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Vodafone add and rant about advertising in general

December 5, 2007

This has been bugging me for a while since I have seen the Vodafone ads mostly in the cinema over the last couple of months.  At first I thought it was just another add for their phones but the latest add has been pushing mobile internet and how this should fill in the empty spaces of time in your life.  Now I am not one to complain about being plugged in since I am nearly always near a computer and have even been thinking of getting an internet tablet so that I can pick up hotspots in work (cant get outside email with the firewalls) but I think this add has overstepped the mark.  Its one thing to show you products and how they can be used but this add is implying that these periods of time are meaningless and unproductive.  On the contrary I think that we need to have these times to relax without being bombarded by more media bumph and insidious advertising.  Otherwise when are we meant to think and to reflect on issues that will affect us and in turn our social structure as a whole? 

As it is media and advertising have too strong a hold on modern society…particularly in the States where even sports stadiums have been renamed by some corporate brand just for the money.  Ireland as well has become worse over the last couple of years- the radio and tv stations have repetitive adds that have me reaching for the remote quite quickly (Sunday Business Post is one where every week it’s the same annoying music and the same dramatic tone whatever the issue).  It just seems that things are being pushed into our faces by the media and advertising at every turn and that everything has a spin these days where something is being made out of nothing.

After reading Nadine’s excellent article on the Kindle I wonder if they will even try to sneak adds into the books that you would read on this device.   It would be handy but I am not quite sold on an electronic version of a book where constant connectivity can open up the possibility that content and advertising can be ‘pushed’ towards you.  (Actually just having read the spec I realized that it is not just the Kindle but the AmazonKindle– corporate branding says it all really and I was surprised to see a video with Neil Gaiman touting its virtues).

To get back to the original point- I do think that it is important to have moments in our lives where we can have some peace and quiet to relax and to actually think on our own.  Being connected is a part of everyday life now and I will probably stay plugged in a good part of the time- but a note to the advertisers, please don’t lecture me on how my down time is meaningless.

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