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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The Gruen Transfer

Friday, June 06, 2008

For about a year now I've been receiving a daily Yahoo group mailing called "Media Squatters." It's a bunch of media nerds like Douglass Rushkoff discussing marketing, politics, and consumer culture. Most days I don't have time to really follow the conversation, but today someone shared something really great.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a new show called The Gruen Transfer (the show takes its name from the phenomenon that happens when you walk into a shopping mall, aptly named for the architect of the first shopping mall, Victor Gruen).

It's a panel show that lightheartedly dissects how advertising works and, as the show's catchline says, "how it works on you." Each episode features a snarky little host joined by four advertising "experts" who offer their witty suspicions about the motives and methods behind major advertising campaigns. It's a bit glib and self-satisfied, yet it also stops short of sanctimony. For example, one of the running gags of the show is called "Sell It," where executives from well-known advertising agencies try to out-do one another in crafting a commercial for the unthinkable. In the first episode, the unsellable product was Japanese whale meat. The execs participate eagerly, openly acknowledge that theirs is a craft that can hock garbage and gold with equal vigor.

Give it a look. You can subscribe to new episodes using iTunes. Below is a clip from the first episode (Note the content warning at the beginning).

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 10:31 PM

1 Comments:

Love the guys on the left! They made me laugh! Thanks for coming back...missed your little ways of making me think!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:38 PM  

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