Services Offered


Advertising services for a handyman, improvising placement and using available/upcycled materials — in this case, a paper sleeve for a compact disc.

This is a peculiar instance of advertisement by an individual (“mike”) to find a bit of work for himself, presumably. For risking an invasion of privacy by sharing his phone number (personal? home? business? mobile?), he is able to announce his service and a means of contact — all without incurring a substantial financial risk that might occur with a more traditional, less improvised means of advertising.

I’ve done a stretch in advertising. First at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG when they were kicking off an “interactive” agency (great learning experience — I had no idea how the trade worked, practically and at a “top-level”. Then — well, at Organic, Liquid Digital, Sterling Brands. Nutty days.

During all of that, I was never particularly excited by what were considered “innovations” in advertising and brand marketing. One always got a whiff of sulfar when a slick agency partner announced some revolution or another. Whether it was ad banners that appear on..web pages! Or SMS messages that tickle your phone when you walk by a Starbucks with a discount on something you hadn’t even considered buying. It was all “communication” designed to compel one to spend money — more often than not, it was to spend money on things that one could reasonably live without. The cycle of consumption has very little principles beyond perpetuating and accelerating spending — even to the point of spending money in a way that drives one towards serious financial distress.

What are the various practices for circulating one’s ability to perform paid services? How can these be organized across schemas of cost, location, metrics of performance? Are there alternatives to traditional means of announcing oneself and one’s willingness and ability to perform services, or other kinds of transactions? What distinguishes “mike’s” strata of communication from others — both more formal (“professional advertising”) and informal? If advertising is a form of communication

Why do I blog this? I am wondering — is it possible to imagine a world in which the dominant form of advertising operates according to principles other than the perpetuation of cycles of spending? I come up short when I try to imagine such a world. Is it because advertising is the world? Is it so imbricated into the essence of what “our” lives are that its existence defines what life is? Questions ahead.