Thursday, 10 December 2009

Adrian Beard on Advertising

I'm reading a unit on "using English to persuade" at the moment. The writer, Mr. Beard, has this to say about advertising:

"Advertising depends upon the emotional idea that our lives are in some way imperfect; we lack something, we need something, we have the wrong view or belief. If we buy 'x', do 'x', think 'x' then our lives will be better."

I am reminded the incredible song that went, "If you buy this record your life will be better, your life will be better, your life will be better. If you buy this record your life will be better, if you buy, if you buy, if you buy..."

The problem is that making our lives "better" doesn't make them any less imperfect (or, if you're not into double negatives, any more perfect). Five minutes after buying 'x' we realise that we still need something else.

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

(Emphasis mine)

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