Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advertising: 50s promotional video on oil.

This video was produced in 1956 by John Sutherland sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute which 'celebrates' petroleum usage and economic competition.

Questions to ponder. Did they foresee the detrimental effects on Earth 50 years later due to the over reliance on petroleum? Should we be projecting effects 50 years ahead from now before we say yes to nuclear energy? Did the usage of cartoon in this film make it more palatable for the audience to swallow? Will the usage of cartoon now depict our disregard for seriousness on such a serious topic? Or does cartoon work in any decade because it injects a sense of humour and/or fun into complicated topics?

And note the choice of words. "Petroleum provides a better lifestyle to Americans" and referring 'competition with strong inference of democratic capitalism' by rephrasing it to "...but also the freedom to make it work for everybody... and if you have both of these things (oil and competition), any goal is possible!"- now that's another form of propaganda which uses virtue words to 'corner' the audience because who, in the right mind, would disagree to a 'better lifestyle' or 'the freedom to make it work for everyone'? No one. Is that ethical in today's age? To include these kind of subliminal tactics in advertising messages? Or will even the audience respond to it? Is it believable? According to all of America's Presidents - it does! Whenever they say "In defence of democracy..." - hah! There it is. Tsk tsk tsk.

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