We are exposed to a lot of ads every day. Who cares how many exactly but a lot more than we are aware of. Their effectiveness lies in catching us off-guard.
Ad companies make tons of money selling us shit we don’t want and they are winning. Consumerism has been used to treat loneliness, stress and it’s more prevalent among the poor.
Product manufacturers deny pushing products on us, they say that their merchandise is so good and desired that it sells itself. So why do they spend billions of dollars every year marketing their shit?
Ads are meant to make you feel like you are incomplete, unattractive, inadequate, lazy, fat and unhappy. But they don’t consciously make you feel that way, do they?
They paint a picture for you, they then ram a thought into your head with annoying, repetitious voices. Ever wonder why those announcers who yell something at you are still on TV and radio? Because it works.
The advertising industry makes money because they deliver results. In a country like the US the competition is stiff, if an entity can’t produce results it will sink.
Marketing companies want to catch you when you are engrossed in something. That’s when the right words and images are flashed at you. When you are watching a show, a sports game, or listening to a radio station you are letting your guard down, you become suggestible.
You are the most susceptible when you are tired, distracted or feeling uneasy. And guess what, nobody thinks they are easily swayed. But the data is hard to refute, even the stingiest of stingy are spending their money on something… and that something was likely placed right in front of their face.
Why am I talking about this, you probably already know some of this stuff already. Knowing that you are susceptible is one thing, avoiding ads is a whole other battle.
This is the toughest one to do. You have to pay attention to ads thrown at you. Then you have to analyze it in your head, realize why it’s a manipulative ad and explain to your conscious mind why the fuck you don’t need it.
“Ah, another car ad with a sexy man driving it going to pick up a sexy woman late in the evening. Yea, that’s great. I’m not sexy and I don’t need a car to be sexy or have a relationship with someone whom I’m attracted to.”
I don’t like this method, takes a lot of fucking effort. And there is no way that you can pay attention to every single ad that’s out there. I tried it for a while and failed because when I’m tired I just don’t care.
I love this method. I practice this religiously. I don’t have cable TV, much less an actual TV. So there is no chance for me to let my guard down in front of a show and think that maybe I really do need 8-pack abs. Shit, supplements might help me have more energy and be healthier.
I don’t even listen to the radio, only streaming music, the paid version with no ads. I don’t like talk radio because they place products and generally they don’t have shit to say, just a lot of verbal diarrhea. I therefore avoid being told about this amazing experience I could have in Australia where I can find myself… didn’t know I was lost. I am not told that I need to own the newest Android device because that’s the only way for me to stay in touch with friends.
Riding into work or on the bus I will see banners and ads in windows. Now, it’s easy to dismiss all that and say “Chill out man, it’s just ads, be strong and you won’t be swayed.”
I don’t know if avoiding ads is a solution but it has worked for me. It’s been an experiment which I started in 2014. I purged myself of 90% of my belongings and sort moved into a tiny studio. I tell ya, that was one of the happiest and most carefree moments of my life. All the while I was worried it would be a shock.
I avoided advertisement like the plague and I can say that I am less driven to own shit. I don’t feel that sense of missing out. It has helped me rethink what I actually want. More electronics, nah. More exotic travel destination, nope. A more luxurious car, no way. A bigger and modern home, hell no.