I thought I had seen all the ways that advertisers try to get my attention, but I was wrong. This week I went to fill my car with gas and was assaulted by a new barrage of noise and image. Apparently, it is not enough that I am spending a lot of money to purchase gasoline. I am also seen as a captive audience for advertisements.
In this case, it was a very loud television(with no volume controls) blaring a series of ads and pictures at me while I stood helplessly by my gas tank. The kiosk also helpfully offered business cards that I could take to contact the various advertisers. Interestingly enough, none of the businesses offered were within 25 miles of my home. Perhaps the intention was that I would use some of my newly purchased gasoline to take a long drive!
City buses drive by plastered with full ads that even cover the windows so that you can’t see into the bus. The grocery cart has an insert showing me a friendly insurance agent. It appears you can be paid to paint your car as an advertisement and drive around town. I even saw a portable billboard on the back of a truck trailer.
I remember the first time I saw the name of a company on an article of clothing and was astonished that anyone would pay to advertise a manufacturer. Little did I foresee how normalized that would become, nor that it would become an opportunity for “status.”
Curmudgeonly yours, I remain, looking for a new gas station.