Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"Advertising wants to become the air we breath. It wants us to not be able to find a way outside of the world it creates for us." ~~Mark Crispin Miller, Media Critic ~~

The producers of the film "Merchants of Cool" developed the film "The Persuaders" which outlines how consumers are now being sold on products through the use of emotionalism, narrow casting and niche marketing. In order to cut through the tremendous media clutter, companies and advertising agencies are scrambling to find ways to get us to purchase things...anything and everything. Very much like Steven Baker's book, Numerati, this film explains the future of selling and advertising and how companies seek to differentiate, not just the brands but the audience. By playing on individuality, companies are inducing Americans to consume while reinforcing their emotional attachment to the brands. This film was made several years ago prior to the current economic crisis but it surely illustrates the direction that political and consumer advertising will be taking in the near future. Concepts discussed in the film range from product placements, creating brands as cultural meaning systems to language decoding and testing—all to sell us on political ideas or material consumption.

Watch the Frontline film online.

Printed Interviews:
Mark Crispin Miller

Naomi Klein on Brands

The future of marketing and advertising

Stay abreast of the issues of commercialism

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Will NBC continue with Brian William's 2 minutes worth of good news?

Hallelujah. Have you caught this? It's been a week and it sounds like they're getting millions of responses from ordinary people who are doing good things around the country in what appears to be random acts of kindness. Apparently the idea came from William's wife and in blog-like style for the past week, at the end of the 6:30 broadcast up pops a little blue "making a difference box" with a few good things that Brian Williams reads. They send out a camera crew for some stories in an effort, I HOPE to finally perpetrate good, rather than the usual bad that we see on the evening news. Of course it still needs to be constructed within the subject of the "economy," but I think it's a good start. Do you think they will keep this feature at the end of the broadcast for longer than a week?

Here's their request: We are always looking for good news, especially in this economy. Specifically, here's our request: nominate people who are doing good things where you live or work...perhaps a random or regular act of kindness in a cruel economy.

Add your story and keep good news alive on television!