I recently had the chance to visit France for two weeks of fun, baguettes and sightseeing.
I found myself taking the Metro and looking at the Advertisements for many different movies, TV programs, products and services. All in French. As someone who does not speak french, I was looking at them, trying to figure out what they might be selling or advertising....
Then I realized; I am usually annoyed by large ads and commercials. It bothers be how much they assault my senses. And they are EVERYWHERE. It feels like a violation of my sanctity. But in France - when I couldn’t actually understand what was being said, I found myself looking at them, analyzing them and trying to see if I could decipher what they were for! It was a game.
Which made me wonder - why is it that when I can read the language on the ad I am annoyed, but when I can’t I’m fascinated. The actual understanding is what stops me from appreciating the art of it, the pretty picture, and the composition.
So here’s the game to play: Pretend you are in France. When you see that billboard, stop reading it, and look at it as if it were a foreign language. What comes out? What do you see what you didn’t before? What subliminal message, or great artistic layout did you get to experience that you wouldn’t have before.
And most importantly - are you annoyed by the ads? I found that when I played this game with myself after I got back, I was making a choice to not be assaulted by ads. I made the choice not be annoyed. I could actually choose to like the art that people were proving me. And it’s my choice: I can be annoyed, or I can be inquisitive.
So make a choice. And see what it does to your day.
Seattle, Portland, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Austin, Chicago