Dreaming in Ads. What would Freud say?
May 14, 2008
Do you ever have dreams about advertising? Of course not. That would be lame. But given the pervasive nature of advertising I wonder why, sometimes, we don’t.
Like a lot of boys I dreamed I could fly. In these dreams I was Superman or, to be honest, a hybrid mutant more akin to the X-men. Usually I used my power to avoid or thwart a real-life nemesis of mine, some schoolyard bully. As I got older movies became dominant influences in my dreams. Zombies chasing me, their putrid arms just out of reach. Vampires. And, better still, Vampire women! God bless Hammer studios.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is about advertising in dreams. Or, more to the point, why isn’t advertising in our dreams? For example, How come Tony the Tiger never turns up in Z-land? Or, God forbid, Bill Shatner? I’m surprised Burger King hasn’t infiltrated my psyche. A horrific and comedic entity, the King is Felliniesque if ever there was such a thing. Perfect fodder for dreams.
Given how much these characters and images bombard us, you’d think they’d have found their way into our subconscious. “We interrupt this dream to bring you the following paid announcement…”
Considering I make ads for a living it seems odd I don’t recall having had a single dream about any aspect of the creative process: writing ads, selling ads, producing ads, or the ads themselves. Never ever.
Maybe the commercialization of our society is so overt and rampant that our sleeping minds crave alternatives.
According to Freud, dreams are an outlet for something we repress during our waking life. It is common for the recovering alcoholic to have “drinking dreams.” Teen-agers have wet dreams because they aren’t “getting any” in real life. And so on.
In a reversed out, bizarre-o way, maybe commercials and the like are dreams manufactured for awake-time. “We make you want what you don’t need,” reads this blog’s masthead. Advertisers are able to create desire by creating 30-second dreams.
Of course I’m kidding. Sex in the ice cubes was only a myth. Yet, I have been dreaming about that new Audi…
(Props to TF for inspiring this post)