According to experts, the average American is exposed to 4,000 ads per day.
But let’s face it: There’s not a lot of rigor to that estimate.
Some say the number is closer to 5,000. Others say 10,000.
The truth? The world is all advertising.
The sky is an ad for clean air, unless it’s an ad for deregulation.
A deciduous tree is an ad for promise in the spring, shade in the summer, gravity in the fall, loneliness in the winter.
A river is an ad for direction, for water, for whatever floats your boat. Come to think of it, a river is a dandy ad for a boat.
A boat, in turn, is an ad for leisure. Leisure is an ad for reflection. Reflection, potentially, an ad for narcissism. Narcissism? Nothing if not an ad for solipsism.
And solipsism is fun to say, if I do say so myself.
I can hear the objections. Advertising is a uniquely human activity. The world–a tree, a river, a philosophical theory–cannot generate advertising.
Think again–before you anger an algorithm.
Anyway, we’re getting away from the point, which is that exposure to advertising is way different from being influenced by advertising.
Given its ubiquity, exposure is nearly impossible to measure, but influence is much easier.
Look at the beer in your refrigerator, the shoes on your feet, the evil politicians you oppose, the dedicated public servants you support.
Look at the writing on the wall.