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This s*** makes me sick

December 13, 2006

From a story about Williams-Sonoma’s registry business in today’s Times:

Eight-page ad inserts feature black-and-white photos of a fictional young couple strolling through a park, kissing in their kitchen and drinking wine wrapped in each other’s arms. A photo of the bride-to-be, prominently displaying her new ring, is accompanied by the thought: “Now that I’ve found love, what else do I need?” Photos of Williams-Sonoma pots and pans, knife sets and toasters provide some hints.

I mean it really makes me sick. Advertising of this sort is quite a rotten thing, I think (no offense to my friends in the business). I remember a two-page ad I saw once in Rolling Stone, for Diet Coke, which pictured a silver can of the stuff along with the words, in big silver letters, “I love it when she wakes up and is mad at me for something I did in her dream.”

It’s theft, is what it is: theft of memories or feelings, co-opted by corporations. Which means: now, when and if that ever happens to me, I won’t think “What a funny thing, she’s mad at me for something I did in her dream”; rather I’ll think “f***ing Diet Coke.”

It’s a rough scene, man.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jake-Freedom permalink
    December 13, 2006 7:11 pm

    Dude, I totally agree. I’ve been thinking about the whole free-market advertising thing lately too. Everybody sells their stuff like it is crucial to your life, and then when you get it, you feel more incomplete than you did before. I think Buddhist monks are on to something.

  2. Jeffery permalink
    December 14, 2006 11:32 am

    “Suburban sprawl, identical malls, mass production of Stevie Nicks shawls.” and that’s all I’m sayin’

  3. Emily permalink
    December 14, 2006 4:30 pm

    I third this sentiment. It is especially disheartening because I’m guessing most of this copy is coming from people who aren’t too different from you and me, Hunter. You know, same age group, same set of pop culture references, similar experience in relationships in these here modern times. And they’re taking this earned knowledge we’ve all managed to accumlate and turning it into cloying yet ironic copy for freaking Williams & Sonoma and Diet Coke. I wonder if, when having conversations with their significant other, these copywriters/creative directors are thinking, “Man, that genuine, loving sentiment he/she just shared with me would look so good on that backpage we bought in the August Vanity Fair!” It all makes me pretty glad I ignored that Bachelor’s in ad/pr I earned and instead spend my days discussing homework and happiness with little kids. Holy shit, that would make such great copy for the new Diet Coke campaign!!!

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