posted on Aug, 26 2011 @ 07:29 PM
I think that many people here are missing the take-home message here. The events portrayed in this specific commercial are not, in themselves,
significant. The actual act of calling the police because a parent is steal food may well be just a dumb, silly concept. It was probably designed and
scripted as such. The point is that, despite the fact that it may just be some dumb joke, it has far more power. It makes suggestions about lifestyle,
about morals, and about the "proper order" of things.
What exactly does it communicate? Does it tell kids to call the police when daddy takes some Mac 'n' Cheese? No, it does nothing of the sort. It
does, however, support the order of our present legal system. It tells kids that the police have power over the people and that laws, no matter how
absurd, must be followed. It suggests that legal mediation is a valid option even when personal discussion will suffice. It probably suggests many
other bad things without any malicious intent.
The point is that advertisement is dangerous. Advertisers are irresponsible. Even half-heard radio advertisements in the background have and effect
and make an impression. They support a certain order and lifestyle. They can have a substantial role in shaping the mental categories and ordering
systems that people--particularly children--use to make sense of the world.
It's even worse when the malice is intentional. The advertising part of the cosmetics industry, for instance, is, almost without exception,
malicious. Do you think that models are so ubiquitous in cosmetics advertising because they provide a good and realistic demonstration of cosmetic
products in action? Absolutely not. They are used because they induce feelings of insecurity. Young women watch a shampoo commercial with gorgeous
half-naked women in the shower and they feel like they *should* look like that. A guy sees a muscular underwear model with perfect skin and a rugged,
square jawline and he feels inadequate. This is intentional and it does serious psychical harm to those who are exposed to such advertisement.
The take-home message here: be wary. If you can't avoid advertisement entirely (you can't), be mindful of what you see. Look for the hidden meaning.
Look at the logical fallacies and be aware of the emotional appeals. Dissecting the advertisements and identifying their hidden messages can
significantly reduce their efficacy.
The same applies to television shows, movies, books, etc.--No medium is "too pure" to contain such messages. Be aware.