Letter from an 'ad junkie' dropout
Hey! I wasn't always this way!
After school hours, I delivered artwork for a prominent artist in my hometown to a New York City advertising agency. Watching him render beautiful, airbrushed paintings of airplanes, automobiles, boats and various illustrated products enamored me to advertising. These were the days before photography took hold of the field.
After college, I worked for a newspaper, a greeting card company and advertising agencies in New York City, Florida and San Francisco. The vision we had was always to sell — from Burma-Shave signs to Super Bowl Coca-Cola. People bought what they needed and wanted, and a beautiful America was produced. An ad for something on sale was an extra delightful expenditure.
But as sales increased, people became indoctrinated. A sale became so desired that conscientious people bought it, whether they needed it or not. Sales became an enormous hook and lots of us took the bait and bought it. How much we all bought can be seen in the gathering of stuff today.
Isn't it reasonable to assume that all the car, mattress and belly fat ads are hard sells and why they're repeated so much? Medicines may lose their grip, having to report so many side effects. Maybe that should happen to the cars and mattresses. The disappearing allure of advertising finally made me realize that it only produced a beautiful veneer and that whitewashing never made life perfect.
Today TV ads are less imposing and funnier, and the product may be disguised. Some are ingenious. But I'm guiding myself by putting my needs first, then the ad, making me a kind of an "ad-junkie dropout." This excludes local ads, which really work, by the way!