The advertising people are studying our habits and languages, getting into our heads, doing the math and exploiting the gathered intelligence to win us over, telling us what we want before we know it.
Angels and devils on the shoulders of capitalism, they whisper in one ear, shout in the other, inspiring us, enlightening and infuriating us, and ultimately persuading us to spend money we may or may not have for goods and services we may or may not need.
We see their calling cards everywhere, on TV and the Internet, in the movies, in our sleep, along the highways, on our cell phones, plastered across cities and ballparks, in our memories and in newspapers and magazines (to an ever-shrinking degree, much to the dismay of traditional ink-stained wretches, whose livelihood depends on editorial space augmented by advertising).
The public relations people are out there, too, and their numbers seem to be increasing (or their vigilance is, based on the number of story pitches that arrive daily to my inbox); spin doctors and image makers, flacks and publicists, planting the seeds of information that benefit their clients and organizations, managing the message, creating exposure.
Advertising and public relations (or PR) are separate silos of marketing, different disciplines going in different directions in the creation, building and marketing of brands, products, services and thoughts.
And they want nothing less than your soul. Resistance is futile.
For the real version of this story, go here: http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=50862&&pn&17&p=38
P.S. – There is at least one correction to the story: In the left-hand column on Page 41, near the top, just under the ‘Socially Acceptable’ header, I wrote that “overall PR spending will actually climb …” It’s supposed to say, “overall advertising spending will climb …” Make a note of it. There just might be a quiz.