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Time to ban car advertising?

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Ontarian1976

Guest
But the sense I get from some posting here is that cars have no place. To the contrary, not having a car available to you when you'd like one is a major pain in the ass, which I'm learning first-hand. You take forgranted how useful they are when you do have one. If I'm invited to a house party at my friend's place in Brampton for example, I have to try to find a ride. Cars are far more flexible and useful for a wider variety of trips. I'd still have sold my car regardless for financial reasons, but it does suck at times not having one.
 
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EnviroTO

Guest
For the anti-car people, what is your alternative suggestion for getting people from anywhere to anywhere at any time of day in an area as vast as the GTA? What is your alternative when people have lots of "stuff" to take?

I've heard lots of criticism, but no suggestions of what people should use instead for personal private transportation.
True needs don't require advertisements. I'm against cars downtown which are unnecessary, not against police cars, not against out-of-towners making a visit in a car, and not against someone needing to haul a load of goods in a car. Travel within the boundaries of Eglinton, Hyde Park, and Victoria Park unless there is an emergency, travel is going outside these areas, travel is going to occur after 11pm and before 7am, or travel involves transporting goods not easily carried does not require a car. Travel with a single child does not require an SUV or minivan. I'm not against cars in Mississauga, although I hope that Mississauga will develop into a place where a car is less necessary than it is now.
 
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bizorky

Guest
Why not? Are people being treated with respect with beer ads and being spoken to like logical thoughtful individuals who are going to taste each beer, check out the price, and make a decision intelligently... or are they being told "party animals drink this because its cool". Did iPod capture the market because it is the only mp3 player with those features, or did it capture the market because Apple knows how market a product. Were all those iPod silhouette ads all over the city out there because Apple thought people didn't know iPods exist, or because by constantly reinforcing the thought of iPods being hip and cool sales increase?
Toyota doesn't convince everyone to buy a Toyota but it finds advertising money to be money well spent... because it works. It doesn't work for everyone, it probably doesn't work for 15% of the people, but it works for a portion of the population. Why not spend a similar amount on TTC advertising to capture an equal sized portion of the population?
So what is your point exactly? You like ads that get cars off the road and want more of them, but don't like car ads and compare them to tobacco ads. So, in your view, are anti-car driving ads the same kind of mind control you accuse all advertising of being, or do you split hairs on the basis of your opinion of what is good or bad?

You suggest lack of respect from ads, but can't see that many people simply don't identify themseleves with individuals portrayed in them. People have been drinking and acting like party animals since alcohol was invented, no doubt. They hardly need an advertisement to party.

You have also suggested in earlier posts that people are "stupid" for supposedly following ads blindly. Talk about lack of respect! You don't like iPod ads because they might be suggesting, in your opinion, some sort of measure of what it means to be "hip" or "cool." Does it all really bother you that much? Why do you pay so much attention to them? Are you really against the ads, or do you just dislike the all the products, period?

Reread the last few sentences of your post I have quoted above and tell me if it makes any sense to you? You jumble up and turn things upside down until they are no longer particularly clear. Are you suggesting the TTC spend what Toyota does in terms of advertising? Would you demand a law for this?

So what if an ad "works?" What do you mean by "works?" What an advertiser defines as an ad that "works" might in fact be very different than your own definition. It's not mind control when people make decisions, even when its a decision that you happen to disagree with.
 
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EnviroTO

Guest
So what is your point exactly? You like ads that get cars off the road and want more of them, but don't like car ads and compare them to tobacco ads. So, in your view, are anti-car driving ads the same kind of mind control you accuse all advertising of being, or do you split hairs on the basis of your opinion of what is good or bad?
All ads steer people's decisions to some degree and they do so not by simply stating facts and provoking a meaningful comparison of options, but by luring people to make a certain decision. No ads out there tell all the negative aspects of the product and mention alternatives. For that reason I see advertising to be a light form of mind control... steering perceptions and decisions in ways they would not have been otherwise. Right now there are many many ads steering people to buy a new car, buy powerful engines, and to get SUVs and Minivans, but much less ads for public transit. My point is that there is an imbalance... an advertising stimulus pushing people to buy cars but no equal advertising stimulus pushing people to take transit. To balance the two one can prevent car advertisements or increase public transit advertisements to the same level.

You have also suggested in earlier posts that people are "stupid" for supposedly following ads blindly. Talk about lack of respect!
You disagree that following ads blindly would be stupid? I definitely stand by the idea that people who follow ads blindly are stupid for doing so.

You don't like iPod ads because they might be suggesting, in your opinion, some sort of measure of what it means to be "hip" or "cool." Does it all really bother you that much? Why do you pay so much attention to them? Are you really against the ads, or do you just dislike the all the products, period?
Who said I have anything against iPods? I'm saying that people were enticed to buy a product that they wouldn't have otherwise bought if it wasn't for advertising. Getting people to do what they wouldn't normally do is a sort of light form of mind control... one steers the decision to one that would not have occurred otherwise.

