A thought on advertising from 2003

On my other blog, A Medical Education , a brief post about an academic blog I kept for a few years turned into a nostalgia fest for my prior adventures in blogging.

One was Taytoman Agonistes , which is largely a bald account of books I’ve read and a commonplace book. I don’t think much here needs to be saved from the mire of the internet. However I did come across one musing which is similar to ones I have been having more recently. I foresee that the supposedly brilliant marketing of todays internet tycoons will one day seem as dated and leaden as the Lux marketing referred to below, and our love affair with all things tech will seem as quaint as hell.

Here is the original post

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Just browsed the Special Features on The Third Man DVD. Lots of interesting stuff, which avoids the DVD-bonus trap of being either boring or too obvious promotional material. There’s two trailers, one from the original release which amusingly has a female voice trying to “sex up” the murky tale of Harry Lime. A lovely archive sequence of Anton Karas strumming that theme. Most entertaining of all is the Lux Radio Theatre Production, completely with charmingly stilted plugs for Lux.

These plugs are hilariously wooden – and yet presumably at the time were seen by some as irritatingly commercial. Advertising has changed spectacularly in the last number of years. One wonders if, say, the current TV ad for the Playstation 2 (with the Shirley Temple song, and the frankly disturbing sight of millions of people piling up on each other) could be transported complete into, say, 1957, what reaction would it cause? Quite aside from the difficulty of explaining what a Playstation is, would the 1957 audience recognise it as something trying to promote a product?

And in 20 or 30 years will our ads look similarly dated?


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