Tuesday, April 19, 2005

'We've Ad Enough' : Adverts as prompts 1

The point of an advert is of course to make you buy something.
But are they also about making you buy into something too?

A story that highlights the power of adverts can be seen in the recent controversy over an ad campaign for Reebok, where the rapper 50 Cent laughs at escaping a police chase and being shot 9 times. Presumably owing to the death-defying power of his spanking new trainers.

Reebok says: "The... campaign is intended to be a positive and empowering celebration of this right of freedom of self expression, individuality and authenticity."

Which is an ironic way to describe a mass produced product.

Not only that, but MAG (Mothers Against Guns) are holding the advert (and the company) responsible for at least 3 gun-related crimes in South London the week that the ad aired. Scary, if it's true. But no doubt quite justified. I think TV affects us more than we realise (see the post on TV turnoff Week) and it's good to see that people have voiced their opposition to seeing a powerful company using such a [dodgy] role model to glamorize crime.

The fuss worked (albeit a little too late). The ASA launched an investigation and the ads were pulled. Their spokesman said "it's almost glorified that he's been shot 9 times. There's an emphasis on that, and it's almost seen to be cool."

As a sideline, anyone fancy blogging on the fact that the ad campaign was entitled 'I Am What I Am'?!

1 comment:

andy goodliff said...

Helen thanks for the interesting post. I have not come across the advert. Do you or others think that by wearing a brand you are showing your agreement with their beliefs and values?