Combined with mass media, the advertising industry is the greatest infrastructure of belief system management known to man. Corporate marketing is subtly conveyed to us through the careful creation of branding symbols and narratives. They are also subtly conveyed through short dramas that present us with role models, with which we can identify.
Advertising is ultimately designed to create call to actions; to drive sales. They do this by appealing to our basic psychological needs – for sex, status, security and food. It is designed to make us dissatisfied with who we are and what we’ve got. It relentlessly drives us on to buying and wanting more.
Narrowing our focus
But this industry’s specific purpose is to narrow our focus onto its specific agenda, which means issues about sustainability and happiness – other than that ascribed to buying the product – are filtered out of the message completely. And this means it drives us into actions which are both emotionally, often economically and certainly environmentally unsustainable.
The Anti-Branding, or ‘Brandalism’, movement seeks to challenge the power of these corporate messages through art, irony and vandalism, in order to democratise the symbols and narratives, and free people from their emotional control.