This piece reflects the nature of the advertising industry in terms of the media’s manipulation of imagery, as well as the treatment of audiences as commodities. The title depicts one of the primary foci of the piece, which is the notion of sign exchange value, put forward by Jean Baudrillard. In this piece, there is a juxtaposition between the apparent nature of our current consumer society and the actual, underlying realities of the advertising industry and the capitalist system as a whole.
Advertising has become so commonplace in today’s society that it is quite difficult to imagine daily life without its presence. The most responsible cause of this phenomenon—if not the sole source—is capitalism. This creative project examines the effectiveness of visual communication in advertising, as well as how corporations utilize the power of imagery to persuade audiences into continuous consumption. There is a variety of sources that are explored as research material for the production of the final creative piece. The artistic piece is created digitally, rather than my initial intention of the traditional process of acrylic painting on canvas, to produce an intricacy and abstraction similar to the underlying, subconscious nature of the advertising industry.
Keywords: advertising, capitalism, consumption, audience commodity, sign exchange value, product placement, simulacra, "death of the real"