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01/

Lies are all around us. From the moment we are born untill the moment we die, our entire lives, are surrounded with deception. From our earliest memories of childhood, with parents telling fibs or ‘little white lies’ to get children into bed early or just to eat all of their greens. However as we grow, so to does the intangled web of deciet that we weave through our lifetimes. Lies between friends, colleagues, loved ones and partners. So too are we lied to by the media, news, government and the sheer abundance of advertising and marketing campaigns that aim to misdirect, mislead and decieve us all. _

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Chuck Palahniuk


02/

Language of lies

A I N P F E U H L- T

An advertising agency is 85% confusion and 15% commission Fred Allen The language that surrounds lying, dishonesty and the truth is somewhat confusing and ambiguous. Take, for example, the two words persuasion and deception. Some would argue are the same thing however they do hold subtle differences. Many people feel it is easier to lie to withhold from the experience and discomfort of what might happen if you were to tell the truth. Morally of course it is always better to tell the truth but sadly more often than not, this is not the case.

Lies can create a false belief or perception in other individual’s minds, and in the long run, withholding the truth never seems to turn out in your favour. A simple analogy would be to suggest that it is usually easier to tell a lie in the short term however this is followed by a big cost in the long run. A simply analogy would be to suggest paying £100 (today) or £10 per week for the rest of the year.

People often think that lying would hurt other’s feeling less because what of the saying “what they don’t know won’t hurt them,” however the truth always becomes apparent. Honesty is often referred to as being blunt, hurtful, painful, and even brutal whereas a liar’s excuse is often “it was to protect you.” The language we use to describe these acts of betrayal are often the opposite of what we might initially expect.


03/

T U A R L B

TRUTH There are two major forms of lying: concealment, leaving out true information, and falsification, or presenting false information as if it were true. Paul Eckman

de路cep路tion

per路sua路sion

1 The action of deceiving someone.

1 The action or fact of persuading someone or of

2 A thing that deceives someone.

being persuaded to do or believe something.

2 A means of persuading someone to do or believe something; an argument or inducement.


04/

Linguistics in advertising

BENDING THE TRUTH Advertising slogans bend the truth or distill a sense of confidence in their products that can often be untrue.

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FOREVER De Beers Jewellery

“McDonald’s Golden Arches, are now said to be even more widely recognized than the Christian cross.” Eric Schlosser

Marketing and advertising have undergone tremendous changes in the past decade, and these changes are bound to alter the extent and nature of the language contact phenomena within advertising. To begin with, advertising is becoming ever more influential. Global advertising spending in 1998 was at $435 billion with $196.5 billion of this amount in the United States alone. The growth in global advertising spending has outpaced growth in the world economy by one-third. This increase in advertising spending has gone hand in hand with substantial changes in the ways in which products and services are marketed.

“logos have become the most effective tool we have to communicate across cultures”

The 1990s have seen a flourishing of brands that were relatively unknown up until then as well as the development of all-encompassings “super-brands” whose value is not created through the product they sell or the service they provide, but rather through their symbolic value. Brands such as Nike, Virgin, or Calvin Klein are “‘conceptually value-added brands,’ which in effect means adding nothing but clever and intense marketing.” In the process, an international “brand pidgin” may be emerging as discourses and brands have become enmeshed to a previously unimaginable degree. Verbal and visual references to sitcoms, movie characters, advertising slogans, and corporate logos have become the most effective tool we have to communicate across cultures—an easy and instant ‘click.’ McDonald’s Golden Arches, for instance, are now said to be even more widely recognized as a symbol than the Christian cross. The forms, functions, and uses of this international “brand pidgin” are an emergent language contact phenomenon in advertising that remains as yet largely unexplored.

