken from us today. Personally, overthrowing the current government sounds too much like work. I opt to be manipulated because it suits me. So do you.

Don't like it? Choose to do something about it. Nothing TAKES your free will from you. You let them have it.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:18 PM on August 4, 2007


You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path thats clear
I will choose free will
posted by Eekacat at 6:36 PM on August 4, 2007


I just watched the documentary. Thank you, it was enlightening. The final sections (5 and 6) was particularly interesting. Advertising is all about the consumer. Tailoring an ad so that the message so that the consumer feels more appreciated, and thinking for them-self. And then see it taken to the political end. Delivering different messages to different individuals to persuade them each to vote for Candidate X based on whatever demographic group they come into. Encouraging them to think about themselves just as advertisers want and thereby being deliberately decisive at a time when people should be thinking about what they have in common, and what they want, as a nation, for their future.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:51 PM on August 4, 2007


If you don't want advertising to affect you, stop looking at it.

To stop those monsters 1-2-3
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble free
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee*...

*Guarantee void in Tennessee!

Just don't look!
Just don't look!
Just don't look!
Just don't look!
posted by Bort at 7:20 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes Bill Hicks had marketing people himself, and he may have been the first to admit he was a hypocrite and may even have had a witty comeback regarding that.

It's one thing to have your marketing people do their job and, say, go to Oklahoma a few weeks before Hicks has a gig there and boost him up a little bit, let the locals know he's coming, get him on a couple radio shows, maybe put in a local ad. No shame in that. I don't think he's talking about the people who actually get stuff done.

He's talking about the marketing people who come up with inane radio spots that make you wanna run your car off a bridge before you can change the station. He's talking about people who make actors say dialogue like, "do you have irregularity?" or "sometimes I don't feel 'fresh'." He's talking about people who think up things like The Home Shopping Network, or produce hour long infomercials. People who insist on ad spots repeating the phone number twenty times in thirty seconds, because they know we don't have a pen in the car - so they're trying to force us to memorize it via repetition.

I was gonna type here an example I actually have committed to memory, but whaddaya know? I forgot it. =) He is talking about advertising people that not only commit to ideas that looked bad on paper and definitely don't work in practice, but that annoy everyone in the process of failing miserably.

Those are the people he thinks deserve to die. Of course, he beat them all to it, didn't he? Did his marketing work on me? I dunno. I don't recall knowing he was alive until after he was dead, so I think the answer is a no.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:00 PM on August 4, 2007


Yeah, the problem with advertisers and marketers isn't the ones who alert one to the existence of things for sale. The problem is the mass of them who are in the business of creating desire and getting us to buy shit that we wouldn't want otherwise.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:23 PM on August 4, 2007


I actually don't mind product advertising or marketing, personally. For an intellectual standpoint, it is interesting to see how much they reveal about human psychology.

What I abhor is spin. Spin is marketing that's placed in precisely those places that we refer to for truth or objectivity. The BMW ad in the corner is inconsequential, the problem is the hidden marketing in the front page article on corn subsidies, or politics, or whatever.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:25 PM on August 4, 2007


So you mean Darren DID let Sam help him with his job?
posted by davy at 10:08 PM on August 4, 2007


Hey cortex, this post's better than the old one, please delete that instead.
posted by davy at 10:20 PM on August 4, 2007


This post reminds me (a lot) of the George Saunders story "Jon."
posted by bijou at 11:30 PM on August 4, 2007


Bijou, thanks so much for posting that! I thought of George Saunders too, but the story I had in mind was My Flambouyant Grandson. His take on targeted ads cracks me up and gives me chills all at once.
posted by maryh at 11:40 PM on August 4, 2007


If you want to learn about the history of psychological marketing I highly recommend The Century of the Self
posted by any major dude at 12:20 AM on August 5, 2007


What I really learned from this show was that marketers long ago gave up using logic and utility to sell products. Like one of the show's interviews said, everything works nowadays. All laundry soaps do the exact same job exactly the same -- they get the clothes clean. Telling us to buy one over the other is pointless if the argument is done based on the product's quality. Instead, the trick is to manipulate us into associating completely arbitrary and absurd positive feelings with the laundry soap. If a commercial can dupe me (via music and acting and clever camera and editing) into unconsciously associating feelings of togetherness and family and love with Tide, then I will choose Tide. In other words, advertising is now literally about hypnosis.

Soon we will be a pigs, in a cage, on antibiotics.
posted by JPowers at 3:09 AM on August 5, 2007


BTW, thanks for the post. I really enjoyed this.
posted by JPowers at 11:50 AM on August 5, 2007


Zachsmind, we have as much free will as a mouse has over whether to choose electro shock or some nice water with sucrose in it. Your example of running a light proves my point, the fact that you didn't run your car through the red light proves my point. Yes you can think about it, but that makes no difference because either way you're not going to do it, because we have physical bodies, and we don't live in our minds. Pleasure and pain shape us. I've always thought Behaviorists were right on the money.
posted by vodkadin at 2:55 PM on August 5, 2007


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