Saturday, April 24, 2010

Placing Product Placement

The ordinary mind casually and comfortably draws a distinction between art and advertising.  For most the distinction is clear, no matter how clever and effective, and inspired, the advertising, -- the design of the advertisement may require a genius -- the fact of the purpose, which must hang out, typically, if the ad is to be effective at all, the fact that advertising is seeking to affect what the viewer does--- all this sights down a rift plane which most view as ultimate--that art and advertising are separate.
And that there is a distinction between art and advertising  is not what I would put under examination.  What I would point out is that first---what is the point of that aspect of advertising called product placement.  Is it not to hide the fact of the advertising, to render the advertising more effective, more likely to result in your doing what the ad purchaser desires?  Is it not possible that a whole movie be designed around one scene where the star ---- eats a particular brand of -- say, french fries. Perhaps you could conclude that the less prominent the purpose of the ad is, the more effective the advertisement is.
Of course the attention of the viewer must be retained. Hence the art that must go into product placement.  
It is almost as if the advertisers are learning from reality: what is it that maintains attention, hides its purpose, and (statistically speaking) universally succeeds? 
The answer is: the ordinary consciousness that characterizes all of us some of the time. The fact of the perspectival bias called 'me' is almost never noticed.  But the attention of the observer is, for all practical purposes, constantly maintained.  And due to the cleverness of the product placement,  the advertising hook is not noticed.  The advertising copy is that you are a unique and independent agent. Is it not possible that this belief, of one's autonomy, is just, a pitch?  A pitch made most sucessful by product placement within -- human consciousness. 
The pitch --is that there is no pitch.
And who is writing the copy, who is placing the ad, and why? 
The first thing must be, on a path of understanding, to perceive your prison.This sentiment was best expressed by Jan Cox.  If these larger questions cannot be answered, at least verbally, be aware of the part of the advertisement which says you must never admit you do not know something.  Who knows whether these larger questions can be verbally answered.  There are options you cannot even imagine from the viewpoint of ordinary consciousness. 
Just, now, toss around this idea, that your consciousness may be a site for product placement, and what this could mean. And what would it be like if your consciousness could, actually, become -- art.