Furthermore, some of these brands come with their own language, their own nomenclature, which is uniform irrespective of the linguistic context in which the brand finds itself. McDonald workers often know no more English than the items on the menu, they speak “McDonald’s English,” and the red soft drink paper cups that come on the McDonald’s food trays the world over say “Always Coca-Cola” the world over. This heavily regimented brand nomenclature and the ways in which it interacts with the languages that the “baristas” and fast food workers use, as well as those of the consumers of these products, in these internationally identical temples of consumption also await further study.


05/

THE D

OCT

All Apple Brands

FALSE ADVERTISING False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid. Many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising. “Truth” refers to essentially the same concept, that customers have the right to know what they are buying, and that all necessary information should be on the label, unfortunately this is not always the case. The Federal Trade Commission use many strategies in order to determine if an advertisement is deceptive. According to the FTC’s Deception Policy Statement, an advert is deceptive if it contains a statement or omits information that: • Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances. • Is “material” – that is integral to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product. The Commission will find an act or practice deceptive if there is a misrepresentation, omission, or other practice, that misleads the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.

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Many other advertisers use purposefully vague, ambigious and inspiring words: Nike “Just do it,” Addidas “Impossible is nothing” and Carlseburg “Probably, the best lager in the world,” emphasis on the probably.

TH

“A diamond is forever,” suggests that you will be with the person you choose to guft that ring to for the rest of your life, which many of us know simply isn’t true. “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” does hold slight truth however this is not exclusively the case.

Carlseburg Lager

*

The Asterisk It’s the marketer’s friend and the consumer’s enemy. You can hide a world of sketchy terms, technicalities, conditions and misleading “out” clauses behind the asterisk. For instance, in this case Free* could be followed by: “*Offer only available to residents of Alaska aged between 49-52.” Although an extreme example, similar exclusions are not unheard of. Sometimes it’s only free if you buy another item of equal or greater value, which takes a jump back to the language surrounding BOGO deals (almost always followed with an asterisk.) Sometimes it’s free if you jump through hundreds of hoops and buy other products. Occasionally, rarely, it’s actually free. But the asterisk does mean someone, somewhere, is missing out. The asterisk has taken a powerful word like free and twisted it to become as untrustworthy as possible. _


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08/

brand deception As symbols, logos are visual and as such have been shown to be more memorable than word. The human brain interprets and receives pictures easier than words, and symbols can be effective in any language. For example, the “golden arches” are easier to recognize than the name McDonald’s here in the united states as well as in Bombay or Beijing. As businesses become more global, logos and symbols become more important in branding identities. The Nike swoosh can be recognized by athletes worldwide even without the Nike name attached to it. However the way some companies wish to be portrayed can sometimes be very far from actuality. Huge global corporations pay millions a year to market and advertise their products in the way they see fit. Unfortunately for them, the truth always seems to become apparent in the end.

Nike Nike have also been involved with a great deal of controversy concerning their brand image and the reality of the situation. Nike has been criticized for contracting with factories (known as Nike sweatshops) in countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico. The company has been subject to much critical coverage of the often poor working conditions and exploitation of cheap overseas labour employed in the free trade zones where their goods are typically manufactured.

Nike also caused controversy during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, when its sponsored Chinese athlete, Liu Xiang, withdrew from the Olympic 110 metre hurdles, leaving the track after a false start by another competitor. Liu claimed that he withdrew due an ankle injury. However, an anonymous message was posted on the internet, purportedly from a source close to Nike, claiming that the corporation had forced Liu to withdraw as he was unlikely to win, thereby tarnishing their image. Nike responded by announcing “we have immediately asked relevant [Chinese] government departments to investigate those that started the rumour.”

