Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The purpose of advertisement is to make you buy or do things you wouldn't do otherwise. This might sound strange, but think about it - if you'd buy/do these things anyway, there wouldn't be any reason to remind you that you're about to do it. You'd just go about and do it anyway, and nothing would have been achieved.

And, contrary to popular belief, companies are not in the business of spending money on useless things.

No, the purpose of advertisement is to sell customers to someone. In essence, to sell you and your behavior. For profit.

Now, most of us don't like being sold off for profit. So we develop strategies for not being sold. On the internet, we can just blast the ads out of the water. Boom, gone, out of sight, out of mind. Good riddance.

In our less virtual environments, it's a tad bit harder, though. The code required to block out physical ads are not as open source as the one available to block digital ads. To paraphrase Virilio: electrical light is more insistently visible than virtual light.

Something tells me Edison didn't quite intend his invention to shine a light on all those ads all over town.

Yet, there is still code available for blocking out those ads. But instead of literal code, it's literary code. Infoecological code - a way of thinking that puts it all in context, perspective, better use. The first part of this is, of course, the realization that whatever ad you happen to be looking at right now is intended to make you do something. And if/when you realize this, you are able to decode what this is, and how they are trying to weasel their way into your behavior.

You see, they are tricky about it. They don't just say "BUY OUR PRODUCT" in big capital letters; that kind of direct marketing is a thing of the past nowadays. Instead, they try to create some sort of narrative and lure you into it. It may not be the most intricate or complex of narratives, but a narrative it is nonetheless.

Most of them have to do with achieving social and/or sexual success. And the product they are trying to sell just happens to be a part of the process of achieving this very success. And, moreover, it just happens to be indispensible for this achievement - it creates a need for itself.

It takes a while to realize that you really don't need all those advertised things to get along in life. It takes more than a while to realize that you really don't need most of those things to be happy in life.

The code for blocking out these ads is to simply know who you are, what you are about, what you want and where you are going. Which, admittedly, is not as simple as it sounds. But it's well worth it, - more so than whatever the admakers are earning from selling you short to those who clutter our cityscapes with their imaginary products.

We are the protagonists in our own epic adventure. So let's begin hacking some literary code, for fun and nonprofit. -


  1. Oh this was such a great post <3 mvh @sushi_goat

  2. Panterdjuret02 May, 2012 03:24

    Things I learnt at Bauer at the marketing lessons. Don't give our secrets away like that!

    No wait. Please do. Marketing usually kind of sucks, and if people become more aware of how it works, then perhaps they will start making better products.


    1. The Cluetrain Manifesto springs to mind. "There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone."

      It is not kind to advertisers. It is a blast to remix, though. :3