Advertising (and the difficult avoidance of becoming a billboard or avoiding them in general)

Avoidance of being a billboard, in some form or another, is a prospect I find quite difficult at times. It should be said, that in general, clothing doesn’t interest me in the least (barring the general avoidance of an Emperor’s New Clothes kind of affair, can’t say I’m into public nudity), so for me it’s not a fashion statement. I wear what I do because I like it, nothing more or less than that. However, there are a lot of interesting shirts etc out there, but you wear one of those and instantly you have become a free billboard for that companies use.

Where do you draw the line? Do you just wear plain coloured t-shirts all the time and look like a rainbow fiesta or…? Or does that show you’re simply a billboard for ‘Fruits of the Loom’? Not a pretty idea.

It is hard to find much of anything that isn’t branded in some way…I think my Pyjama’s might be the most neutral, along with my underwear (thank you BHS and your anonymously bland boys pants and sports socks), however surreptitious.

For example, right now (well, I was when I was writing this thing, probably not when you’re reading this) I’m wearing a Superman logo t-shirt, which I bought myself. In this instance I don’t have any particular issue with advertising the man who can’t get his underwear on the right side of his tights (though I respect a man who wears tights with confidence in public) and thinks a pair of glasses and a stammer makes for a perfect disguise… actually, since no-one’s ever really noticed the glaring similarities between him and Clark Kent, I suppose it does actually work, maybe Doris Wolfe (Guiding Light) should take a hint from the man with a plan. Ditch the hat and the loud jackets love and put on some glasses and a stammer, you’ll never be spotted then when you attend ladies night.

Neither do I have a problem with advertising DC comics since I am an avid reader of several of their titles and encourage others to read them. Ultimately I suppose it comes down to this; I choose to support that company, so wearing a shirt with a logo created by them causes me no ‘undue fussin’’. Like my Strangers in Paradise t-shirt with Katchoo on the front, for my mind Terry Moore (the writer/artist) can have every bit of free, positive publicity he can get.

However, in the graphic novel world, I draw the line at Marvel, first off they are now owned by Disney, (who don’t need any free advertising they are business mogul’s as it is, and they’re getting as little as possible from me), but also because I think their comics, predominantly blow, unless they are anything Whedon has had a hand in, his Astonishing X-Men arc was the best I’ve seen for a long time.

Anyway, all these folk acting like free billboards day in and day out, it’s more than vaguely strange. They even get icons of companies shaved into their heads or tattooed onto their bodies… the Nike ‘swoosh’ in haircuts for example was rather popular for awhile… why I cannot fathom, it’s just a big tick carved into your hair for heavens sake.

It is insanely difficult to find anything that remains unfettered by branding; even my damn boots have the companies logo stamped into the leather at the side of the heel. Now I got them because I reckoned they’d have longevity and where what I was looking for, yet I have inadvertently, well my feet and ankles have, become a free billboard for ‘Prospecta’©…I’d never even heard of the company pre-boots, do you think that makes me a viable candidate for ‘free advertising’ of your shoes?

There was an interesting kerfuffle at a tennis event a while back, one of the lady players was wearing a dress (if you can call something that short a ‘dress’ made by Addidas I think it was, but the design was a big Nike-style tick, up the front… now I quite like that dichotomy, even other brands are providing free advertising for other companies. Well done!

It is something I struggle to maintain equilibrium with; being clothed and shod versus willingness to be an open advert. Now, it turns out I have to be clothed and shod, work wouldn’t be overly happy me with me if I wasn’t, but to do it at the expense of how I feel about what I am wearing?

I have solved this primarily by only wearing one make of t-shirt (barring the comic couple mentioned earlier) from the company SaltRock, a company I don’t know masses about but I can cope with being their billboard. Therefore I am only advertising for that company and I don’t feel like such an advertising rent boy.

As for other forms of advertising, as I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I don’t watch television and one of the primary reasons for this is the advertising. It’s every fifteen minutes or so on most channels (My parents and family watch television, so occasionally I do come across it as a medium) and feels like it lasts longer than the actual programme. If the show is one hour, 15-20 minutes of that is advertising, a half hour show without adverts comes down to about 20 minutes, this is most noticeable with programmes that come from the States. If the USA airs programmes made here in the UK, they simply cut it, irrelevant of pertinent plot points or whatever to accommodate the scheduled advertising, no wonder some of our home grown shows don’t take off over there, they become completely meaningless and confusing such as Life on Mars.

All of this advertising is for inane, useless STUFF. I can’t think of a time when I’ve had a hankering for any of the things I ever saw on TV, I recall a mild attack of ‘quite like to go to Disney World-itis’ when I was much younger, but I always knew I’d never go, so let that one go fairly quickly. Even as a young child, barring the Disney World instance, when I did watch TV, I never really cared for the adverts.

However, I was one of those children predominantly relegated to BBC1/2 programming, which is devoid of advertising (this is why folk pay a TV license, to pay purely for BBC; ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 etc pay for themselves via advertising during and between programmes), barring the exception of Sesame Street on Channel 4, but then there were never any adverts in the middle of that.

Advertising at children… now that is morally irreprehensible… but I suppose, if you can’t get them when they’re young… you never will… I guess I am a case in point for that argument. My brother however, is big TV fan, but still hates the adverts, he will turn over and watch five minutes of something else rather than sit through them, now I don’t know if this is through low attention span, boredom and disinterest but he does all the same.

Advertising/commercials and commercialisation are things that regularly give me hives, so avoidance where at all possible is something I am very willing to undertake with rigorous attention. So; no TV, no print media, avoidance of such things on the web where I can etc. All aid in letting me remain a happy ‘bunny’… generally anyway.

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About Nerdsbian

I am a nerd for ALL seasons. I am a genderqueer wlw Librarian who unsurprisingly likes reading...a lot But I love being outside too...sometimes even reading at the same time. Also animals, any and all of them. Never yet met one that didn't get on with me and vice versa. I do a couple of different voluntary jobs (animal charity related) and have recently completed my MA.
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