Tag Archives: advertising

July 4th: Sorry, America, You Lost Me, by Charles Hugh Smith

This doesn’t pretend to be a balanced opinion piece; it’s a screed. However, in today’s screwed up world, sometimes it’s the screeds that make the most sense. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Star Wars 24 plus the novelized version, amusement park ride, podcast, action figure and OnlyFans pages, anyone?

I happened to be in a Big Box Emporium, buying two bags of whole wheat flour, when a strange revelation struck me: almost nothing in this giant emporium was made in the USA. Apologists will quickly point out that the two bags of whole wheat flour were “made in the USA,” and note the US-made items in the food, liquor and beverage aisles; but wander out of these aisles and tell me how many of the hundreds of items are made in the USA (not assembled of foreign components, but made entirely in the USA). The answer is very few.

I suppose this fact is unremarkable to the majority of Americans, but my reaction was, sorry, America, you lost me: how is this not insane to depend on sweatshops thousands of miles away to make virtually everything on the shelves and warehouses of the U.S.?

It’s as if a war was declared on manufacturing in America and we lost–or simply surrendered.

If you want to buy a bulldozer or electric vehicle, you can Buy American, and if you buy an iPhone, the firmware is conjured in Cupertino (the phone is assembled in China of components sourced globally). But below a certain price point and outside the snacks, magazines and beer aisles, U.S.-made good are “special order” if they’re available at all.

Is this because the foreign made stuff is so high quality? No, it’s virtually all garbage quality. A war was declared on quality, and America lost. Virtually nothing on the shelves of America’s Big Box Emporiums and fulfillment warehouses is durable; it’s either designed to fail (planned obsolescence) or it’s so poorly made that it breaks, fades, rips, tears, delaminates or fails, and is dutifully hauled to the landfill as part of the entire Landfill Economy. (Forget trying to repair it; it’s been designed to be impossible to repair, and all the components are junk, too.)

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Michael Bloomberg’s Failed Ad Blitz Reminds Us Advertisers Don’t Force People to Do Anything, Ryan McMaken

Just because you advertise doesn’t mean anyone will buy your product. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the Democratic Party’s primary this week, but not before he spent more than $500 on political advertisements. According to Bloomberg (the news service, not the man),

Through Friday [Feb 21], he’s spent $505.8 million on broadcast, cable, radio and digital ads, according to Advertising Analytics. That’s an average of $5.5 million a day since he officially became a candidate.

It’s also $190 million more than all of his active Democratic rivals combined, including billionaire hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer, have spent on political ads.

This all netted Michael Bloomberg a whopping twenty-seven delegates. That’s more than $18 million per delegate. This means Bloomberg didn’t even succeed in becoming a spoiler or a kingmaker at the Democratic convention this summer.

In short, the failed Bloomberg ad blitz serves as a helpful reminder that advertising doesn’t actually make people do anything. Ads on YouTube and TV—even when they are released in a veritable torrent as Bloomberg’s ads were—are not enough in themselves to convince people to vote for someone.

We saw a similar issue during the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton outspent Trump 2 to 1. Indeed, among so-called outside groups (such as super PACs), “Pro-Clinton ads outnumbered pro-Trump ads 3 to 1—a mind-numbing 383,512 ads for Clinton compared to 125,617 supporting Trump.”

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In 2020, we need to fight the new thoughtpolice, by Frank Furedi

Control words and you can control thought. From Frank Furedi at spiked-online.com:

Speech, thought and culture are being policed on a terrifying scale.

During the past decade, and especially this year, those in positions of influence have tried to change the narrative through which society understands itself.
There is an insidious crusade afoot aiming at controlling what the public sees, hears, thinks and believes. This project, which seeks hegemony in various Western cultures, is no less pervasive and thoroughgoing than previous attempts at thought control by totalitarian and theocratic regimes.

But since this campaign to control the narrative has no name, and does not promote an explicit ideology, its significance tends to be underestimated, even by those who oppose the many attempts to police language and thought.

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Capitalism Isn’t the Reason We’re Unhappy, by Ryan McMaken

Capitalism is supposedly responsible for most of the world’s ills, while government generally gets a free pass on everything. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Many critics of capitalism have given up trying to claim capitalism makes people poorer. Faced with so many obvious gains in the standard of living, and in reducing poverty worldwide, markets have won the economic debate over whether or not capitalism is the path to material riches.

But the doctrinaire anti-capitalists have other strategies. They’ve now branched out into blaming capitalism for a host of other social, ecological, and psychological ills.

Sometimes, the tactic is to blame capitalism for destroying the earth. Other times, it’s to claim that capitalism, in spite of the material plenty it delivers, makes us miserable.

For example, George Monbiot, columnist at The Guardian blames pro-capitalist ideology for making people, sad, lonely, and unhealthy. Writers cite polls claiming people in richer countries — i.e., more capitalistic ones — are more miserable than people elsewhere. Holly Baxter at The Independent suggests capitalism is the reason elderly people are now so lonely and isolated: capitalism makes us more concerned with buying things than with visiting poor, dying Aunt Ethel.

Claim: Capitalism Wants Us to Be Sad, Needy Consumers

And it’s all by design, it seems. According to Monbiot and other critics of “neoliberalism” — by which they just mean anything resembling a market system — the capitalist ideology is designed to isolate us, and turn us into soulless consumers. This then paves the way for an endless cycle of misery and consumption.