During the 1990s, Nike faced criticism for the use of child labour in Cambodia and Pakistan in factories it contracted to manufacture soccer balls. Although Nike took action to curb or at least reduce the practice, they continue to contract their production to companies that operate in areas where inadequate regulation and monitoring make it hard to ensure that child labour is not being used. Campaigns have been taken up by many colleges and universities, especially anti-globalisation groups, as well as several anti-sweatshop groups, for example The United Students Against Sweatshops. Despite these campaigns, Nike’s annual revenues have increased from US$6.4 billion in 1996 to nearly US$17 billion in 2007. If we are all so wide aware of these unmissable and inexcusable facts, why do we continue to fund & fuel such unethical companies?

naive Fig. 1


09/

Coca - Cola The Coca-Cola Company has been involved in controversies and lawsuits related to allegations of human rights violations and other unethical practices. A number of lawsuits have been filed in relation to its allegedly monopolistic and discriminatory practices, some of which have been dismissed, others which have caused The Coca-Cola Company to change its business practices, and some of which have been settled out of court. There have been continuing criticisms regarding the Coca-Cola Company’s relation to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, further issues including environmental issues and violating labelling requirements and not forgetting coca cola’s early history involving the controversy of using cocaine, or coca leaf.

Fig. 2

Global brands and corporations spend millions upon millions on branding and marketing. However sometimes the way these brands and companies wish to be percieved and actually are percieved couldn’t be further from the truth. A few examples of my own take on some “untruthful” or decieving logo’s. See if you can work out what they are. (Turn the paper upside down to reveal the answers).

Fig. 3

Living in age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned. The perfect life is spread before us every day, but it changes and withers at a touch. J. B. Priestley

ANSWERS Fig.1 Evian Fig.2 Coca-Cola Fig.3 Nike


10/

THE POLITICS OF DESIRE & LOOTING THE PART DESIGNERS AND BRANDS HAVE PLAYED IN THE LONDON RIOTS 06-10/AUG/2011 The riots that ripped through English cities during four days in August were more ferocious and catastrophic than similar outbursts in the recent past. They have caused a prolonged and unprecedented bout of soul searching amongst all strands of British society. How could this happen? What caused it? Who is to blame? Blame has been heaped mainly on the cuts-obsessed, expenses-fiddling politicians; the Metropolitan Police who inadvertently triggered the rioting by shooting a man in the street; the nation’s under-funded education system; and city councils who rushed to close youth centres in the wake of the global economic crises. Opprobrium has also been directed at the parents of rioters (special venom is reserved for single mothers — the great bogey figures of the British right wing press); role models in entertainment and sport; the despised and greedy bankers; even British rappers have had accusatory fingers pointed at them. One group has so far escaped blame: designers. Hardly surprising — who could possibly think that we mild mannered individuals are somehow responsible for murder, theft, arson and civil disobedience on an apocalyptic scale? And yet, a salient feature of these riots has been the fact that the main target of the attacks has been the shops of the major retail brands of British commercial life. In previous modern-day riots, the aim has been to expose grievances relating to social injustice. And although the young of multicultural urban Britain have many genuine social grievances, on this occasion they made their objective the acquisition of free stuff.

These young people are not poor in the sense in which we understand poverty in the undeveloped world. They have Blackberrys (the encrypted Blackberry messaging system was used extensively to coordinate attacks), fashionable jeans, and cool footwear: but they are poor enough to have a sense of being excluded from the great orgy of consumer acquisitiveness that is flaunted in front of them daily. Specifically, they are excluded from the world of desire and consumption created by the brand owners, advertising agencies, art directors, graphic designers, photographers, product designers, retail designers, architects, stylists, retouchers, and copywriters. I’m not advocating a puritan revolution. I don’t want to ban advertising, or return to the bad design that characterised British shops in the 1970s — they were brown, musty, and unwelcoming. Nor do I think a single designer has ever gone to work thinking “Today I must create something that drives the underprivileged youth of modern Britain mad with desire and envy.” But for the past three or four decades the major role of graphic design has been to create the branding and collateral of desire. For those who can afford entry into this world — no harm is done. For those who can resist the blandishments of this world — no harm is done. But for those who have neither the education nor emotional maturity to deal with this, immense harm is done.

