According to Advertising Age, Warren Buffett is a “rock star” in China. Jesus.
As the continuing Reagan Revolution reaches its Drumpfian apotheosis, the always-undiscussed actually dominant institutions continue their normal development, with all the standard, dire consequences. To wit, here’s a visual from my present work on cars-first transportation. The sources here are Fortune magazine and the U.S. Census Bureau. Please don’t reproduce this image without respecting the CC 4.0 attribution limits linked beneath it.
Note that I chose 1994 as the middle case because that was the first year in which Fortune included service-sector corporations in its “Fortune 500” reports. 1954, meanwhile, was the first year covered by such reporting.
In the year 2017, in a world that needs to solve its problems of runway wealth maldistribution/population growth, ecological non-sustainability, and politico-military chaos, what are the leading lights of corporate capitalist innovation worrying about and working on? This, per Advertising Age:
“This is a unique moment in the ad industry,” Mr. Joe Marchese said. “If we don’t work together, ad-free models will continue to proliferate.”
“We are trying to figure out how to create new models that transfer attention more efficiently,” said Fox TV marketer David Levy.
“We know there is a need to lower the ad load because we inundated consumers and they are now tuning out and blocking,” said Helen Lin, president-digital investment and partnership, Publicis Media U.S. “When you increase the number of ads, your lift potential is reduced. We know we have to do something before consumers completely block out.”
Lovely, ain’t it?
A Golden Hicksie goes to the National Basketball Association, which is about to place corporate advertisements on its jerseys:
According to ProPublica, Facebook now provides its clients (read: corporate marketers) with the capacity to target 55,235 different interest groups, on which FB also collects heaps of outside reconnaissance via so-called data brokers. Per ProPublica:
The categories from commercial data brokers were largely financial, such as “total liquid investible assets $1-$24,999,” “People in households that have an estimated household income of between $100K and $125K,” or even “Individuals that are frequent transactor at lower cost department or dollar stores.”
Big Brother was an amateur.
Thanks to its superior deniability and ability to deliver Pavlovian treats, market totalitarianism works infinitely better than its state cousin ever has or could. Stalin and Hitler would be purple with jealousy at how well corporate capitalism obtains compliance from its subordinate classes.
With this in mind, ponder the fact that, as reported by Advertising Age, “[t]he escapist appeal of looking at other people’s beautiful homes turned Home & Garden Television into the third most-watched cable network in 2016, ahead of CNN and behind only Fox News and ESPN.”
The basis of this ascent is the sponsored worship of one of the core products of corporate capitalism’s sales vector, the personal residence:
Nikki Justice doesn’t seem like she’d be a big fan of HGTV’s show “Property Brothers.” A first-year astronomy and physics major at Ohio State University, she’s never owned a home, let alone flipped one. But her parents watched regularly, and now Ms. Justice tunes in several hours a week to watch one home transformation after another.
“A lot of the news these days is really stressful,” she said. “HGTV is not something that’s going to hurt me. I watch it and dream of what I want for my future house.”
So does Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who recently said that he prefers HGTV to ESPN. Taylor Swift shared on Instagram her affection for HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” And Hillary Clinton said she likes “Love It or List It” and “Beachfront Bargain Hunt,” calling them “relaxing, entertaining and informative.”
CNN is itself a deeply defective product, as explained by Joseph Heath. But the fact remains: In the year 2016, HGTV is more important in the mental sphere of the United States than the supposed flagship of information about collective affairs. Note to the grandchildren…
It makes me reach for my Jacques Ellul:
As advertising of the most varied products is concentrated, a new type of human being, precise and generalized, emerges. We can get a general impression of this new human type by studying America, where human beings tend clearly to become identified with the ideal of advertising. In America, advertising enjoys universal popular adherence, and the American way of life is fashioned by it.