We Can Change Our Future!
Advertising and Marketing
It’s an interesting sensation to write about advertising and marketing. Although what they are is clear, intellectually, and many of us remember them, often with a horrific, involuntary shudder of recognition, there really is no more advertising or marketing.
In the recent U.S. past, advertising and marketing drove marketplaces and invaded lives and minds, aggressively, without respect or regard for people, negative impacts or harms done. They were about producers of goods and services trying to create demand for their goods and services by assaulting spaces and heads with messages and images to try to program us to want whatever producers had, wearing us down, embedding thoughts in us, so producers and sellers could profit, often to our harm.
Advertising and marketing content and noise were insinuated into almost all media and public spaces. Ads were often louder and flashier than other content. Billboards, digital screens and lights blocked views and invaded our fields of vision. Salespeople called our personal phones, put things in our mail, rang our personal doorbells, and harangued us everywhere with pushy pitches, invading our privacy.
Marketing and advertisement were so pervasive, and they so permeated our culture and lives that most of us didn’t know any different or better, but they affected our lives for the worse. We suffered twitchy attention deficit disorders from many ways ads and other messages violently interrupted our focuses.
We wasted billions of hours as these messages ran through us, exposed to 5,000 ads a day, on average. They made many environments and experiences ugly. We were beholden to advertisement in order to get news, information or entertainments, because advertisement models governed media operations. We created vast mountains of harmful marketing and sales material garbage, wasting vast resources. We had marketing jingles stuck in our heads, like brain viruses, making us want to kill ourselves.
In reaction, for self-defense and preservation of sanity, we built walls around our attentions, thoughts and awarenesses to squelch out these insidious invasions, like the Chinese built a great wall to keep the Mongols from destroying their cities. We met life and the world around us through shields and barriers against attempts to influence us. We never knew when someone would try to sell us, convince us, or ask us for something, which we’d find out in the end wasn’t good for us. So, we closed to strangers, keeping them at bay. We were cynical and skeptical toward others, and avoided outside conversations, which separated us from each other, made us lonely, and cheated us of experiences.
The more jaded we became, the better our armor, filters and shields, the more violently we were attacked by ads and messages, so they would get through and work on us, and the more carefully we built and put up our shields and walls, in a sick escalation of violation and retreat, assault and defense. The pusher-men were absolutely everywhere. We hid from them in distrust and isolation. As we did, we cut off from each other, and we suffered social losses, which we missed like amputees miss limbs.
As part of the consumer demand revolution of the 2020s, people just started turning off and refusing to patronize channels and businesses that forced advertisement on us. “Whatever it is, we’d rather not have it than have to suffer through its marketing and sales assaults.” We started choosing subscription and other models to receive news, media and entertainments, in which we could avoid advertisements. We developed technologies to identify and remove advertisements before we were exposed to them. Many withdrew from media, so we could withdraw from marketing and sales assaults.
We punished egregious ad pushers with boycotts, social media abuse, massive complaints and counterattacks, like putting heavy metal washers in return envelopes mail marketers bore the cost of, robo-calling robo-caller company executives and employees at home, and sharing hilarious and mean advertisement knockoffs that made jokes of advertisers and their wares. We exerted our increasing powers to avoid and fight back against unwanted advertisement, marketing, PR and solicitation.
Finally, as part of the Inform Us input gathering process and system implementation, we were able to stop advertisements, marketing, PR and other uninvited solicitations, through laws and replacement. They were replaced by a comprehensive system of simply and openly sharing information, so all of us have facts we need to find, evaluate and acquire whatever we need or want, without interference, interruption or confusion from unwanted messaging being shoved into our heads, via ear and eye holes.
Now, in 2060, we mostly take it for granted that we do not have any more advertisement or marketing. We have simple, artistic signs identifying names and locations. Otherwise, environments are free of it. We see structures, gardens and art we put pride into making beautiful, not billboards and flashing lights. No media is interrupted by unwanted messaging. People who call, write or message us have legitimate reasons to communicate with us, and our permission to do so. We have quality information we need.
Nobody tries to sell us anything unsolicited in our homes or communities. We can pay attention again. We’re present and open to each other as fellow human beings, and enjoy friendly encounters and conversations with strangers. Our armor and shields are down, and there is great relief not bearing their burdens or consequences. The peace of mind is so worth it. Many now see that advertisement and marketing were essentially acts of violence, and we no longer have that violence in our lives.
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