The hidden mysteries of adverts (advertising: imposed article)
I always believed advertising is the reflection of society. It reveals its aspiration, its problems, provides cue about how people think and in what they believe in. If you just take a moment to look with your eyes and mind, you may discover those “hidden mysteries” hiding behind images, words and colors which all together are full of meaning.
Visiting foreign countries I really enjoyed glancing at all sorts of adverts and advertising strategies. Back in Russia I remembered being amazed about how different and old-fashioned adverts could seem to be whereas I remembered smiling watching at Thai very kitsch adverts, full of colors and cute shapes. What you always need to remember is that there are as many ways of seeing thing as there are people and what I may judge old-fashioned or kitsch may not seem at all for locals. Perhaps, adverts, way of thinking, way of dressing or eating, communicating and many things are shaped and conditioned by culture.
Of course, while visiting London, I saw many kinds of adverts some that surprised me and some I didn’t really paid attention to. Yet, among all those, one truly caught my attention and I think deserved to be the subject of an article.
This advert is a poster published by the public transport company of London (DLR) among a series of others to warn people using the DLR about decency rules:
I almost laughed when I first saw it; I was shocked to see such an advert in London. My first thought naturally was “dear I never saw that in France” and then I smile and told myself “It must be there for a reason…” which I believe is because the “incident” must have happened already. I then by curiosity made a little research and found out that in effect, this incident have had happened just a month before I arrived (Rob Virtue, 2013).
If you watch a little bit closer you will see: “Saliva Recovery Kits are held on every train and will be used to identify offenders”. What better solution we can think of to prevent people from doing such an act? And this is when I told myself not “I never saw that in France” but “we would never see that in France”.
My personal opinion about this advert and what it tells about London is of course not “people spit on DLR staff in London” (which would be quite limited) but “this city has admitted a problem, found and invested in a real solution to it”. In few words, this small barely noticeable advert finally represented a real prove of this country’s efficiency…
I believe the advert would make quite an impression in France as there rarely is non-commercial or warning about decency rules advert. Those are often published somewhere but in non-attractive and written in tiny characters posters which absolutely no body reads…
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