Advertisements seem to come in layers these days. Right here in El Paso you can find billboards of certain outlets or boutiques where there are brand name clothing being worn then at the bottom of the billboard you will see the name of the company who owns the billboard. That's like three advertisements in one, all in a matter of only 6 seconds as we pass by on I-10. Talk about getting bombarded with commodified culture!
And what about movies in which we see the people drinking or eating certain products, or saving up to buy a specific name brand thing, or the movies that show the status of people according to the type of car that they drive. My favorite quote is one from the movie "Bride Wars" when one of the characters is purchasing her wedding dress and the sales lady is sure to remind her about the name brand dress she is buying and says: "We don't alter Vera Wang, you alter your body to fit Vera."
And what about the ads for a certain pair of jeans where you see two sexy people kissing/making out and you are only able to see the very top of the jeans (if any part at all). Or how about the ad that shows a lady in the shower and you see her silhouette while the jeans are thrown on the floor. Is this really an ad for the jeans? Or is it merely the ad for the image that the jeans will give you?
Advertising is all around us and if we are not careful, we too will be sucked up into the seduction of advertising and end up buying things that we only think that we need when in reality we have done fine without them this far.
So here are my two challenges for you:
#1) Go out and try to find more of these kinds of advertisements and write about them here in the comment section. (This task will be all too easy to complete.)
#2) I dare you to go out there and find an advertisement that is actually an advertisement of itself. Not those advertisements where the sign-value overshadows the use-value of the product. (Like my jean ad example.)
Have fun on your search but be careful. This is an assignment, not a reason to go shopping. ;)