How magic can subvert advertising

Posted on August 30, 2012
Filed Under Culture, Magic, pop culture | Leave a Comment

Since reading Seducing the Subconscious, I’ve been thinking about advertisements. Over the years I’ve done my best to limit my exposure to advertisement, in large part because so much of it is banal, but also because I’ve always appreciated that underneath the banality what makes commercials effective is their ability to influence subconscious beliefs. Even with no cable, I still get exposure to some commercials. Whether its listening to the radio or seeing a billboard, or watching a commercial on hulu, while waiting for the next segment of a show it is near impossible to avoid advertising. I suspect the only way a person could would be to get rid of access to all media.

So what does the magician do to counteract advertising and its potential effect on the subconscious? One possibility can be seen above, where you subvert the message with a different one that attacks what is advertised. Clever use of photoshop or creating a collage can allow you to create your own “advertisement” that you can then spread on the internet. Or simply use it for yourself every time you feel the urge to get something.

Monitoring your thoughts and desires through meditation can also help you subvert advertising. If you get that sudden craving for a burger, ask yourself what’s really motivating it. You might be surprised to realize that what motivates isn’t your hunger, but advertisements you’ve seen. By being aware of those advertisements you can critically examine your desire and then choose to do something different.

You can also work with the corporate entity behind the advertisement or a character in it, although that route can be a bit more dangerous as the corporate entity sees no benefit in being subverted, and if anything wants to subvert you to its own desires, i.e. sustaining its life.

Another approach to take would be doing a banishing ritual that focused on banishing advertisements from your life and home. It might be something you do on a daily or weekly or monthly basis. The idea is that you do a banishing of any unwanted influences in your life. If there are particular companies you’ve lately shopped at and you normally wouldn’t shop there, that could be a time to grab some of the advertising and incorporate into the banishing, with you destroying the advertising in some form or manner.

How would you subvert advertising?

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