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Oh! And some shrill, clutched-pearl remarks about advertising.

I’m gonna ignore the low-hanging fruit that using a civil rights leader’s image to sell something is shamelessly shameless.  But the implication that Dr. King did what he did for the same kind of narcissistic glory lust that sells smartphones — rather than out of a sense of duty to and love for his people and his God — is just straight-up immoral.  And this is coming from a person who occasionally lies just for lying’s sake.

I know complaining about advertising is kinda played out at this point, and usually that stuff doesn’t really bother me, but something about the marketing of smartphones just squicks me out.  There’s this constant motif of extreme importance in all of the ads.  This phone isn’t just useful; it isn’t just cool; it’s significant.  It’s a game changer.  And so are you, by extension!  Cause it takes a very important and dynamic person to buy a very important and dynamic phone.

And I know that these things have played an important role in the Arab Spring, but I mean, guns played a pretty crucial role, too.  And yet you don’t see Smith & Wesson running ads about how you need to buy a gun for protection because the loss of such an important, dynamic human being would be too great for society to bear.

And it’s not like this tactic’s not used all of the time in advertising, but with smartphones you get the sense that people are actually buying into it.  I’ve talked to more than a handful of people at parties and such who actually say shit like, “The xx phone is such a great tool for all of my professional endeavors.  It really helps me manage everything.”  What are you: a senator?  Because I’m pretty sure you’re an unemployed 30-year-old “consultant” who’s talking about his fucking cellular telephone.  If you like it, just say it’s fast and easier to check email  and football scores or whatever.  Jesus, when did we all get so pompous?

And then there’s the way that smartphone companies somehow manage to market smartphones by getting people to talk about their marketing strategy.  I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve ended up being party to that were centered on Apple’s prospects vs HTC’s.  People actually get all excited about this shit.  It’s like what happened in politics 15 years ago.  Everybody’s decided they want to be a savvy insider (again with the self-importance), so the actual insiders pursue everybody with these weird meta marketing campaigns that involve making decisions so people can evaluate those decisions and base their purchase (or vote) on how savvy they think the decision was.

OK, I just proofread this thing, and I’m rapidly descending into belligerent-Grandpa territory, so I’m gonna call it a day.  In my defense: I like that one song on the radio!  You know, where the girl loves her boyfriend in a similar manner to the way she might love an especially affecting love song?  And she keeps hitting repeat….peat…….peat?

Fuck, somebody just bring me my goddamn Metamucil before I go take a nap.


2 responses »

  1. Wow. The whole thing was odious, but that close up of Dr. King was an especially BLECK touch. Jesus, people. I’ve long thought that the nike school of advertising deserved a special beating with sticks. Equating human potential with running shoes and now smartphones. Ugh.



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