It’s An Ad World Vol 1

7 08 2007

Last week I walked by these two ads at the 14th St PATH station in Manhattan, en route to Jersey City. Since my only camera was the Canon 20D, I rarely lug it around unless I have a specific shoot. After seeing these billboard, I fed my longtime craving of something pocket sized for such opportunities. Since college I’ve been very interested in the ways that advertising affects our cultural and human psychology, and these two ads – placed side by side, in fact – are two not-so-great examples of the negative consequences of having the money to plaster such things on the walls. – Derek Beres

Ads 1

If the secret is in me, why do I need to read a book about it? Yet religion has made quite a successful living from the same promise – it’s inside of you, but we have the keys to opening that door.  From the writers of the illustrious You: An Owner’s Manual comes the mandatory follow-up to any slightly successful book that seems mandatory fare these days. Thank goodness for those “unruly” people that graffiti billboards, adding a bit of life with a pen to this nonsense. If you look closely, you can see the word “pigwash” next to the woman’s right hand. The fad self-help trend has to stop sooner or later, but I suppose as long as there are people believing they are in need of help, there will be people seeking to make a buck. While there’s a possibility that the writers themselves believe they are helping people, I only hope they get a glimpse of the unoriginality of this, and understand that greed is a form of malnutrition much more dangerous than hamburgers.

Ads 2

Over a decade ago, I remember some acting friends complaining that the only role for Latins in film was as a thief or a thug – or, a terrorist, it seems. Well, hey, terrorism is big business these days! It makes a lot of money! I don’t know if I should feel bad for John Leguizamo at this point, or simply give up on him. He’s an amazing actor, but by continually accepting roles like this he’s put in an ethnic double-bind: it’s the roles he needs to support himself as an actor, but they’re continually pigeonholing him, and many other actors of such stature, into these stereotypes. And you’d just know that a New Kid is the “deal maker.” I can’t believe over a decade later this sort of bias exists, but then again, I can: it’s Hollywood, after all.

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