So what if an ad "works?" What do you mean by "works?" What an advertiser defines as an ad that "works" might in fact be very different than your own definition. It's not mind control when people make decisions, even when its a decision that you happen to disagree with.
By works I mean you take two populations, one exposed to a marketing campaign and one not exposed to a marketing campaign (the control group). Even for a product that everyone already knows exists, a successful marketing campaign will cause the purchases by the exposed population to increase at a level higher than the non-exposed population. The same will be true when marketing a car... more people will buy a car than if they had not been exposed to the marketing of the car. It has nothing to do with whether or not I agree or disagree with the decision, the point is that people's decisions are steered by media to a degree and this can be proven and there is tonnes of marketing research to prove it.
 
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bizorky

Guest
Thanks for clearing up what you mean.

With respect to advertising, of course the purpose is to steer decisions. It is simply a form of communication that you can choose to pay attention to it, or ignore. In order to actually have some sort of desired effect for the advertiser, they need to present their message to a huge population a many times. Even then, the impact is rather small, which suggests that one needs a large amount of advertising to have a small impact.

You disagree that following ads blindly would be stupid? I definitely stand by the idea that people who follow ads blindly are stupid for doing so
How many people actually do that all the time? How many live their lives solely upon decisions derived from advertising?

And does making a decision to purchase something, or do something, on the basis of an advertisement mean that somebody is stupid? That is what you seem to be suggesting. Is a decisions made on the basis of seeing or hearing an advertisement always indicative of stupidity?

Advertising is just a form of communication, a way to get something that exists known. The audience chooses to pay attention to it or not on an individual basis. There are plenty of products out there; just because they are advertised does not mean everyone buys them all.
 
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BrianHawkins1

Guest
"To stop those monsters 1-2-3
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble free
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...
(Guarantee void in Tennessee!)
Just don't look!
Just don't look!
Just don't look!
Just don't look!"


"He came to life. Good for him!"


-----------------------------------------------------------










 
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doady

Guest
Public transit, bicycles, etc. have their place, but are uselss for some types of trips. Cars also have their place.

For the anti-car people, what is your alternative suggestion for getting people from anywhere to anywhere at any time of day in an area as vast as the GTA? What is your alternative when people have lots of "stuff" to take?

I've heard lots of criticism, but no suggestions of what people should use instead for personal private transportation.
I think the real problem today is that cities are designed for cars only. There are few bike lanes and paths in the suburbs, and aftyen no sidewalks. To get form a sidewalk to a store you have to cross a giant parking lot. That is the reason not having a car is a major pain in the ass.

For example, if someone walks along Britannia, they will have to walk on the road because there are no sidewalks. When they wait for the Britannia bus at Hurontario, there will be 20-30 people waiting there with them yet there are only 2 seats for people to sit down. To add insult to injury, once the bus does arrive, it is already full so all those people who were standing will continue to stand when they get on the bus.

As you say, public transit, biking, and walking have their place, but when they don't have their place it is simply because the infrastructure isn't there for them. In our society there is far too much emphasis on cars for transport and not enough for anything else.
 
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EnviroTO

Guest
It is simply a form of communication that you can choose to pay attention to it, or ignore.
I wish advertisements were something one could "opt in" or "opt out" of so we really could choose to ignore them but they work because they put them all around us so they can't be ignored. Everywhere you look is an ad and they all alter our perception of priorities and needs. They are there all over the subway, in magazines, on TV, on the radio, on most websites, calling on the phone, in the mail, and in spam mail.

In order to actually have some sort of desired effect for the advertiser, they need to present their message to a huge population a many times. Even then, the impact is rather small, which suggests that one needs a large amount of advertising to have a small impact.
Advertising exists because it pays for itself in measurable amounts. If advertising lost money for a company they wouldn't do it.

And does making a decision to purchase something, or do something, on the basis of an advertisement mean that somebody is stupid? That is what you seem to be suggesting. Is a decisions made on the basis of seeing or hearing an advertisement always indicative of stupidity?
No, I'm saying that being convinced to buy something you wouldn't have, didn't need, and didn't research properly is a stupid activity. One act of stupidity doesn't make a person stupid, it makes them more stupid than they would be if they had thought through everything more rationally.

