“Remember when you could buy barbiturates for the baby? Cover your house with asbestos? Or get heroin from the doctor? Okay, probably not, but thanks to the immortal beauty of advertising, you can take a trip back in time. Here's our pick of some of the most ironic ads in American history.” (Consumerist )
“Adhesive stickers with bottom side simulating a detonator for explosive were placed on the pavements in Zurich. When the passers by checked their shoes, they saw the message from Unicef: ‘In many other countries you would now be mutilated! Help the victims of landmines!’ ” via Adoholik.
A recent study by University of Wisconsin and University of Virginia consumer researchers… examined how individuals relate to objects they have purchased when they think about death. The result, strikingly, is that thinking about one’s demise motivates people to form a strong connection to their material possessions, specifically to the brands that they have purchased. In the face of the great unknown, people develop, “strong brand identity,” a melding of their personalities and their possessions.” via Obit Magazine.
This school of research originated with Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death (1974), which argued that the entirety of human culture is an attempt to manage our terror at the prospect of our mortality.