'nostalgia' For Sale Essay

1450 words - 6 pages

The newly elected chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Ron Berger, one of the most prominent and influential figures in the advertising industry, makes an important statement:Consumer protection will remain the major rationale for theregulation of advertising in the 21st century. False and dece--ptive ads are unacceptable competitive practices in an erathat will test the survivability of many firms. (Ron Berger,"Advertising Regulation in the 21st Century: The UnderlyingGlobal Forces")Berger points out that in the competitive world of retail business, unfair advertising practices are not acceptable and hence, the advertising industry must be regulated with the sole intention of safeguarding consumers. Ad executives are devising unique methods of advertising in order to evade such regulations. "Old is gold" is the trend for the advertising industry of the 21st century; advertisers are selling nostalgia as a way of making commercials highly persuasive to their audience.Nabisco, the company that produces Oreo Cookies, has always been known for outstanding commercials. Yet one "Oreo Cookie" commercial is perhaps the most memorable. First, she twists the cookie apart and then, this cute little girl with her hair in pigtails proceeds to dunk the cookie in a tall glass of milk, immersing her entire hand. The camera then shifts to show the child's grandfather eating the cookie in the same manner. This advertisement aims at leading the older generations to reminisce about the simple pleasures of their childhood, like enjoying a cookie. This nostalgic commercial relates to Stephen King's opinion in "My Creature from the Black Lagoon":Yet it is parents ... often discovering goosebumps on their ownarms as they rediscover what terrified them as children ...because what the good horror film does above all else is toknock the adult props out from under us and tumble us backdown the slide into childhood (540).King claims that adults long for and are often reminded of their youth especially when they are confronted with those same objects that had previously aroused emotions during their childhood. Similarly, in "The Six Flags Dancing Man" commercial, family members are sitting on the front porch of their home, trying to arrange a day to spend at Six Flags Great Adventure. Suddenly, a red school bus pulls up and a very old man hobbles off, dressed in a black tuxedo and a red bow tie. Then, upbeat music begins to play and the man begins dancing wildly, inviting the family aboard the bus to go to Six Flags Great Adventure. The family happily joins the old man and the bus pulls away. The carefree attitude of the old man in this commercial instantly reminds viewers of the free spiritedness that comes with youth. Therefore viewers are intrigued by the energy and youth found in this very old man and are immediately pulled back into the excitement of childhood, producing what Rita Dove refers to as "Instant Nostalgia" in "Loose...

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