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Advertising Insanity

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By Ben Cohen

'The Grove' is a popular movie destination in Los Angeles due to its huge screens and comfortable seats. It is a pleasant place with a huge fountain and mock Italian side streets that actually don't look too bad. However, the bombardment of advertising you are subjected to from the moment you enter the parking lot defies belief.

At the corner of the first ramp in the parking structure is a huge movie poster. There is another for a different movie on the second, another on the third and so on until you reach the fifth. To get to the escalators that lead into the actual complex, you must go to the second floor where there is a big furniture show room outside the elevators. Within the furniture show room is mini High Definition TV (HD) promotion.

As you go down the escalator and into the complex, you see a variety of bill boards until you get to the movie theater. When buying your tickets from the automatic ticket machine, a computerized voice says 'Don't forget to buy pop corn and a drink!' when the transaction has finished. When buying popcorn and a drink, the teller reminds you 'You know, you can supersize that for only a dollar!'.

The trailers for the movie was preceded by 10 minutes of regular advertising including a music video for the National Guard (a one way ticket to Iraq). After another 15 minutes of movie trailers, the film I went to see started.

I don't remember the name of the film, but I can tell you that they were all drinking Coca Cola and driving Mercedes.