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Ad It Up: Guilty Pleasures Edition

I've been kind of laid back in my television commercial watching lately. It's not that I haven't noticed any new ads, it's more like I hadn't noticed that I was noticing them. Maybe it's just that most of the stuff I get to watch is on Qualler and Brigitte's DVR, which has this delightful feature that allows us to completely bypass anyone trying to sell us on anything, so when I'm at home I kind of zone out at commercial break time. So this past weekend, when we forgot to press the skip ahead button on the remote as we were wasting an entire day and a half in front of the boob tube, someone commented on how much they hate the new iPod commercial. Until that point I hadn't realized that a) I totally LOVE the new iPod commercial and b) I feel a little bit dirty for loving the new iPod commercial.



Now, I would like to think that in my mid-late 20's I am above the influence of peer pressure enough to be able to form my own opinions and stand by them, so I spent some time pondering what exactly makes me feel so icky about liking this commercial. Then, I had an epiphany -- sort of. This advertisement is essentially the video equivalent of all of those inspiration posters that were/are so popular among high school classrooms and corporate business offices everywhere. Posters such as...
...that encourage you to stick out in the crowd instead of just blindly following the trend (like buying fancy iPods). Only, Apple knows that you can't just tell someone in their demographic to be different because we've been hearing how special and individualistic we are since grade school. You also have to latch on to some kind of subculture to show that you can be yourself and still be cool. Like music, for example. Or skateboarding...

But all this inspirational BS is a total sham. If it was really okay to just be yourself, they would show a nerd doing a chemistry project for fun or have us admire that kid who wore sweatpants to school every day until the 8th grade. (Editor's Note: Ha! That was my best friend, The Drax!) I bet he was really comfortable! Slapping that kind of skewed definition of individuality onto a poster for kids is one thing, but in a television commercial it's just gross. I guess maybe what bothers me most about the iPod commercial is that it is inspiring me to pursue my individuality while simultaneously trying to mass-market to me -- and it's working! The bright colors, the hip people, the catchy music, the fun they're having! Good work, Apple, good work.

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  1. Blogger Papa Thor | 10:50 AM |  

    Haha, for all you in-duh-viduals:
    http://penguingeek.wordpress.com/2007/02/04/i-gotta-be-me/
    I still want a t-shirt that reads "I'm not like the other non-conformists"

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