The art of advertising.

We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements in our lives, as each person sees about 3,000 advertisements per day.  The multibillion dollar industry places their ads everywhere; billboards, newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc.  But when does an advertisement become so controversial that a person would stop their subscription to a newspaper such as the L.A. Times?  And, for the record, when I say controversial I don’t mean that it featured inappropriate content, but that it stirred people up because it was covering the text on the fake front page.

This is what happened somewhat recently with an ad for the movie, Alice in Wonderland.  Many were upset by the way that the front page looked, which featured Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter character taking up most of the page.  You can see the controversy for yourself here.

During our class, there were several different sides to the issue.  I’ve always been under the impression that advertisements were constantly pushing the envelop with creativity and new ways to reach the public.  It seems that people are okay with that, but only to the extent that it doesn’t question their intelligence.  This was the most obvious aspect of the anger that I saw from these print ad controversies.  I feel like many people would have been able to understand that these were advertisements from the start.  But for those who took a little while longer to figure out that Johnny’s face was just a ploy for you to go see the new Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, they took offense.

Here are some reactions to the advertisement: http://www.hollywoodnews.com/2010/03/05/is-the-la-times-strapped-for-cash/
http://www.altfg.com/blog/hollywood/alice-in-wonderland-los-angeles-times-controversy-812/
http://www.editorsweblog.org/newspaper/2010/03/los_angeles_times_runs_front_page_ad_for.php

While I found no issue with the advertisement, many others disagreed.  I wonder though, if people would be so quick to hate the ad if they knew that it is ads like that, that are saving their newspaper from financial troubles.

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