When will it end? Where will we be in 10 years? Will it be so ubiquitous we won't even notice it anymore?
I was in the store the other day in the check-out line to be exact. Why I did this I don't know, but I happened to notice the computer screen that displayed the total bill of the woman in front of me. It's not that I was looking for it, or even cared. But what caught my attention was a blaring ad for the Georgia Lottery in the top right corner of the screen.
Now, I don't have anything against the lottery I'm in favor of it, but I don't play it. But I find it a little disheartening that those giant billboards and radio and TV commercials aren't enough. It's disturbing that the grocery store apparently sells ad space on their check-out monitors.
It's not enough that they sell placards on the grocery carts on both the exterior and interior. It's not even enough that when you buy cat food, you get a coupon (might as well be an ad) for kitty litter.
What's more disturbing is the recent trend of selling one's body to advertisers. You know the stories: some lady wants to send her kid to college so she sells space on her forehead to an online casino and tattoos its name up there. I guess you can sell just about anything on e-bay if someone's willing to buy it.
Let me, here, predict that at some point in the not-too-distant future, advertisers will want so much of your disposable income, they'll stop at nothing to promote their products. But why should they?
I've got a few suggestions, just dreamt up in the heat of the moment. Let me expound.
How about hiring inner city graffiti artists to spray paint colorful billboards for things like Tide underneath bridges and overpasses?
How about a return to skywriting? Sure, it would only work on clear and sunny days, but think how many people would get the message. And after a while, the sky would be so crowded with messages, they would start to write over each other and create jumbled phrases and mixed messages. After an even longer while, the sky might become so dense, it would block out the sun. Sunglass manufacturers might get a little perturbed.
And then there are those ridiculous rubber bracelets. Why doesn't every company have one yet?
Advertising on a bracelet is much better than advertising on a T-shirt. Most people only wear their shirts once before washing them. And some even cover them up with other shirts or a jacket. Rubber bracelets can be worn everyday, everywhere.
Imagine, show your brand loyalty by wearing a sleeve of rubber bracelets for every product you use. Just be careful when you go outside not to get too much sun, unless you're loyal to one of those fake tanning products.
But then again, if we can get that skywriting thing going, there won't be much sun to worry about.
Michael Davis covers government for the Daily Herald. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .