I stopped at a gasoline station on my way home last evening. I stopped there for two reasons, the first was I needed gas with a storm approaching and I was eligible for a 40 cent per gallon discount earned by shopping at a local grocery store.
It was beastly cold out but it got even worse. There was an 8-inch screen on the pump blaring out some awful advertisements and showing some idiotic talking head. I was a captive, a prisoner. Is there nowhere we can escape from the constant bombardment of advertising, banners, slogans, noise, and promotions?
This was something called GSTV. There cannot be that many worse ideas around. What is the effectiveness of some ad while I am pumping gas in the freezing temperature? Am I likely to run out and go buy the useless product?
What is next? Television in the sanctity of the men’s room? Maybe, called T-TV? Pottyvision?
Everywhere the eye turns; there is some logo, sign message. Television programs carrying big symbols of the next show coming on at the bottom of the screen or advertising, some of them so big, you can not even seen half the screen.
Computer pop ups, rolling messages. Rotating signs at sports stadiums, billboards, advertising on sports jerseys, ads on clothing. Brand names everywhere. Product placement. Try to think of a place in life now that is uncluttered, that is visually pure? If there is an empty space somewhere, plaster it with something.
I personally do not find any of these devices very effective to get me to do something, influence my behavior. I do find them intrusive, annoying, blight and demeaning to the human spirit. All I wanted to do was to fill up my vehicle in peace and quiet.
There are few places left where a person can get away from all of this. It is an insidious result of an overly hyped society, looking at some hand held machine instead of greeting a person or looking around with out sensory overload. A culture that cannot think for itself but relies on some visual intrusion for instructions on what to buy, eat, drive, wear, watch, think and act.