You wouldn’t think we could out do Christmas as a consumer orgy, but, OMG, did you see the Super Bowl last night?
I’m beginning to think the Amish might be on to something. Yes, the commercials were amazing, creative, technically brilliant, especially the girl in the Fiat ad. (wow). Do we really NEED to buy anything they tried to sell us last night? (Aside from the girl in the Fiat commercial, I’m putting in an order. For the Italian girl, not the Italian car. That’s her to the left).
Christmas and the Super Bowl prove something about Americans, we don’t shop to buy what we need, we shop because we need to buy.
This weekend, I got to sit on a panel at Ringling College in Sarasota, Fl. It was a career day, young fine artists, designers, illustrators and graphic designers tried to figure out what was waiting for them in the real world and grizzled veterans like me were there to offer them a bitter dose of reality. (Not really, we were kind, encouraging and in awe of the talent in the room.) I was quick to remind the group to give prospective employers their time, their talent and their passion; “but don’t give them your soul!” In other words, keep your artistic view, don’t be a mercenary.
What are college kids worried about? Things like jobs, student loans, health insurance and income taxes. The reality of our economic world is this, you don’t get to be a full time artist until you take care of the money. And, if you aren’t careful, you can sell your soul to Visa, Master Card and GMAC. Being the Super Bowl’s advertising agency’s best audience is counter productive to art.
So, here’s my resolution, I’m buying nothing but food for 2 months. Not even a pen. I don’t need Doritos, a new Honda, Budweiser, a web site from Go Daddy, running shoes for my dog, a dog to get my beer or a polar bear to get my coke. I am on a consumer strike, Power to the People. (I am also available for barn raisings.)
Although, a Fiat, for some strange reason, is suddenly very appealing to me: