DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

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MIKE HUGHES

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ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
The No Message Message
April 11, 2014  | By Eric Gould
 
Here's an example of a TV ad that uses just stock footage to highlight the icons and words we see in commercials...with no product to sell. In other words, it's a prime example of Marshall McLuhan's 1964 maxim that "the medium is the message." The piece (with over 1 million YouTube hits), is based on a verse written by Kendra Eash at McSweeney's, and is called "This is a Generic Brand Video." It was produced by Dissolve, a stock footage company that makes its hay by selling these sorts of things to commercial production companies. It features the usual suspects -- the serious lab guy, attractive, laughing people, meaningless terms like "innovation" -- and presents them for what they are: maybe more important than the products they're being used to sell. With the imminent return of Mad Men, it may be the right time to think about the guys in the suits who deal more in appeal than in substance. -- Eric Gould

 
 
 
 
 
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