RogerBW's Blog

Where Brands Meet People 18 September 2016

I'm not fond of ClearChannel; I'm already inclined to regard it as a fairly vile mob because (a) it's an advertising firm and (b) it systematically destroyed non-top-40 music radio in the USA so as to maximise advertising revenue. But it's reached a new low.

I've been seeing this about from time to time on their video hoardings, as a break between the actual ads (they even have smaller versions of these screens in some pubs now, because goodness knows you're not being advertised at enough already); this one was at a bus stop in Oxford in August.

This strikes me as remarkably creepy even for ad-men. I feel that brands should meet cattle, not people, unless it's all consensual and whatnot and even then I'm not entirely happy about it. But clearly someone at corporate headquarters thought this was a good idea. I thought the point of advertising was that you tried not to say things that would make people actively dislike the product.


  1. Posted by John Dallman at 11:45am on 18 September 2016

    In the minds of advertising agencies, brands are the household gods of the modern era. And, of course, they can make quite a few people believe this. Personally, it makes me engage in wilful blindness towards branding.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:16pm on 18 September 2016

    One only has to live through one example of a brand being transferred (with or without its originating company) to entirely new ownership to realise that, as a guide to the quality of a product, they're entirely meaningless.

    (And I know, I'm not supposed to care about quality, I'm supposed to care about what other people will think of me when I display the right or wrong logos – but that's what we get for letting the extroverts define the societal norms.)

  3. Posted by Dr Bob at 07:32pm on 18 September 2016

    Management are always wittering on about 'brands' at the BBC too. Where the brands in question are what mere mortals call TV series: Eastenders, Dr Who, Antiques Roadshow, etc.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 07:52pm on 18 September 2016

    Hmm, if they said that to me I'd assume they meant the TV series as well as the halo of stuff around it - DVDs, books, toys, all the things the fortunes of which will rise and fall with public perception of the series itself.

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