Ads Everywhere 6

Paleo Retiree writes:


That’s an ad on the plastic credit-card style room key we’re using at a Tucson hotel. In addition to being a little insulting, the visuals make the key hard to read where its main function goes: I routinely waste a few seconds fiddling with the key, feeling mildly miffed by unnecessary inconvenience, as I try to figure out which end goes in the doorslot. Why is my brain being forced to wade through commercial clutter (and the irritation generated by it) in order to accomplish something so everyday and trivial?

Is the money made (presumably by the ad agency and the hotel renting out space on its keys) worth it? Does the restaurant doing the advertising really get many customers for its money? There’s evidently some kind of business there. Take a look at the top of the other side of the key.


Is there no place Americans won’t put an ad? And how do we feel about living in a culture ever on the lookout for fresh places to deface with advertising?


About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
This entry was posted in Commercial art, Media, Shopping, The Good Life, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ads Everywhere 6

  1. slumlord says:

    The materialist. A man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.


  2. Callowman says:

    I wonder what the path out of this wilderness is. Do we end up paying a premium not to be assailed by ads everywhere? Probably. But is there any way out of the most egregious mass assaults, like unturnoffable televisions with audio?


  3. Fenster says:

    It would be nice if people could choose. In some instances, like TV and most of the internet, ads subsidize content that people want. Some might opt out of ad-based social media for fee-based, like cable versus broadcast TV. My guess is that a lot of folks would swallow hard and accept the ads on the internet, but I’d be interested in am internet business model that was fee-based–and geared to privacy for not having to feed the advertisers.

    And there is also a ton of advertising where the benefit is not nearly as direct. The room key arguably subsidizes the hotel stay but it is a stretch. Highway billboards are a deadweight loss, a total negative. They only subsidize the landowner, and penalize everyone else. I am sufficiently collectivist as to more aggressively regulate or ban the latter kind.


  4. Julie Brook says:

    You referred to the ad as being “a little insulting”. I’m curious – do you mean just its existence, or the wording, or what that you find insulting?


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