Occupy your head

occupy your head

TBYB! has always been about the fight to resist corporate influence in our lives. Specifically, we’d like to wrest back control of–or at least participate in–the unconscious discourse in our own heads.

Don’t believe your corporate overlords direct what you think about for their own profit? Scan the environment directly around you right now and count how many corporate logos you can find. I’m easily able to locate more than 50 logos within sight of my desk without counting labels on on books, CDs or software. And those are just the passive reminders about brand loyalty that surround me, which have none of the high octane persuasiveness contained in actual advertisements.

If you’re feeling really ambitious go on to count the number of commercial advertisements you encounter for the rest of today on your computer, phone, TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, mail, signs, utility poles, store displays, product boxes, vehicles, clothing, etc. You’ll be busy; the average person is exposed to an average of about one ad per minute, all day, every day, for their whole life.

There are at least two things the images and messages in all of those ads have in common:

  1. All of them are motivated by someone else’s profit.
  2. None of them were chosen by you.

The reason corporations spend trillions of dollars on advertising is because it works. Since it’s so effective TBYB! sees no reason to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I advocate learning about how advertisers manipulate us and using those same techniques to influence ourselves. This site contains an archive of over 100 articles which offer suggestions about how to do that, and report about how well it works.

At no time is the phenomenon of advertising more ubiquitous, obnoxious, and manipulative than during the winter holiday shopping season, so in the next few weeks you are likely to see and hear even more of it than usual. This year give yourself that perfect gift (cue sentimental music and warm interactions with family) and make sure at least one of those ads reminds you to do something that’s important to you.

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