Noam Chomsky, famous MIT professor, claimed during a speech in Santa Fe, New Mexico back in January 2005 that
“the main purpose of advertising is to undermine markets. If you go to graduate school and you take a course in economics, you learn that markets are systems in which informed consumers make rational choices. That’s what’s so wonderful about it.”
In a perfect world, advertising would be utilized by consumers to make intelligent, rational choices about which products to by or services to use. But in an effort to stand out from the competition, many advertisers are now turning to so-called “shockvertising” and it online companion, the “viral” video. Characterized by surreal fantasy, these ads can encompass anything from a man in a chicken suit dancing around his living room (aka Burger King’s Subservient Chicken) to the “No Stank You” public services ads warning kids about the dangers of smoking by showing them dancing on giant, smoke-stained, rotten teeth that are floating in space.
Huh? Are consumers so impressionable that they can be influenced to by a burger based on a man in a chicken suit rather than a picture of the actual burger they intend to purchase?
Whatever happened to talking about the product you are selling? When did advertisers stop trying to appeal to us on an intelligent level?
This post appeared as the last in a series. Check out the other posts in the blogathon here.