Maybe I’m alone in this observation, but it seems to be the case that we, as a society, have accepted some situations we believe to be unacceptable.
What do I mean?
Let me ask the question: Would you freely give advertising to multinational mega corporations ? Not in return for goods or services, absolutely free advertising to companies that already made billions each year on products you buy?
Of course you wouldn’t.
But you do. Everyday.
Yes you do. Maybe you don’t think you do but take a quick look at your immediate surroundings, look for names of products and manufacturers. I know, your Sony Playstation isn’t exactly shouting out at you but you know what it is, you bought it. You can identify it without the label but it is there, bold and clear several times. What about the shirt you are wearing? If it is casual wear, a sweatshirt or hoodie, a t-shirt or tracksuit, it will no doubt have a funky colourful logo or motif splashed across it. A logo proclaiming the name of the manufacturer or a product. A product which you will be displaying to the world every time you pull it on and walk out in public.
Ask how much you paid for the product or clothing, the car sat outside on the road. Does the manufacturer make a lot of money from your purchase?
Did you get a huge discount in return for promoting that product to millions of potential buyers?
Yes, I mentioned your car. I passed a van on my journey back from the allotment today. I couldn’t help but notice the number of times subtle advertising appeared on the vehicle. On the number plate, just below the licence. On the lower corner of the back door, on the sticker on the bottom of the rear windscreen. No doubt there was the opportunity to have the sellers name on the tax disc holder but I didn’t get to check. How much does it cost to advertise on the body work of a formula one car? Even on a lower ranking race car? A local rally competitors car?
Now, how many people see those cars over a period of a couple of years? If he car competes in every race in a season, it may be viewed for a maximum of three or four hours, once a week for maybe a month or two. How much time is your vehicle in the public eye for that period of time?
If you drive a van or a car as part of your daily work life and your drive socially, domestically on shopping trips or fetching the children from school or clubs, your car will be seen by as many people as a county rally champions , maybe more.
They will charge large amounts for each of several advertisers all over the car. You are giving exclusive rights to one company, for free, for how ever many years that vehicle remains on the road.
Don’t think so? Go look at that small narrow strip across the bottom of your rear window. Does it show your name or the car showroom from where it was originally purchased?
So, when you drive to the supermarket, in your Adidas or Abercrombie shirt, with Fred’s Cars splashed across the back of the car, and you carry your Chanel bag with the two big C logo, think about much you are paying for the pleasure of displaying those names.
I understand status symbols, I know the kudos of owning a premium brand item, but you have paid enough already. People who aspire to own those things recognise them when they see them. They don’t need a label to tell them.
I won’t advise cutting the names off your clothes yet, but just remind yourself occasionally just who is getting the better end of the deal. Maybe remove some of those labels that can be removed. Maybe choose for the product not the label.
Finally, ask yourself, when did you last see a television advertisement for Roll Royce Cars or Lear Jets?
Ok, I’ve had my rant for today. I’m off to kick off my Timberlands and watch some Sky!