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About people who talk a lot but say absolutely nothing...
MartinHafer5 December 2011
As I watched this episode of "Frontline" with my wife, we both had VERY different emotional reactions. I was appalled how ubiquitous advertising is and see it as a vile product of our age. Heck, one day I expect to see Mt. Rushmore or the Eiffel Tower emblazoned with ads--the problem is getting that serious. My wife, on the other hand, thought I should just lighten up--it's all harmless. My assumption is that you, the reader, are in either my camp or my wife's.

The show in a behind the scenes look at advertising. I am actually very surprised that the agencies would let "Frontline" see them in action, as I just felt like in many cases they were saying absolutely nothing! In a few cases, they had products which they were advertising in ways that had NOTHING to do with the products! This irritated me to no end. I did, however, find the sessions with the French psychiatrist more interesting and scientific--as well as informative. Still, his job was to get us to buy things we don't need.

The bottom line is that while I didn't like what I was seeing, I appreciate "Frontline" for doing it. It's a very rare insight into a weird and seemingly shallow world--and is never dull. Worth seeing.
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The illusion of consumer control
Mr-Fusion3 October 2017
Very good episode that focuses on the omnipresence of advertising and (specifically) the need to keep people engaged with the sellers' message. We're bombarded with ads, and at a certain point, we stop buying the promises of "whiter" or "cleaner", and now the objective is to nail potential buyers on an emotional level. The affective component. That we, as consumers, feel the need to belong and create meaning . . . which is the same reason for seeking a cult. I don't remember who in the episode said that, but that's an attention- grabber, by god.

But more than that, this introduces Clotaire Rapaille, a marketing consultant and easily the documentary's greatest character. A man who's in search of the "the 'reptilian hot buttons' that compel us to action." That the industry can be boiled down to lower human function. It's not insulting, because he's so likably French.

For a nuts-and-bolts view of nuts-and-bolts advertising, this is good stuff. But throw in an eccentric manipulator, and it takes on something else entirely.

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