Posts tagged ‘Daisann McLane’

September 30, 2010

Travel Tales: Advertising

There’s an article in October’s National Geographic Traveler magazine called “Read All About It” by Daisann McLane. She writes, “As I read local newspapers, I realize they’re in the same category as public squares: the heartbeat of any great place.” You can tell a lot about a place by its heartbeat. I haven’t gotten in the habit of reading local newspapers yet, unless I’m looking for listings or event details, but if reading the paper is anything like McLane describes it, I ought to try it immediately: “Reading the local paper is like roaming backstreets without a plan…It’s a wonderful way to get lost in the place.” Alright, you’ve talked me into it.

I’ve always found an effective, if somewhat lazy and uninspired, way of getting to know a place’s character is through the commercials on TV. Every time I go back to Germany, I look forward to seeing the new ads. I know in the day and age we live in it’s hard to avoid advertising, but it’s actually gotten to the point where I find it refreshing to be around completely new and unfamiliar advertisements. I know that’s a little depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I find nothing more revitalizing than turning off my phone and computer, but the commercials in a new place can also give you a peak into what’s going on in that city or country.

Commercials are like mini movies only nobody’s subtle about the product placement. I’m pretty susceptible to advertising. That Google¬†one from this year’s Super Bowl made me cry. Then I went out and bought five Googles.

This one aired in 2004 in Europe. It didn’t make me cry, but it made me feel conflicted about my family.

There’d be a big divide between me and my Dutch cousins if I knew there were ads like this on regular rotation in Germany. It’s a good thing I don’t own a TV. Or live in Germany.

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