Doing my work placement for Phase 8 has left me sitting on a lot of trains…and tubes, and a few buses. As a result I, like thousands of other commuters, have been vulnerable to multiple advertising assaults as I go about my day to day business. I am always a bit torn on station/transport advertising as a marketing strategy. Yes, in theory there is unrivalled potential for exposure as thousands if not millions of people, trek across the capital each day. However I do not think there could be more of a dispassionate group of people than Londoners on their daily commute, which is the bulk of station footfall. There are times in the morning where I am so irritated at the world for interrupting my sleep, that rather than engaging with these communication attempts, I actively project these negative feelings onto them in my anti-capitalist ‘i hate the world’ comatose state – ‘the world is so superficial…these brands don’t care about ME, they just want my money…No Capitalism, no brands, no early morning commute hmmm…Why are these colours so bright BLAHHHH.
However, as much as I have tried to squash it, there has been one advert which has succeeded in bypassing my angry morning fog, to become cemented in my brain. That is the Android ‘Together not the Same’ campaign; something even more ridiculous since I have always been an apple girl. What I love about this advert, is not just the cute figures it has made use of to narrate the campaign which in themselves are eye catching and adorable, but the overall message projected by this discourse. ‘Together but not the Same’, is a postmodern discourse highlighting how android and google are beginning to understand and subsequently approach their consumer on the basis of their individuality. This perspective is a shift from traditional marketing demographics, which organises the population into homogenised groups according to particular universalised characteristics, such as age, gender and lifestyle choices. Rather google acknowledges the postmodern contention that each consumer is simultaneously, unique, multiple and fragmented, and is increasingly asserting their right to be treated as such; something androids versatile mobile operating system reflects in it’s design allowing customers to personally express themselves.
My aim for my FMP is to create a postmodern fashion discourse which approaches the consumer on the basis of their individuality, through a customisation structure which allows them to imprint their personal narrative on the products they purchase. The fact that this perspective has been taken on by a brand as huge, innovative and boundary-pushing as google, has confirmed what i currently understand as the ‘Zeitgeist’ currently shaping behaviour at every level of culture and society from fashion to politics. In a postmodern society, people want increasing levels of self-governance; to be approached and understood as a subjective individual not an objective faceless statistic in a ‘demographic’. To me and many other postmodern theorists, normalising this spectral perspective and destabilising the ‘norms’ which have shaped our understanding of culture since the Enlightenment, is central to social inclusion and personal satisfaction. Without a ‘self’ aka. norm to be conditioned to aspire to, everyone fits. This advertising campaign is an incredibly encouraging sign that society and culture are moving in the right directions – having the backing of such a powerful well-regarded brand has the potential to have an enormous impact on the public imaginary, despite commuters attempts to block out the noise.