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The Fall Of Facebook Has Only Just Begun, by 13D Research

Facebook still faces a sea of woes that are probably not reflected in its stock price. From 13D Research, via zerohedge.com:

The fall of Facebook has only begun. The platform is broken and neither human nor machine can fix it.

Even after losing roughly a third of its market cap, it still may prove one of the great shorts of all time.

“There’s no mental health support. The suicide rate is extremely high,” one of the directors of the documentary, “The Cleaners” told CBS News last May. The film is an investigative look at the life of Facebook moderators in the Philippines. Throughout his 2018 apology tour, Mark Zuckerberg regularly referenced the staff of moderators the company had hired as one of two key solutions — along with AI — to the platform’s content evils. What he failed to disclose is that the majority of that army is subcontractors employed in the developing world.

For as long as ten hours a day, viewing as many as 25,000 images or videos per day, these low-paid workers are buried in the world’s horrors — hate speech, child pornography, rape, murder, torture, beheadings, and on and on. They are not experts in the subject matter or region they police. They rely on “guidelines” provided by Facebook — “dozens of unorganised PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets with bureaucratic titles like ‘Western Balkans Hate Orgs and Figures’ and ‘Credible Violence: Implementation standards’,” as The New York Times reported last fall. The rules are not even written in the languages the moderators speak, so many rely on Google Translate. As a recent op-ed by John Naughton in The Guardian declares bluntly in its headline, “Facebook’s burnt-out moderators are proof that it is broken.”

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Truth & Bullshit in the Digital Advertising Age, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Truth usually wins in the end, but it has to fight its share of epic battles. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

In sales and advertising it’s always a numbers game.  That is to say the more people are impressed upon with a certain pitch, or spiel as it were, the larger the response will be during any given campaign or promotional event.

In advertising, “points” measure percentages of given populations and can be targeted to select demographics (called Target Rating Points) or even subjective measurements (called Index Rating Points) like the propensity to purchase in any given market.

Furthermore “Gross Impressions” quantify the approximate number and cost per thousands of duplicate people reached within a certain demographic; whereas “Reach” and “Frequency” represent math equations based upon algorithms involving unduplicated people impressed upon within a certain demographic and how many times they were imprinted with any given ad or message.

The points are these:  There is a mathematical science behind motivatingpeople located in markets (i.e. regions) into action; and this is why companies like Nike and Pepsi will pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually to athletes and movie stars alike to promote their products.  It is because advertising works.

Now let’s compare companies and strategies.

Suppose there was a monopolistic international entity by the name of Military Industrial Company Incorporated (MICI) selling a product called “Bullshit” and competing against an aggressive start-up by the name of Wild Web Worldwide (WWW) who had a better product trademarked under the name of “Truth”.

Obviously, Truth was the superior commodity, but MICI did not own the rights.  Therefore, MICI knew its Bullshit couldn’t compete with Truth on a direct basis, so it would have to utilize its superior assets to advertise Bullshit to the masses while, at the same time, suppressing WWW’s ability to deliver Truth to the people throughout various regions; specifically, within the United States Designated Market Area (DMA).

Unfortunately for WWW, MICI also owned the world’s premier advertising agency called The Mainstream Media International (TMMI).  Now TMMI was definitely not a typical advertising agency.  Not at all.  What made TMMI so special was that it actually owned 90% of the television stations, newspapers, and radio networks throughout the entire United States DMA.

Of course, this presented a problem for those working over at WWW because they knew they could never compete in delivering Truth to the people against the powerful Military Industrial Company Incorporated (MICI); especially given The Mainstream Media International’s (TMMI) near-monopoly on advertising, and selling, Bullshit.

To continue reading: Truth & Bullshit in the Digital Advertising Age

Happy New Year: Don’t Be Fooled By the Orthodoxies of the Messengers, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Here is Hollywood’s latest in political correctness. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

– Edward Bernays, “Propaganda”

Edward Bernays (1891 – 1995) was a famous pioneer in the field of public relations and is, today, often referred to as the Father of Propaganda. Perhaps Bernays became thus known because he authored the above quoted 1928 book titled with that very term. He was actually the nephew of the famed psychopathologist Sigmund Freud and was very proud of his uncle’s work. More than that, however, Bernays accepted the basic premises of Freud towards the use of emotional manipulation of the masses through advertising. It was, in fact, Bernays, who changed the term propaganda into “public relations”.

If the excerpt above from Bernays’ book “Propaganda” is true, then it would imply there are men of great power who utilize psychology in order to message and manipulate the minds of the masses. Are these the men that Thomas Jefferson, supposedly, once warned about? Indeed. They are the ones who control the issue of currency; the ones who first by inflation, then by deflation, caused the banks and corporations to grow up around the people thus depriving them of all property until the people’s children woke up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

These are the men who financially and politically manage sovereign governments as well as the handful of corporations that control 90% of the media today.  It is not hard to imagine, therefore, why it would be in the best interests of these men to mentally maneuver the masses into complacency. But how is this psychological manipulation implemented?

Through lies, of course.

To continue reading: Happy New Year: Don’t Be Fooled By the Orthodoxies of the Messengers