Don’t tell anyone but my secret desire is to work in advertising. That or be a headline writer for the Sun. They are the same things really. Thinking up pun based slogans or headlines and being paid lots for it. Bliss.
I of course want to persuade the world of something. And advertisers are just so bloody good at it. Getting us to buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have. How clever is that?
Take this Diesel ad. Diesel if you cant read the strap line is “for successful living’. Of course it is. Wearing a pair of their jeans defines success. The images are of heroic beautiful people. They are starting what looks like a revolution – only it’s for denim not democracy. How far the ad boys and girls have come from the now naff Denim after-shave adverts of the 1970s – for men who don’t have to try too hard.
Today’s ads are full of radical spirit. They co-opt the language and symbolism of left wing revolution but of course to sell out in a different kind of way. And they drip with irony. They know we know that’s its not about a real revolution in which power structures are challenged – so they take the piss out of themselves and us. We like it because we are allowed in on the joke. The Diesel ad says “Diesel Island. The least messed up country in the world. (But give us time)”. Diesel Island is apparently “the land of the stupid and home of the brave’. Do you see what they have done there? So very funny and clever.
The ad signs off with the line “We are creating a new movement and better nation. Join the movement and become a citizen at diesel.com (where you can watch a video all about Diesel island). The depth, scale and intensity of this none-pretence pretence is simply enormous. But after viewing it all I can’t make up my mind if I still want a pair of Diesel jeans or not?