There are times when I feel as though I’ve been asleep for a couple of decades, so completely do I seem to have avoided noticing the evolutions in advertising. My modus operandi is to edit advertising out as it happens. My eye alights on an ad.—on a website, for example—then simply rolls over it. Nothing registers, even subliminally, and I’m able to continue looking for whatever nonsense it is that I’m after without contamination. I used to be rather proud of this skill, and assumed, naively, it would not fail me. It turns out I was wrong.
Advertisers these days are developing stealth campaigns designed to creep up on unsuspecting, innocent, editors-out of mainstream advertising. I came across one recently in the toilet of a cafe in Treptower Park. Having washed my hands, grateful for the luxury of a clean public toilet as I mused over the horrors I’d stumbled into in India, I reached for a paper towel. At first glance it appeared to be patterned, but on closer inspection I discovered, to my horror, that I was clutching an advertisement for “Company music Berlin” and “Drehreif”.
What’s next? Advertising on the sticky side of plasters? Tampons? Condoms?
Anyway, I took a photo of the paper towel dispenser, in case you didn’t believe me, then returned to my husband with damp hands.