Writing Up Old Ideas V: TV Ads

Published in Misc - 2 mins to read

Much like yesterday everyone knows Facebook is bad, everyone knows ads are bad. They’re invasive, annoying, and perhaps worst of all, they always feel like they’re subtly brainwashing you into consumerism, no matter how hard you might try to resist. I try to block out as many digital ads as possible with quick wins like using Brave browser or the Alternate Player for Twitch extension, but obviously consuming ads is as much of an inevitability as death and taxes.

Before I moved back in with my parents, I didn’t have a TV for ~2 years, and so the only ads I ever saw were print ones or internet ones. And oh boy, TV ads seem wild in comparison. I guess it’s because I’m used to seeing ads that are targeted to some degree, whereas TV ads are appealing to a broader demographic (and perhaps even within that, there are some subdemographics more susceptible to advertising), but ads on TV just make no sense? Have I been spoilt by ads that have some kind of coherent plot, or was that always too much to ask for?

In another way, these kinds of ads do feel slightly better to consume because of their untargeted nature. I have no urge to buy a Kia Picanto or a new vacuum or a selection box of scented candles or whatever, whereas I do have an urge to buy pretty much everything that Amazon ever recommends me. I feel like ads and their prevalence are something that everyone around me has collectively decided to accept, and perhaps they shouldn’t. To me, there is something predatory in their nature, often preying on those who might be vulnerable in some way in order to get them to give some big corporation their money. Is that really how our society should work?

I fully admit this was probably the worst idea of the 10 from my list to write up. In the time since putting it in Trello and coming to post this, apparently I’ve reacclimatized to TV ads again, and sat at my computer right now, I am unable to remember any that I have seen recently whatsoever. Which is also, in of itself, a little alarming.

See other posts in the Writing Up Old Ideas series