Advertising is just a form of communication, a way to get something that exists known. The audience chooses to pay attention to it or not on an individual basis. There are plenty of products out there; just because they are advertised does not mean everyone buys them all.
It is far more than a way to get something that exists known. If it were only about getting a product known they could do that much more cheaply by simply showing the product and listing its features... usually ads go beyond that to imply lifestyles, coolness, success, etc. The audience doesn't really have much choice to live a life free of advertisements without moving into the wilderness without contact with the outside world. The advertisers are focused on getting you to look at their ad by capturing your attention in some way and then force their product in front of you. Everyone is influenced by media, just to varying degrees and in different ways. Some will go consume consume consume more than their budgets can even handle, others may be affected less but perhaps still have a product on their mind, and others will not be affected by the ad at all... but there is a measurable impact regardless.

Advertisements are a form of propaganda and it can lead people to believe things that are completely untrue. Advertisers want people to believe that a purchase should be made regardless of whether or not it is the best decision or the best product. Many people on this planet believe things that have not adequately been proven to them so it isn't much of a stretch to say that advertisements can changes some people's beliefs.
 
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adma

Guest
EnviroTO, if that means you'd gladly remove this from the Boston cityscape, I'll gladly rip your genitals out of your body and stuff them down your throat
 
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BrianHawkins1

Guest
"I'm gonna cut your balls off and feed 'em to ya."



Enviro: Careful. He bites.
 
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adma

Guest
The Citgo Sign in Kenmore Square. A true Boston landmark. And the object I use to stop any overzealous Kalle Lasn wannabe in their tracks. Really; how can anyone with any shred of sensitivity advocate its removal? "Yes Logo", indeed...
 
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green22

Guest
That is what ugly, cheap annoying advertisement, but historical landmarks are not always governed by their attractiveness. I guess people just got used to that ugly landmark because it was hard to miss, kind of like the Eiffel Tower. I kind of feel like that guy that said if he could be anywhere in Paris, he would be in the eiffel tower, so he wouldn't have to look at it. Historical landmarks have a certain amount of historical protection depending on jurisdiction so there would probably be some compromises made if the community expressed support for a particular vehicle add or gas station commercial.
 
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adma

Guest
Green22, I know this is one of my cliches, but I think I just nabbed you at the wrong end of a mythic "Dylan at Newport" situation (aaagh! aagh! electric guitar! my ears! etc).

That's why I adore using the Citgo sign as a weapon against overzealous greenish ads-are-bad boilerplate--it stops it dead everytime. Although, if Citgo-as-cherished-urban-landmark is coopted on behalf of the Wendell Cox/Joel Kotkin-ian right-libertarian urban-theoryverse, I might be inclined to rethink my position a notch...
 
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bizorky

Guest
I wish advertisements were something one could "opt in" or "opt out" of so we really could choose to ignore them but they work because they put them all around us so they can't be ignored.
You opt out by simply thinking that what you are looking at or listening to is an advertisement, and that is all it is. It's quite simple, actually.

Advertising exists because it pays for itself in measurable amounts. If advertising lost money for a company they wouldn't do it
That is correct, which means that advertising costs are built into the price of the product.

No, I'm saying that being convinced to buy something you wouldn't have, didn't need, and didn't research properly is a stupid activity. One act of stupidity doesn't make a person stupid, it makes them more stupid than they would be if they had thought through everything more rationally
Good thing one act of "stupidity" does not make one "stupid" on a permanent basis. But how many do? And is the "stupidness" enduring over time? As for rationality and shopping, let's face it, defining need is a question of individual prejudice (I was going to say judgement, but we are talking about shopping, after all).

Many people are willing to make distinctions between needs and wants, but are not necessarily willing to have one without the other.

It is far more than a way to get something that exists known. If it were only about getting a product known they could do that much more cheaply by simply showing the product and listing its features... usually ads go beyond that to imply lifestyles, coolness, success, etc. The audience doesn't really have much choice to live a life free of advertisements without moving into the wilderness without contact with the outside world. The advertisers are focused on getting you to look at their ad by capturing your attention in some way and then force their product in front of you. Everyone is influenced by media, just to varying degrees and in different ways.
Yes, but listing the product and its features can often be a part of advertising, can't they? Besides, it would be so boring. As for the lifestyles, coolness and so on, seriously, who cares about all that? Individuals who makes purchases to pursue coolness and so on do this by actually thinking about what they want. They are not walking mindlessly into a store with drool running down their chin with their minds taken over by an advertising virus. They want to be current, cool and what ever else makes them feel good. Subtracting excess, is this truly evil?

As for being influenced by the media in varying degrees and different ways, that is true. People are also influenced by their own thoughts; by their education; by the books, art and music they read and listen to; by the ideas they expose thmeselves to; by the religious ideas they may believe in; by friends and family; by their own questions about their lives. The mass media are hardly alone in the domain of influencing, and the influence gets severely reduced the moment you ask a question that does not have a good answer, such as "what is cool, and does it matter if I am cool or not?"
 

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