Nothing Rhymes With Orange

Advertisements, what are they really about?


Isaac Gittleman, Columnist

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

This famous Apple “Think Different” ad campaign caught the attention of the country and the world and brought back Apple from a lull. Apple sold customers on their “why” and the demand for Apple products grew significantly more inelastic as it didn’t really matter what Apple products came about, customers wanted to buy the next computer or phone and help change the world.

Advertisements help to track historical progress as they catch our attention, get us to latch on to a product or idea, and define generations of consumerism. Right now, advertisements aren’t just commercials anymore but bleed into our usage of social media platforms and political campaigns and it is very problematic.

Everyone’s Instagram accounts are essentially advertisements for who we are as people, and in looking into that, we can see people trying to fit into certain narratives and brand themselves falsely to be someone they are not. People’s personal brands, the way we market ourselves, are losing some of the unique flair that we inherently have as people. Comment sections and Insta story birthday wishes have become robotic, with entire friend groups posting and commenting the same exact message over and over again within a matter of minutes. In our personal advertising, we have lost some of our ability to be ourselves and stand out, and merely try to brand ourselves in ways that look better to an audience. Likes and comments are commoditized as people repeat posts that get more likes and stray further and further away from what’s true to them, often in pursuit of this arbitrary commodity which makes our personal brands somehow feel greater.

As in politics, we have grown more polarized and reliant on buzzwords such as: toxic masculinity, fake news, and many more which distract from any argument or conversation they’re dropped into. As a result, we’ve lost some of the discourse that our democracy has relied on for centuries. We have fallen victim to well-produced political advertising and instead of finding a range of sources, one catches our attention with its strategic twinkle and we get fixated on that mindset, not to even consider anyone else’s perspectives. Technology has grown to the point where there is a constant infinity of noise circulating us and it is our responsibility to look past the gimmicks and not fall into the trap of one product or idea. In order to recover some of the democratic discourse that has been lost in recent years, we must step away from our captivity in false advertising that is constantly surrounding us. Be conscious of when you falsely advertise yourself and know the impacts, and hopefully take a quick look at least at the product before you blindly buy every product a company has to offer, or every idea a political campaign represents.