McLuhan: Ads are the best part of magazines

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March 18, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

mags3Marshall McLuhan admired and loved ads

By Rob H
For this assignment, I have decided to pick the quote “The ads are the best part of any magazine or newspaper. More pain and thought, more wit and art, go into the making of an ad than into the prose feature of press or magazine. Ads are news.”. A brilliant quote, it can be analyzed in many ways for every line.

This is an excellent quote. It details the exact truth in society in numerous ways. Daily, we are bombarded constantly with advertisements attempting to sell a wide range of products. The line in which McLuhan claims “Ads are the news” can be interpreted in many ways. One such way is that ads represent what is cool and hip in society at the moment, as they attempt to cater to popular culture. The line can also be interpreted in a more literal fashion as that the ads themselves are the news, and that they have more of an impact on the individual than the events happening around the world that one would traditionally define as “news”.

McLuhan clearly admires creativity, as he praised it in his quote. And he would be right to do so. Companies spend large sums of money working their ad to be the best. Creative consultants, celebrity endorsements, and art direction all take place in the making of some ads, and they all are very expensive. Even more costlier is the advertising slots available in news papers and in magazines. Even in our local paper, The Daily Gleaner, an advertisement costs two thousand dollars. With these high priced slots, companies who are paying big money for them, expect top level creativity so that the advertisement is worth the price of the advertisement slot. The companies also expect creativity at a new level each time so that the ads do not become redundant and stand out from the competitions ad.

I think that this quote relates to Media Studies because a large part of what Media Studies is would be the deconstruction of advertising. If Marshall McLuhan thought that advertising was relevant when he first said the quote, then of course it is still relevant today, even more so now that the internet exists, creating a whole new platform for ads to reach us on.


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