Posts Tagged ‘images’

Go Ahead, Wreck Your Home

March 14, 2008

Do government agencies use subliminal advertising techniques?  For months now, the Lottery Corporation has been running commercials to promote their ‘play on-line’ service.  In other words, they’re promoting on-line gambling.

The commercials are ostensibly humorous.  One features a middle aged suburban man teeing up in his living room and driving a golf ball through the sliding glass patio door, shattering it.  Another has a woman rolling her bowling ball down a wood-floored corridor, which then crashes into the wall at the end and damages it.  Both end with the corporation’s web address and a voice-over telling you to “Play at home”.

The images in the ads seem to go beyond humour.  They appear to appeal to the habitual gamblers’ deep, dark desire to destroy their lives/homes.  It strikes me as unethical and very hypocritical, given that subliminal advertising is supposed to be illegal.  I guess the government will look the other way when they are benefiting from the revenue generated.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, subliminal advertising refers to using techniques or tactics in advertising that suggest something subconsciously.  There is always a grey area, of course, because much of an ad’s work is to create an image to appeal to a target market.  This is usually not achieved via directly spoken or written information.

A famous example of subliminal advertising is the image of popcorn or drinks on a single frame of film inserted into a movie in a theatre.  The audience doesn’t consciously notice it, but they suddenly feel the urge to buy some popcorn or a soft drink.  This would have been commonly done back in the days when there was an intermission.

These lottery ads remind me of the screaming faces airbrushed into ice cubes in liquor ads.  Those ads tapped into the fears and insecurities that the alcoholic feels.   Although the lottery ads don’t have hidden images, there does seem to be a subconscious message, appealing to an addict’s self-destructive tendencies.

This gives an indication of how much government depends on lottery revenues and begs the question, which is a higher priority for them – revenue or society?  Should government prey on its own people to generate revenue?

Just a thought.

TV Dinners, or, Anatomy of a Ruined Meal

February 23, 2008

What is with this obsession with showing surgery on TV?  It’s not enough that the medical and forensic dramas that dominate the schedule regularly feature gory make-up and effects to simulate it, the news has to top them with real footage of actual surgery and other medical procedures – at dinner time.

How many times have I watched the news while eating my dinner – my version of time saving multi-tasking – only to be confronted with an image of someone’s heart or other organ being worked on?  Then there’s the various solutions to obesity they like to show, like liposuction.  There’s nothing like watching human fat being sucked through a tube to make you savour that meal.

But, I don’t think there’s anything that can make you feel sick to your stomach like an inside view of a colonoscopy.  I do not want to see the inside of anyone’s ass or intestines at any time, let alone when I’m eating.  That glistening surface of some pinch point that appears to be the gateway to the next chamber of someone’s innermost privacy is forever burned in my mind.

It’s bad enough that broadcasters would show this stuff on the late news, leaving you with the lasting image to haunt you as you try to sleep.  But, they couldn’t stop there.  They had to put it on the evening news, too, when many people are eating.  It’s just tasteless and inconsiderate of their audience.  Even if I wasn’t eating, I wouldn’t want to see it.

Shocking images are considered good television, I suppose.  If the alternative is talking heads, they’d rather put you off your dinner than risk boring you into watching the competition.  The competition is showing it, so they have to.  Their ratings are more important than your enjoyment of a meal.