Well, the Superbowl has now come and gone, and everybody can settle down with the results until next season. Wether your favorite team won or lost, I thought it was an exciting and amazing show of athleticism and strength on both sides. That said, let’s look at the really interesting side of the Superbowl: the commercials.
I didn’t find (most of) this year’s commercials as entertaining as ones from previous years, but they still are a perfect example of our daily exposure to magic. The bulk of modern people wouldn’t consider commercials and other forms of advertising to be magic, but if you really look at the base of what both are trying to accomplish, and the way they are trying to do it, they are more alike than they are different.
I know different disciplines use tools that Chaotes can borrow from, but at the heart of Chaos is the understanding that the purpose of anything that we do is to implant an idea into the subconscious that will be executed without conscious involvement. The same is true for advertising. They don’t care, or even want you to think about one of their commercials when you are looking for a product, they want you to reach for it naturally, without thinking about why you’re even getting it. ‘I need detergent, let’s get a box of Tide.’ Or at worst is something like: ‘I need a box of detergent, the new Purex crystals sound neat so I’ll try it.” How many product names can you think of? About a gazillion is my guess. There are products on the shelves that I won’t even try because ‘I don’t know anything about them.” I’ve never bought or tried some of the items in a store, but if I am going to, the first thing I look for is a ‘known commodity’, a.k.a. a brand I’ve had good luck with on other products.
The main concept behind many of these commercials is ‘branding’. Most of the commercials on the big game yesterday didn’t even try to sell you anything directly (0% APR car financing, etc.). They just showed you things funny/neat/bizarre so they became new in your mind, and more easily slipped down into the subconscious, implanting it for non-conscious recognition in the future. That’s not me relating it to Chaos, that’s just the name of the game. Did you see all the Nike logos on every piece of equipment on the field? Me neither. They’re so heavily implanted that the subtile swoosh doesn’t do anything but reinforce the brand they work so hard to maintain.
Now, think about the concept of a sigil, a ritual, or even meditation for the purpose of spell casting. You are simply trying to slip the information into your own subconscious so it can act without any conscious thought. Instead of grabbing something off the shelf, you are just aiming that your astral/ethereal self/energy (or whatever you think it is) will make things happen that result in the final outcome.
They aim for automatic brand recognition and action results by the target, we aim for action results without source recognition by the target (mostly).
This concept of ‘branding’ and other tools within advertising are almost exact in their process to Chaos techniques that work incredibly well. The vast majority of the population has no idea that these concepts are so closely linked. It would either freak them out about advertising, or it would help legitimize magic as a valid discipline. They may not be swayed in their religious/spiritual views about the evil/good nature of the practice, but perhaps it would be taken more seriously, and people would be more questioning of advertisements. Or perhaps people would just call shenanigans and stay the way they are because it’s easier that way. It would probably be that last one.
It makes me smile to know that people eat this stuff up like candy because it makes my job a lot easier. When I design ads/commercials I just ‘brand’ the hell out of things and people turn to us without question. Both of the national competitors in our area combined don’t do 1/3 the business we do. Why? Anywhere you look in this valley there is our logo. The college, high school stadiums, every charity advertisement, news, print, boards, television, pre-movies ads, etc. We even cut the ‘name’ portion off of our logo and simply use that symbol (a sigil?) on some campaigns. For a period we had a board up with nothing but the symbol on a white background. We received tons of compliments on it.
They were all moved towards us and only rarely do we advertise a specific product or service. When we do, we have massive influxes from those promotions.
It’s a pretty well ‘branded’ company, no? We’ve even reduced our standard branding statements into a single sigil (like the Nike swoosh) that represents everything that we have implanted into our customers’ minds. To me that’s magic, and it’s awesome. I love to watch us do it and I love to see it on a national level. I’m a sucker for it. That kind of thing just works too well.