Pt 5 Project 1 Illusion only is sacred, truth profane

Re-read the chapter by Guy Debord, Separation Perfected on pps 95 – 98 of the course reader making your notes in the usual way.

1 This was originally printed in 1967, thats before Facebook, Instagram, a whole load of reality TV, digital instant camera capabilities and mobile phones….

2 I think this paragraph is about events being recorded being more note-able than the actual happening. Modern production societies – presumably meaning ones where the population owns a TV.

4 Refers to stream of happenings occurring onscreen, separate from the real, photos and adverts as “autonomous image”? adverts where non real or tv programs where non real families live?

is the social relation between people who have watched the same program? or fake because we feel for the characters on-screen even though we will never meet them?

5 ‘the spectacle’ as a view of life, but the watched commercialised object based view.

6 Ok, this is saying that the social construct around a group, its history creates the requirement for the things produced and wanted, that this thing within the thing which justifies itself and the way its society functions (in my head that makes sense).

8 the ideal life we aspire to cannot be contrasted with how we live our lives, its ever present in how we live our lives, guiding our actions, its a production of society though. We project into it and it becomes real, which then indoctrinates it further into our system.

12 we are fed a stream of unreal through the media and because its been fed to us and we trust the source, we accept it’s for us and good for us. “That which is good appears and that which appears is good.”

15 the media industry is fed by us (this is more visibly true today than its ever been). we watch and we produce only that we want people to see, who then covet and reproduce their best bits etc. etc.

16 society is a living thing requiring funds which we produce to feed it. it reflects the things society makes and the value we place upon them as the producers.

18 ‘simple images’, (photos?) which hypnotise us into seeing a world that is only shown to us through someone else’s gaze and their beliefs and upbringing. So because we now have photographs and modern technology which before was craftsmanship/touch, which means we only ‘see’ the world from a distance and it doesn’t respond to us so reinvents itself anew.

19 the way we live in the west and our views has shaped the inventions we have needed (film?) so this thing, this construct we revolve around doesn’t do philosophy, it makes reality into a living breathing philosophy. the universe is is a best guess based on what we know because our communities decided thats what we need to look for and how we understand it.

20 As a people we need something to believe in, after religion, people can’t deal with the thought of responsibility for there own actions without there being a reason, the ‘spectacle’ takes on that position but instead of elevating our ideals to reach heaven, we a trapped into wanting the best on earth that we see is possible to achieve.

24 this construct is driven by those in charge and helps keep the classes going.

34 spectacle – all the things we are shown and want cost, so actually, what we are shown and aspire to is wealth.

Well that was quite depressing. Significantly easier to read and understand at this end of the course…

Look for three examples of current advertising that sells by appeal to lifestyle rather than the virtues of the product itself and make notes to show how.

  1. A bag by Chanel. Photo shows the outside of an industrial building with a warm light coming from inside through a blind. There is a light source also coming from the right which is helping to light the model squatting on a table wearing dressed down stylish clothing mostly black in colour high-lighting the bag she wears cross body on her hip. The model is Kristen Stewart. As much as the bag is in the advert, I think that the product is being sold through the name of the product and the cache that has as much as the use of the model who is there because of her street credibility and down to earth looks. You buy this bag to get the fake lifestyle that is perceived to belong to the model and the exclusivity of the expensive brand.
  2. SEAT Ateca car. set in the city at night, background is a building with trees in front, so not a poor area of town, its been raining, so street lighting etc is reflected in puddles and on the damp ground, we are also viewing the scene through a window upon which the lights are in reflect off. we are viewing from there. The features noted in the advert are not based around anything more than keeping us connected, and stowing shopping, or going out in the dark and spotting the car in the gloom. The lifestyle this is selling has lots of invites and spare cash to shop, and has to be available to talk to people, its not saying thats to help your job to pay for it and its not photo’d at a time you’d be working.
  3. Aston Martin Mayfair car. YOUR ASTON MARTIN EXPERIENCE STARTS HERE header over the picture of a bright blue car photo’d as if in motion through the blurred background of a winding road in hilly ground. The writing to the bottom of the ad is examples of finance and the note directly below the car is about the high performance and history over any actual features. The dream of driving through that terrain is selling that car, the aspiration to be that person driving an Aston Martin (Bond) over how its actually capable of making your life better. Its not even showing the inside, its all about how you’ll look from the outside while you are driving it.


Find advertisements for products that have been in production since before the second world war (Coca Cola or Bovril for example), in the Modernist period and today, and annotate them to show how, or if, there has been a change from product to lifestyle as the selling point.


  1. Guinness is good for you. Guinness as a product has been around since the 1700’s its advertising strapline, whilst probably not correct, helped to propel the beer to fame across the world. However, this relied upon its product being the drink you chose when you finished your day of work and stopped off for one before heading home. The advertising campaign changed in the 90’s, the person the product was aimed at was suddenly younger and dressed trendily or had an active pursuit like surfing (accompanied by wild horses as the waves and a kicking bass tune by Leftfield) Advertising stopped being about reminding you the beer existed and about encouraging a new generation to try this fun lifestyle that Guinness was a part of.
  2. Cadbury chocolate. Cadburys has been there for nearly 200 years. It saw out rationing in WWII and has fought the good fight against Nestles in advertising for as long as I can remember. Chocolate is a treat and its adverts show that, from adorning tins at Christmas time where both manufacturers are traditional household staples to Easter time and eggs. Chocolate adverts have tried lifestyle over features, take that flake bird in the bath (if you have your bathwater as hot as I do you just know that isn’t going to work) and they are trying to resurrect the milk tray man, all because the lady loves… However, the romance of being handed a box of chocolates or just being reminded they exist so you buy them next time you are at the garage forecourt or supermarket means that I think Cadburys has tried to go for memorable. Dairy milk ad 2017, doesn’t show a lifestyle I aspire to, more a moment in my life made better because of a product. The tune has a hook to remind you and the humour of the boring situation improved and overseen by another worker as an in-joke we have shared.

Both companies started advertising back when little was known about how adverts could really work, the value of informing people of your product and how it could benefit the customer has had to change over the years, if nothing else, to conform with facts over unhealthy lies.


Debord, G(1967)Separation Perfected In: Visual culture reader, Jessica Evans, Stuart Hall. London. Visual culture reader. pp. 95-98

Chanel(2017)Gabrielle bag advert with Kristen Stewart [online image]Available here: [accessed on 17th May 2017]

Seat(2016)The new seat Ateca, Autocar, 14/21 December 2016, Back page

Aston Martin Mayfair(2016)Your Aston Martin experience starts here, Autocar, 14/21 December 2016, page 58

Guinness(2017) Guinness advert archive, available here: [accessed 17th May 2017]

Cadbury(2017)Cadbury advertising history, available here:[accessed 17th May 2017]

Yes Sir, let’s boogie again! — New Cadbury Dairy Milk TV ad 60 Seconds[company ] advertisement. 9th February 2015. 1min available here:[accessed 17th May 2017]


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