Advertising Non-consumption

January 13, 2000

Inspired at least partially by the Viridians and AdBusters and them sorts of folks, I thought it'd be fun, and possibly even productive, to speculate about what would result if someone seriously tried to use all available advertising and media tricks to produce non-consumption behavior of various kinds. This is a result of that sort of woolgathering.

I beg the indulgence of anyone who is actually familiar with the language of advertisings and camera-jockeying. I'm obviously just faking it here, but I hope it gets the ideas across. Feedback is more than welcome: chess@theogeny.com.

Phase One of the campaign consists of two related themes: "Nothing but the Good Stuff" emphasizes not buying things you don't need; "Lose the Junk" emphasizes disposing of things you already have and don't want. Both themes are communicated using positive messages tailored for the target audience. Messages targetted at youth will be edgy, sophisticated, wryly humorous. Messages for mature audience will be warm, comforting, and emphasize values of stability and safety.

In both cases, the aim is to build images of non-consumption that will fit easily into the current advertising-created image of the desirable lifestyle. Further phases of the campaign will be designed based on the results of focus groups and polling evaluation of Phase One.

TV Spot - youth audience

Luscious (but realistic) green outdoor scene, by a stream and a pool (perhaps a waterfall; Creative's call). Bright sun; a hot but lovely day. To one side, a soda vending machine, realistic but slightly shadowed; unattractive.

Audio: bird song, running water.

Pause with audio playing, water running, long enough to build tension.

Two young people (with which the Target Audience will identify; attractive but not offputting, trendily dressed) saunter in-shot, smiling, having a good time, wiping brows or otherwise tokening thirst.

Talking or otherwise occupied, they walk to the vending machine. One puts in a dollar, and reaches toward the button (perhaps a close shot here).

Sudden quiet, concentration. The two look at each other, at the vending machine, at the pool. Laughter (edgy, knowing, with-it laughter; not innocent childish wholesome laughter). Shot of outer clothing tossed into the air.

Cut to two young people in T-shirts (underwear?), splashing and clowning in the water. One cups her hands full of water, raises them above her head, tilts her face back, lets the water splash on her open mouth.

Cut to original far shot, youths in water, vending machine now in deeper shadow.

Logo appears: "Nothing But the Good Stuff".

Vending machine falls over with a muffled crash.

TV Spot - child audience

Close-shots and blur on a game of tag, interior. Cut to interior shot, three or four children playing in a spacious but cluttered playroom. Punchy score.

Flash of a foot hitting a large plastic toy on the floor. One child yells, flips forward, twists in the air, lands splayed on the ground. Yelling and applaus