Last evening, my friend and I watched the advance screening of the Borat movie. I won't discuss a lot about how good the movie was (it was amazing), but what occurred to me was how much of the discussion before the advance screening was about ads of the movie.
None of which I had seen. Just before the movie, there was also some trailers. Apparently a new James Bond movie is going to be out, and James Bond looks different from Pierce Brosnan. I had no clue. Apparently, ads are everywhere.
The same thing happens to me when people discuss some new TV show about to start. Again, I have no clue. I do watch TV, though I'm in favor of renting out the DVDs, once someone tells me they really like some show. (Thanks Eduardo and Shelly: you got me loving Futurama).
I've got ad blockers on Firefox (which is the only browser I use, on all the operting systems), and I don't watch live TV. The only TV viewing I did this year was 15 minutes of a Clapton concert, and about 1 hour of some comedy show on my brother's TiVo. No ads.
I read news on the computer, so no ads there once you've got a nice set of ad blockers in Firefox.
I drive large distances, but mostly on open country roads, where there aren't many mainstream ads. There are ads about the next rest area, and how they have the world's best Split Pea soup and all that. But these are more like roadsigns as far as I'm concerned. And I commute on a bicycle, on a bike lane. Not exactly good places for PR. (Though they could be!)
So even though I'm tuned into news (Ted Haggard getting a massage. Diebold, elections. North Korea. hmm.) I'm completely untuned from ads. It makes for an interesting time, as the information that I get about the world is the one that I choose to get. I am interested in what goes on in the world of computing, so I'm tuned in there: Vista to be released. Zune, gonna be a disaster (probably), Apple planning on their new OSX release, Ubuntu kicking ass. But I still don't get the marketing hype, which means that I get a much more reasonable blend of information. Superlatives do exist, but I create them. I'm excited about stuff that I choose, not because some bikini-clad chick is standing next to it. For instance, I really enjoy my music player which was suggested by a friend (thanks, Inna). I liked it a lot, and told another friend, and we ended up buying our units together. Lovely device. Hint: it isn't an iPod. It has all the features I want, costs about as much as other players, and doesn't come with its own fanaticism.
I have a lot of fun when I'm shopping for cereal these days. Women with their children have such a hard time deciding which shiny box to take home. I've heard moms tell their kids that they should take a cereal they want to eat, not something whose mascot they like. Again, the fact that cereal had a mascot was alien to me. Now I see why McDonalds has Ronald.
Me, I'm happy with my Malt-o-Meal cereals, they come in convenient zip-lock bags. I prize the convenience over the cuteness of the mascot.
So yeah, try it sometime. You'll see what it is like to make your own decisions for a change.