Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Memory's a Little Cloudy

As advertisers, we are supposed to evoke moods, stir feelings and create scenes. If it were possible, I’d be happy to do that without ever having to include a call to action.

The weather reminds me of other places and times. This morning before dawn, the street was wet, the air was mild, and there was a steady wind high in the trees. The cloud ceiling was high but dark, a night storm drifting away. I was transported to Northern Virginia, where I delivered The Washington Post as a kid. I remembered having to hold a paper in front of my face in the summer months to cut through the spider webs that had gathered overnight under the trees in the yards.
Earlier this month, the air was brisk and clean, with no trace of humidity. There was just enough sun to keep me from feeling cold. If I closed my eyes, I was in the mountains of Southern California, high above the smog of the city, on the winding road that cuts through the Cuyamacas on the way to Julian.

A certain degree of sun mixed with a chill in the air will take me to Southern New York, where on the lush lawns of the parks of West Point, I’d watch the barges and small sailboats move up and down the Hudson.

Sunny, breezy and warm is springtime in West Texas. Cloudy, windy and cold is a Southern Missouri autumn.

My memories of these places appear in my mind as Photoshop documents, layered, saturated and brilliantly contrasted. The backgrounds are as clear as the foregrounds, with every green vivid and every blue deep, some sort of postcard from the past. In these documents, all is well with the world, be the image rainy and cold or balmy and bright. Any remembrance of personal trouble or world upheaval at the time is erased. It’s the weather that always opens the document, memory triggered by some subtle change in atmosphere.

It's not a real world; just a pleasant place to visit with eyes closed and a deep breath. Much like the worlds we create as advertisers.

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  • Personally I just find that the worlds I create are quite fascinating. Not a masterpiece, not a beautiful Utopia but a place I wouldn’t mind at least stopping by for a bite to eat. What happens though is that the tyrannical clients force a coupe to overthrow my kingdom and cast a shadow of muck, call to actions and advertising jargon rather than relevant messages. I dream of a day when the sun parts and some messianic client allows me to do my best to do the best for them rather than slapping my face and treating me to mediocre serfdom.

    By Blogger joker, at January 30, 2008 at 5:42 PM  

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