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Sunday, 22 March 2009

At last! Ready-made advertising drivel. One small lurch backwards for mankind

Do you get my helpful marketing ideas, dear reader?

I know many of you do, and I am not trying to sell them to the rest of you, as they cost nothing.

Anyhow, one of the joys of sending them out is the replies - often amusing and sometimes instructive - that I get from readers.

Yesterday Stewart Turton told me about a wonderful thing called ad generator - www.theadgenerator.org - which proves once and for all that you don't need a brain to work in advertising. This was described by its ingenious inventor as follows:

The ad generator is a generative artwork that explores how advertising uses and manipulates language. Words and semantic structures from real corporate slogans are remixed and randomized to generate invented slogans. These slogans are then paired with related images from Flickr, thereby generating fake advertisements on the fly. By remixing corporate slogans, I intend to show how the language of advertising is both deeply meaningful, in that it represents real cultural values and desires, and yet utterly meaningless in that these ideas have no relationship to the products being sold. In using the Flickr images, the piece explores the relationship between language and image, and how meaning is constructed by the juxtaposition of the two.

This idea came from Alexis Lloyd as part of his MFA thesis project in the Design and Technology department at Parsons The New School for Design. I imagine that explains the pompous way he describes it. Academics hate simple language.

As I told Stewart, I agree on the "utterly meaningless" but not the "deeply meaningful, in that it represents real cultural values and desires".

Mostly it represents the square root of sod-all. How interesting it is to reflect that all over the world even in the depths of economic chaos idiots are sitting in claustrophobic meeting rooms discussing fatuous lines like "We're better, connected" in the delusional belief that any of their customers give a flying fuck.

Actually, we'd all be a whole lot better spending our time trying to improve our service. And whilst I thoroughly applaud Alexis's splendid endeavour, which demonstrates with admirable clarity what inane rubbish most slogans are, the random bullshit generator - http://dack.com/web/bullshit.html - is far better.

First, it is hilarious; and second, it really demonstrates what tripe most business talk is.

Go and spend a few minutes playing with it. Then reflect on how many overpaid, underemployed executives are passing those very same minutes playing with themselves.

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