Monday, September 5, 2011

Is Modern Culture One Big Commercial for Consumerism?

Thought provoking article by Justin Lewis on Our Kingdom on the power of advertising when taken collectively.

Advertising has became our dominant creative industry – what Stuart Ewen calls ‘the prevailing vernacular of public address’. It sucks up our talent for art, design, creativity and storytelling. It has become such a routine part of everyday life that we rarely stop to think about its significance.

...the prevailing orthodoxy is to treat each advertisement on its individual merits. The larger question – the cumulative impact of this deluge of commercials - is rarely asked...

For all their diversity, advertisements share one basic value system. Advertisements may be individually innocent, collectively they are the propaganda wing of a consumerist ideology. The moral of the thousands of different stories they tell is that the only way to secure pleasure, popularity, security, happiness or fulfilment is through buying more; more consumption - regardless of how much we already have.