The principal target was a highly successful chain of shops called JD Sports. It sells fashionable street wear. Other popular targets included mobile phone shops, electrical goods stores, and outlets of leading UK fashion brands.

“they are excluded from the world of desire and consumption created by the brand owners”

All these shops spend huge amounts of money on branding, on store layout, on window displays, and slick advertising. Their ads leap at us from newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and the Internet. Celebrities endorse their products. They are little shrines of desire.

Some designers have been warning about the unwanted side-effects of the design revolution, most notably Ken Garland. As far back as 1964, he launched his First Things First manifesto; and more recently, designers such as Jonathan Barnbrook and the supporters of Adbusters have issued similar caveats.

Despite one or two gleefully publicised cases, the majority of the rioters came from poor homes in the least desirable, least well-resourced areas of England’s major cities. They come from places with low achievement rates in education, and where employment prospects are low.

These warnings are often mocked as “idealistic” and “naive.” But from now on, it’s going to be hard for critics to dismiss them. There really is a price to pay for creating the seductive tropes of modern commerce. We’ve seen what happens when you create a beautifully manicured world of desire, and then say to a big chunk of the population, no entry. Seductive design is emphatically not the main cause of the riots, but it is a contributing factor, and we’d be dishonest to deny our part in it.

“Adverts leap at us from newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and the Internet. They are little shrines of desire”

So what is to be done? SOURCE: http://bit.ly/pv5A9y

Adrian Shaughnessy


11/

THE ALLURE OF BRANDS A Response to Adrian Shaughnessy In understanding the role design played in The London Riots that took place in august 2011 we must first understand that this attack was led by few but followed by many. In short, the majority of people that encouraged and participated in these riots were nothing more than opportunist’s. This is evident by the many, almost comical news articles and Facebook groups dedicated to the few people who chose to, instead of stealing high priced desirable items such as clothes, shoes or electrical goods, opted for Tesco value rice and multi-packs of crisps. Although I agree with Adrian Shaughnessy on many points I do think he places a larger blame on Graphic Designs role in these riots than is necessary or justified. Although it is true that a large part of graphic design today is to creating desire within the high street, I don’t think designers can be held accountable for the actions of the minority. Many shops were targeted but not looted, simply an act of vandalism and mayhem, a chance for those who revel in rebellion to run riot. For whatever reason people decided to participate in these attacks be it internal issues or frustrations, used it as a way to vent their anger, unjustifiably so. There are people in life who are not natural born leaders and so the suggestible and vulnerable follow instead of lead, and in this instance chose to follow the wrong crowd. Brand campaigns and advertising are used in order to make a product glamorous and desirable, and that is part of the reason why shops such as JD Sports and electrical goods stores were targeted and looted, But at the end of the day, isn’t that testament to the power of Graphic Design? Companies pay graphic designer’s to do as they ask in many cases, so if were to place blame shouldn it not be aimed at the companies who asked for these advertisements to be put in place? Maybe what we should be asking ourselves instead, is if we as Graphic Designers want to be associated with this particular aspect of design, or if it is even possible to not be associated with it. There are many factors that play their part in why this event could and did happen, whether it is peer pressure from friends to have the coolest clothes/ phones/shoes on the market or the upbringing and education of a particular individual.

An artist impression of the way in which looters utilsed social networking apps such as twitter and blackberry messenger to organise & initiate riots in London, August 2011 Big high street brands promise everything yet provide nothing but failed hopes and dreams. Although we must realize that as graphic designers we have the power to influence, to persuade, to make an item or product seductive and desirable it is not our sole responsibility or fault for the actions of the few who choose to act in the London riots.

A cross processed photo of two scenes of destruction from The London Riots: One a property goes up in blaze after being torched, and the other depicts riot officers marching towards the scene of a protest


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AS PART OF A STUDY ON

W W W. L U K E S M I T H D E S I G N. C O M

LUKE SMITH


Don't believe the hype