Friday, May 2, 2008

The Human Billboard

(What are you worth?)

Product placement is the watch word today. Advertising is everywhere. Watch an old movie from the 1940s or 1950s. You can't tell what brand of scotch they are drinking or who made the cigarettes they are smoking. The world was generic back then. Everything was from the Mom and Pop corner drug store and the fresh veggies were straight off the farm.

Now everything is marketed. Product placement and envy sell the goods. It isn't how good they are but how they are packaged.

There is a business to advertising, so much so, that the act of advertising itself has become a way of making money.

The concept of becoming a human billboard is now commonplace. I see people advertising beer, automobiles, clothing and musicans on a daily basis. The images are emblazoned on their shirts, sweaters, hats and shoes. Isn't it idiocy to pay someone else so you can advertise for them? Are we value-less to the point where we will give ourselves away to aid someone else in making a profit?

Michael Jorden and Tiger Woods are paid millions to wear clothes and drive cars from various manufactuers. Why is it that we are lead to beleive that for us to wear those same clothes or use those same tools we have to PAY for them.

If Tiger Woods gets $10 million dollars to wear the Nike logo on his shirt, then I am owed at least $55 a year to wear it (after all I can't drive a ball 400 yards like Tiger, but I am pretty darn smart). So why are most folks willing to PAY Nike $45 to wear one of their shirts? Why do I pay $40 to wear a hat with the Lotus logo on it? I give their dealer thousands of dollars a year to maintain my car. You would think that they would PAY ME to advertise for them. Isn't this like giving the mugger a baseball bat to beat you up with while he is robbing you?

The concept that there are legions of people out there (most of them young and impressionable) that are willing to pay money so they can emulate their idols sort of approaches mass insanity. From now on I am wearing all black or all white.....and maybe a plaid or a paisley once in a while........and I will still be wearing that Lotus hat........curse my spinelss ego!!!