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The Sage

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literate”? Did we, as a nation, naively believe that “seeing was believing,” or did we understand that the business of visual literacy was as important as, if not more important than, verbal literacy? For example, even beyond the interpretive biases of the photographer, every day the capabilities of digital photography were making it possible to superimpose images and to change them. Who would be our Sages or guides in this new, visually based world? Sage brands promise that they can help you discriminate better and think more effectively. A press release from Arthur Andersen quotes former managing partner Jim Wadia as saying “traditional models of wealth creation and management are not enough in a world that values speed, networking and information. With our global reach and seamless delivery of services, Arthur Andersen helps clients realize value from both tangible and intangible assets.” Such companies typically emphasize their own research and development. Procter & Gamble stresses innovative breakthroughs resulting from ongoing research, promoting the fact that the firm holds over 25,000 patents worldwide. A typical ad (in this case for Swiffer mop sponges) shows “one concerned P&G scientist,” “one innocent [a baby] in a dirty world,” a mop referred to as “one dirt magnet,” and a package of Swiffer with the caption “A mop with a mission.” The descriptive material names the P&G scientist and describes the breakthrough that created “a unique fabric of hydro-entangled fibers that generates an electrostatic charge that works like a magnet to attract dust, hair and common allergens.” Such ads appeal to the desire of moms and dads to be informed about the latest ways to keep their homes state-of-the-art clean. Sage brands may even congratulate customers for being informed and intelligent. Oldsmobile ran an ad saying, “Wanted: drivers with a firm grasp of torque, traction, and verb tense,” implying that people in the know will choose their brand. Similarly, Infinity asserts, “It’s not just a new car. It’s all the best thinking.” Toyota tells us that the Prius is “a car that sometimes runs on gas power and sometimes runs on electric power from a company that always runs on brainpower.” In a print campaign for Sesame Street, little anecdotes from the show that seem entirely playful at first glance are highlighted in terms of the learning opportunity they provide regarding problem

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

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