07 August 2009

Rural photography; seductive advertising

I don't approve of the advertising industry at all. It knowingly encourages conspicuous consumption, poor dietary habits in primary school children, sexual stereotyping, waste of the world's limited resources (plastic, packaging) and pollution. I rarely watch television that has paid ads, and I never listen to radio that accepts paid advertisements - only the ABC, BBC etc.

Now I have to admit that somewhere, sometime, somehow the advertising industry will hit pay dirt i.e they will find an image/sound/smell/taste that appeals to even the least receptive person. For me, it is this magazine advertisement for Montana wine from New Zealand.

Montana wine advertisement in an Australian women's magazine, 2009 (cropped)

The image presents a simple table in the open country side, with the sun slipping behind the distant hills at dusk. No humans, no animals, no cars, no buildings and no food. But the promise is of glorious scenery, fresh air, twenty of your closest friends, great food and wine, pure colours and no worries about your boss, your mortgage or apologising to the children's high school teachers.

Of course I understand that food doesn't simply appear on a table in a country field - a team of people would have to buy it, cook it in a tent, serve it to the guests and then clean up after. Nonetheless as a piece of visual art, the photographic image is well crafted. As a piece of clever advertising, it is very seductive.


laurence fosgate said...

First I must tell you that your blog is terrific, beautifully written and of subject matter that is central to my own interests. And I am fascinated that you seem to have political and philosophical beliefs that are so far removed from my own that they might as well come from another planet, much less the other side of the planet!
I find the notion that somehow government television is devoid of attempts to color our worldview while commercial, paid programming is out exploit us for the sake of evil, environment destroying corporations is naive at best.
The ultimate brainwashing, propaganda driven entity is always the government. Who makes concentration camps? Who makes world war? Who guns down its own people in the streets when they attempt to excercise free speech?
That would be government.
So why would I presume to trust their media more than I do that which is spawned by free enterprise? I don't.
The fact is these government media, like government schools, are ultimately designed to make good, obedient and disciplined "citizen" slaves of the populace. Almost all really good, creative and original thought takes place as far as possible from government and academia as possible. God, I love the blogosphere.

John Hopper said...

To be fair the article wasn't condoning government manipulation or interference, it was merely stating that commercial free stations can give you a breather from the relentless, and with todays financial situation, often hysterical efforts of advertisers to get you to buy stuff you really don't want to own.

There was no reference as far as I was aware, that state funded programming was better or worse than commercially funded.

Speaking from a UK perspective, while no one would assume that the BBC are a bastion of free thinking and alternative living, I really don't think many of the British public would believe that they are an unthinking organ of the government either. The amount of times that the BBC and the government of the day have had very public fights, is too many too mention, incidentally it is something that very rarely happens with commercial stations.

Jim said...

Hels, I posted a reply to your question about the law court in Sydney but in case you didn't see it I'll post hre too. I believe it is part of the Supreme Court but the building is known as the St James Court. You can see it on thismapat the Supreme Court website.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Hels said...

Laurence I love the bloggy world too. It opens us up to corrections, additions, reading recommendations and opposing views of the world. Although every article is checked and rechecked (by me and spouse), readers still go to the trouble of suggesting improvements. So... don't stop adding your responses :)

Now..."Almost all really good, creative and original thought takes place as far as possible from government and academia as possible". I have been working since I graduated in 1970, 38 years give or take. Twenty of those years were in the civil service and 18 of those years sofar have been in academe. In both "industries" I have been surrounded by scholarly, enthusiastic, committed individuals who work their bums off for not a huge amount of income.

When I look back at some of my earlier publications, I blush at their naivete. But the underlying value systems have probably remained constant: feminism, socialism, pacifism, protection of the environment, vegetarianism etc etc.

Again thanks

Hels said...


you are quite right... I would say the same is true here. Perhaps you know of The Gruen Transfer, an ABC programme that analyses advertising processes in minute detail.

The reason I am coming back to the subject today, years later, is because the "Aurel's laurels" blog has photos from Marc Aurel's favourite dining spots. Very evocative!
http://aurelslaurels.blogspot.com.au/ (May 2012)

Unknown said...

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Hels said...


good to hear from you. I wrote the post in 2009 and wondered if my perspective had changed in almost five years.

But no, I am still part of the 18-20% of Australian audiences who listens largely to ABC/BBC tv and radio.