11.0282 advertising online

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 21:01:13 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 282.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 09:15:12 -0500 (CDT)
From: BRUNI <jbrun@eagle.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Re: 11.0274 Online developments

Douglas Rushkoff, "[T]he art of advertising is to
create desires in passive recipients. Since those of us on the Web are
attempting to be active, not passive, we are not a good audience. We
already have our desires, and are trying to exercise them. We don't need
them replaced by other ones.
"The bigger problem for advertisers online is that interactive technology
makes commercials obsolete. In economic terms, the Internet closes the gap
between supply and demand. You can get whatever you want by simply
accessing it and then clicking. You don't stop and play an ad for someone
once they are inside your store."

Rushkoff, I think, is onto something: the Internet is fast becoming a
consumerist space, where supply, demand, and desire can be made to seem

But I disagree on labeling what is done on the Internet
automatically "active." Being bombarded by information with little
chance of filtering it reduces us more to a "passive" state. Indeed, on
many hypertext sites, choosing among links--with little or no knowledge of
where we will go or what we will get--appears an awful lot like
"shopping," doesn't it?

And, I have been in "real" stores. where the loud music and video screens
are definitely designed to break down one's resolve not to buy or consume.

To conclude, it is only a matter of time before hyperadvertising comes to
the Internet. Anyone want to speculate on the aftereffects?

John Bruni
English Department
University of Kansas

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