• Bob Ginsberg

Advertising vs. real life

I never watched the series Mad Men when it aired years ago, but I recently did and now realize why it was so popular. It was of particular interest to me, as my goal throughout childhood and my college years was to be an advertising copywriter. In my teens I used to keep a book where I would write slogans and concepts for various products. Of course, life got in the way, and I never realized that dream.

The advertising world explains a great deal about our lives. The essence of who we are, our true selves, takes a back seat to what we think we should be. Those thoughts are reinforced by the media, advertisers, academia, scientists, clergy, family, politicians, friends and colleagues, and a host of other cultural and societal influences. We too often are focused and obsessed with our bodies vs. our minds. Since childhood we are bound by rules, and those rules often don’t have anything to do with truth. Most of today’s ads have little to do with the actual product, but instead prey on desires and dreams. If you drink this product your world will be better. If you wear or use this product you will achieve admiration and status. If you take this pill your life will be roses, despite that one of the fine print warnings is death.

Imagination is not evil. In fact, it is something that we should all possess and practice. However, there is a difference between imagination based upon false pretenses and independent thought and exploration. We rarely take the time to simply breathe and experience, and that is a shame.

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