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The magic of advertising or the commercialization of magic?

[ by Charles Cameron — beer and cars, cars, cars, is that all there is to life? — never mind — fourth in my magic and commercials series, links to earlier entries at end of post ]
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There are some commercials that imply — or come pretty close to admitting — that magic of one sort of another is what tbhey’re up to:

This Dos Equis ad, for instanxce, features a state magician, and we are left with the impression the beer may somehow be the power behind nhis feats of illusion —

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— and the fact that “his beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body”..

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There’s so-called “magical thinking” in this commercial by Mercedes-Benz. But this isn’t at allm original, in fact it’s a positively hubristic borrowing: when God does this in the first chapter of Genesis, it’s called “creation”.

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There’s a well-known trope in state magic we can call “Behind the curtain” — since it’s echoes in a take-down of the creator-God — and seeming miracles — in The Wizard of Oz:

And for your extended pleasure, here are two alternates:

  • distinguished gentleman disguised as a race-car driver
  • Espresso — guess it only works on cars
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    And perhaps best of all there’s what I’ll call “he Gandalf blind-man” — blindness is noit of the essence here, the essence is knowinjg the contours of the world at a level beyond that of mordinary knowing

    — one might equally call this “the Dumbledore blind-man”, though in a contest of wills, UI’d back Gandalf over Dumbledore — and its archetypal essence is to be found in Merlin, court mage to King Arthur, now lost in the mists of Avalon..

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    Earlier in this seriesz

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  • Advertising series 01: Music
  • Eros, the Renaissance and advertising
  • Authentic, spiritual magic!
  • In my next, I’ll return to authentic magic..

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