The Price on Your Head (Marketing to Kill You)

10383484_10152149114602051_6324559071133465008_nWhat we need now is more resource management, better content, and less offensively aggressive marketing tactics by local and national publications. I guess we also need to understand the meaning of words as well. For instance, your legs and dick may work, but this ad in this here magazine says they don’t. I am guessing that same advertisement can tell you where to get that fixed, and who is the best at fixing it! The television is blowing your mind while at the same time wasting your day, trying to get into your pocket by exposing you to bullshit. These programmable monotonous moneymaking machines have done nothing more than generalize and play off of the insecurities of a community, a nation, by calculated observation and a constant flood of testimonials, which you- of course, can relate to. That seems like a problem.  I guess we have figured it out, but I can’t help you fix it. I am only trying to understand, just as you.

Locating this problem only begins to scratch the surface. Once you realize it is everywhere, you feel helpless in respect to doing something about it. Every bit of space in the metropolis (and the world!) is dedicated to helping you spend the money in your pocket, the money on your card; the money you don’t have. You may not need (want) it, but you need (want) it. Those products were only made to make you better, right? I guess I may walk, or bike around town on most days and see what is really out there, or I just think about things too hard. I must quote myself in this situation: After being exposed to Post-Structuralism it’s hard to take things seriously. Examining words for hours takes a bit out of you, and adds so much. How does every word not mean something, and what is that meaning? My mind is being raped by ad campaigns that say they can help me with aliments I didn’t even know existed, and I just need a fucking banana to make it through the afternoon. I know that, that is the only truth: I need one banana to make it through the afternoon. That is my life.

So how does one start to do something about this everything everywhere issue? I guess the first step would be to start realizing that the signs you see, the words utilized, are not in a random place by mere accident. These messages are specifically placed, and purposefully sold to and by corporations to take control of your subconscious, and take your bucks, even if you don’t have any. They embed their message into your brain, planting that little seed.  If you think you have a problem, then you surely do- and moreover, they can fix it- for a price.

Think about everything you saw today while commuting to work. Think about the moments you waited in your car, staring at some sign which promoted something better- the best product ever created. What was it located near, who was in the car next to you, what type of individual was the ad geared towards? Are you the same person as every other person? What did it say about you? In order to understand the game one must ask questions about surroundings, and then take action.

Sometimes I grab a magazine from a stand and open it up. There are ads about looking better, drinking more, and living in a new exclusive neighborhood, all in hopes of having more people like me (the reader). I don’t like people, so I immediately throw the newspaper, or magazine into the trash. Who accounts for this waste? I am more concerned with people working jobs they hate so they can struggle to pay bills, buy new things (they need, of course), while attempting to impress people they want to like them. I mean, that stuff is important. People have to like me MORE!  But I am busy thinking about lunch: a banana.

What we have to do is call it what it is, horseshit. Acknowledge the ink wasted, the paper, the chemicals, the external cost, and tell them we don’t want it. Thank you Father John Misty for opening my eyes to that kind of shit. We have to take a stand! I’m not talking about bitching towards the top and working down (no one at the top cares, unless you are talking bucks), I’m talking about starting at the bottom, in your house, and working up. Maybe vote more with your dollar, don’t pick up local trash rags (ad filled magazine garbage), let them sit and fade. How things work are, you can blow your lungs out complaining, and waiting, and thinking, and waiting, to no avail, or you can take charge on your own accord by taking action, or no action.

I think about this as I tie my shoes, which smell like popcorn; they are semi-worn-in and semi-dirty, but they will have to do, and they always (at this age) smell like popcorn covered in butter. I don’t need new shoes, but I may want them.  You see, I have little to no cash on hand at all times, and I don’t need it. It doesn’t matter, but my obsession with not wasting has been recently stuck in my head like the problems people make up to take over their daily lives i.e. eating disorders, mental health problems, and religion. I won’t die if I don’t have money, never have. It is about the same if you have, or don’t have money, the important part is your outlook, and attitude. People are afraid to realize this situation. Homeless people are a prime example; they have no money, and they are still alive. If you think about it the most important thing in life has to do with resources and mindset. Ads cloud that.  Let me shoot you an example: if I don’t have water or food I die. If I don’t have shoes I am still alive.

I can make it without tattoos, new clothes, beauty products, affluent friends, and (sometimes) beer. However, I wouldn’t want to do it without some of those, especially the latter.

More often than I would like to admit, I find myself wondering through Target, downtown. I think about plastic wrappings and boxes; where do they go after they have outlived their usefulness?Florescent lights billowing down on me, headache initiated, not looking for something, but looking for anything to fill the void in my life, a void created by marketing campaigns, television and magazines, which need these spaces filled to exist, to become relevant. We really don’t need all of this stuff. I mean, what’s it for? Do I need a facial soap that claims it can solve most of my problems? Will it? Does it work? -Probably not. I cite:

My adult acne make me look younger.  No one says that.

After doing some reading you feel kind of trapped, though knowledge is power. Everyone and everything is coming at you in hopes of getting you to pull out your wallet, lay down your frog-skins ($). Every magazine in the newsstand needs you to open it up, not for the news, or important information, but so you can look at the pages so their ad team can brag about a head count on a specific demographic to prospect companies hoping to pedal their product to “readers”, and eventually sign a contract. No one cares about content. Publications post pictures of girls wearing skimpy outfits and lists of mostly boring shit to appeal to brain-dead consumers. They care more about you looking at their ads, even if it is just for a moment. Content is out, marketing is in.

I challenge you to go to your local newsstand, magazine rack, or anywhere you can get your hands on a magazine. Take one and open it up. See if there is more actual content than ad space. Look at the adverts and see what they tell you about yourself. Then, after you have been labeled, delegated, informed and taken advantage of- while being told how to feel, by generalization, tell me, do you want to be a part of that publication that so easily lumps you into a category specifically for making profit? They sell space, make money, and waste paper on your accord.

That is an observation, but I must tell you I have worked for publications before (City College News, Thrifty Hipster, et al.), the bottom line isn’t the content; some of the organizations could care less about the words in a piece when it comes down to the money they make off of ad space. The bottom line promotes the media, and drives the publication. The media is geared towards eyeballs opening and viewing ads, in hopes that the corporations and businesses will keep paying them for ad placement. You might get the occasional one good piece; and I commend the writer, and appreciate the art. Don’t be surprised if you open one of your favorite reads and see an ad that is specifically geared towards you. But you pay for the ads anyway- I wouldn’t feel so bad.

You may think I am wrong, maybe I am, but I am not pedaling anything but a bike. I am just promoting thought and action. Understanding words such as needs and wants, and objectively viewing magazines and television as a possible catalyst for waste is the important first step in changing your life, and the world for the better. You make the call.  I say avoid these venues which allow limited intrigue, ones which promote a capitalistic mindset, and start viewing the world as our oyster rather than as a dumpster.

Or at least tell them to change because we want something better.

I really don’t care, I just think it’s funny that other people don’t notice these things.  I guess I start to lose my mind a little bit more each day when I can’t go outside without having a price put on my head.

Placement is everything. Where do you fit?

What can you do?


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks:
This entry was posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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