Advertisements are an adversarial affair. They seek to assault the minds of target populations and inculcate anxieties over what one might not have. Promotion of business has almost always existed in society, in some form, but it wasn’t until recent history that marketers were able to latch onto the coattails of printed media and later electronic media. It was those developments which spurred the monstrosity that today seeks to disrupt lives and even human thought itself.
The fact that titles such as “brand ambassadors” or “influencers” exists is a symptom of a parasitic force on society. Monopolists are not satisfied with just regulatory capture, they also want to capture ones own thought. They want to curate what people think about and the known ways to approach problems. And where they cannot succeed at influencing their way into people’s minds, they seek to force their way in.
In the age of interactive media where everything is becoming computerized with pervasive connectivity, anticipate that ads will become increasingly overtly in-your-face. They won’t just be a sound byte or displayed on a screen somewhere. They will be lived experiences, they will be your employer, they will be your friend (or become your friend), they will be toll collectors blocking your passage to a destination. If the advertising industry can parasitize an aspect of everyday life, they will.
We are dealing with an industry measuring in the hundred billions that doesn’t produce anything of value nor does it improve livelihood for anybody, rather, it reduces quality of life globally. We can fight it by minimizing as many vectors of entry as possible and by avoiding any electronic means of accomplishing things wherever possible. It is helpful if one has the resolve to achieve freedom from fear, living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends, or what is known as ataraxia as proposed by Epicurus. Because pretty soon we will all need an “adblock” for life itself.