Adverts

You can tell a lot about the country you are in by the adverts on billboards and by the adverts on TV. The adverts on billboards appeal to those with very little time. They must be able to communicate their product in an instant in order to gauge the attention of the busy public. However, the advert on TV has no need for such simplistic methods of communication and can rely on fear and loathing in order to sell their product. After all, their audience is far too lazy to switch channels, so they are the most gullible.

For instance, in the UK. Billboards wax lyrical about new mobile phone deals with pretty young women holding those said phones or highlight some fashionable piece of clothing, while TV tells you to make your life better you must do this (buy this skin product, worm out of debt, etc.). Sex always sells…

On India, the billboards tell you about the latest mobile phone deals with pretty young women holding those said phones or highlight some fashionable piece of clothing, while TV tells you to make your life better (buy this skin product, worm out of your mobile phone contract). Sex always sells, no matter what

But some adverts are distinctly local. In Shillong, the town (like many others in India) are plastered with ads, but as English (not Hindi) is the official language of Meghalaya state, I am able to read so much more of the adverts and so partake in the great capitalist adventure…

I like billboards as they give a keen insight into the workings of a society. Sex is the universal salesman, no matter what part of the world you are in, there is always a pretty woman advocating you to part with your cash in order to make your life more successful (and so by association) get into bed with her/become like her. But there are other things I like to see. What is being advertised is what is indicative of what society wants or what society currently oversupplies. Like chatting to a local person about the ups and downs of life, a billboard is an important window into the soul of a country.

But sometimes, no matter where you go in this world, the adverts are exactly the same. After all this is one world that we are living in, and so what else but a single brand can unify the whole of humanity in happiness and love (with the assistance of a lot of cash). And that ad will always be the same. ‘Happy’. ‘Smiling’. ‘Joyous’. ‘Youthful’. ‘Sickly Sweet’.

(Please note that there is no way in hell that I endorse any of the above products, except for the purposes of sheer comedy! Beacause I really want that mobile phone…)

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Filed under asia, Goals, india, places, tomfoolery, travel

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