A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

The fascination of advertising.

Marshall McLuhan (March 26, 1930, age 18). Dear Diary:

Today at the library I was leafing through some back issues of the Saturday Evening Post from  the twenties when it struck me.   The most fascinating reading is in the advertizing.  The ads capture the age more surely, speak its assumptions more assuredly, work their way into our minds more deeply than any other literary form.

Me (November, 2010, age 58).  The ads still draw us in.

What is it about advertising that draws us to it?  Pick up a magazine from 30 or 40 years ago and the articles may leave you cold, but the ads continue to fascinate.  As is evident in Marshall McLuhan’s writing – most notably in Culture is our Business and The Mechanical Bride – there is much to be learned about people and communication from advertising.  Here, for your fascination is an ad from the golden age of television:

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading

Philip Marchand, Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messanger, 1989, p. 40.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, November 27th, 2010
Permalink 1930s and 40s, Communication, Culture, Vol. 1 No Comments

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