Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

General

Subvertising

I was struck the other day by a couple of self-subverting advertisements on TV – both by banks.

The ANZ ad for their banking services that remove the need to use a branch with real people leaves their character “Ira Goldstein” feeling unhappy and missing the human contact. The message – buy this product and have yet another social element of your life removed and replaced by an impersonal system.

And the BNZ’s appropriation of the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” for their ads also seems odd given the opening lyrics from that song:

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Try to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die…’

Still as we all know “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and marketing people are from some other dimension.”

From some really subversive responses to advertising and consumerism check out:

AdbustersCulture Jammers Headquarters
www.subvertise.org – “Advertising serves not so much to advertise products as to promote consumption as a way of life.”

I’m very much reminded of what Amos had to say about this kind of thing in Amos 8:4-6

Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,

saying,

“When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?” –
skimping the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

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