The dark side of magic pervades our society. Some of it is ceremonial, some is magical duelling, but most of it is blatant coercion through adverts, messages and misinformation. Part 2 looks a little deeper at advertising.
It should be a force for good, letting us know where to access services and items when we need them in a kind of trade directory, a “Kelly’s” for the 21st century. We have the internet as our Kelly’s but advertising is not about useful information, it is designed to sell you stuff. It is designed to maximise sales and therefore profits – it is corporate magic driven by capitalist greed.
Those sigils in last week’s post, or logos as the corporations might prefer to call them, help to instil the company brand into our brains. Branding the brands into our brains if you like – I think they refer to it as brand recognition. But the sigils are not used in isolation, there are enchantments that help drive the brands deeper into our psyche.
The use of phrases and songs in adverts is a form of enchantment and some of it is in a nice foreign language to add to the magic: “vorsprung durch technik”. Other enchantments are more basic such as a beer that reaches the parts that other beers cannot reach.
As every magician knows, sex is an important component to magic which is why it is often used as an adjunct to the adverts. Think about jeans, perfume, chocolate etc.
Finally, enchantment has the same routes as to sign: cantare, think of chant. There are some truly memorable songs used in adverts. Many people who were around in the 1970’s will remember this song which started life as a Coke advert:
The advertisers know what they are doing. They are using magical techniques to sell products and they are using them with a great deal of skill and effect. They are not doing this for the good of the people or planet they are doing this for corporate profit.
The only defences that I know of are recognising these for what they are and of course switching off the TV..