There is something really smelly going on. It keeps popping up when I visit web sites. It keeps peeking out at me from people’s ears and hands. It keeps wafting through me when I’m flipping through magazines. And it keeps souring the air whenever a Fox tv show comes on the air. I’m talking about the smell of good advertising.
Let me get one thing straight. I don’t want an iPod. I have never wanted one, nor will I ever purchase one or have someone else purchase one for me. However?if someone happened to get me one as s small surprise, or say they won the lottery and was giving out iPods to their friends and I was one of those in the special circle, or say my name somehow ended up in some contest and I won?.well, I wouldn’t be rude and ask to have it returned.
I think the iPod advertising is finally creeping it’s sleek, porcelain white (or pastel pink, or lime green, or smooth silver) case with that easy-to-use user interface and smooth rotating buttons that simply let your fingers glide when selecting mp3s- into my head.
The amount of advertising that Apple’s iPod is getting is unbelievable and we have those corporate media suits to thank.
The media- print, magazine and broadcast- has sunk to new lows. We’ve always known that the media bows down to the corporations that supply the advertising revenue in order for said media to survive, however this new onslaught of iPod advertising is just embarrassing.
Consider this: a couple weeks ago, a Canadian broadcasting company came out with a special news report entitled “iPod Theft.” The hour long report had reporters talk to everyday people who have either had their iPod stolen, or the measures that they are taking in keeping their iPod safe and theft-free. Talk about free advertising. This “special news report” makes it seem that the iPod is like the Hope Diamond- one big expensive and recognizable accessory that is so valuable that it must be protected at all costs.
An unnamed subway rider told local ABC affiliate WABC about how he would defend his iPod: “I’m not sure how they’d get it from me, unless they pried it out of my cold, dead hand.”
I had hoped that people wouldn’t be dying over these miniscule music makers but then I read the Washington Post which reported that two Brooklyn teenagers killed a 15-year-old boy when they stole his iPod in early July.
So now people are killing just to own a music player. Is this the media’s fault? Yes, partly.
The media loves covering the iPod. Whenever there is news about Apple’s best-selling gadget, the reporters seem awe-struck, breathlessly detailing every single detail there is to know. Now while this can be useful to people out there who are thinking of buying one, the downside is that the media is looking like a corporate slave, peddling its wares to the masses. The iPod is no longer just a music player, it is an icon; of wealth, of status and of envy.
This is not the first time the media has made portable devices into valuable commodities: any kind of brand name clothing, Louis Vuitton luggage, Manolo Blahnik shoes, the Birkin bag and countless others.
Eventually, today’s iPod will be yesterday’s Air Jordans and the new tech fad will be in full swing, eagerly waiting to cash in on what will surely be another media advertising extravaganza.