A Commercial-Free World
My mother-in-law was over last night for dinner and she brought with her an AM radio so we could listen to one of her favorite music broadcasts. The music was fun and the program interesting, but after two hours I remembered why I don't listen to AM radio any more. The static, the DJ babble, and the persistent commercials every few songs had me climbing the walls.
Probably subconsciously — okay, I confess, with at least a small component of purposeful strategy — I've managed to eliminate commercial messages from my life. The assault from the radio last night was overwhelming. You see, I don't read magazines; instead I tend to read books. No advertising. I don't watch broadcast television; instead I watch streaming video so even the television I do watch is commercial-free. I don't read the newspaper; instead I get my news via the internet, but even then I tend not to visit news website because of all the banner ads. I'd rather read content via RSS feeds.
It's impossible to live in a perfect advertising-free world, but we can strive for it as a goal. I'm close. I'm probably an odd duck about this, but I also know I'm not alone. This has me thinking . . .
I wonder what the implications are for society (and for commerce) if more and more of us are insulated from advertising like I am? Obviously, I am probably missing some useful information I might be better off to know. Be that as it may, I just can't willingly subject myself to knowledge about the upcoming bridal fair or the discounts available on muffler enhancements. That's the chief problem with advertising — so little of it has anything to do with my life!
So, I've isolated myself. Herein lies a dilemma: as a photographer and publisher, how do I connect my products with people who don't know about them if they, like me, are unwilling to allow me access to their attention via advertising? We all want an audience for our artwork, but if people don't know about it, we need to tell them. We need to advertise. It's a dilemma of sizeable proportions. In today's world with the plethora of media available to us, it's becoming easier and easier as consumers to shut it out — which means more and more difficult to get our message out. There's a lot to think about, but at the very least you may bet the farm that my strategy won't include any advertising on AM radio.
Brooks' workshop Finding an Audience for Your Work is available on disc for $99 plus s&h. As one of the membership benefits, this workshop is available in its entirety to members of LensWork Online via streaming video.