Prepping for the 2015 Upfronts, every network will be busy hammering away at numbers in order to promise advertisers the most eyeballs to put their commercials in front of. That somehow reminds me of the 1988 Cannes award-winning Peter Greenaway film, “Drowning by Numbers.” The movie is about a grandmother, her daughter and her niece, each of them guilty of drowning her husband, and the coroner who attempts to cover up these crimes. As a rhetorical device, director Greenaway uses the rules of games, repetition and, as the title suggests, the counting of numbers. Repeating, sticking to rules, counting numbers and finally drowning -– except for being knocked off by the leading ladies rather than donning cement shoes they put on themselves -— this serves as an apt metaphor for what the intertwined media and advertising businesses have been doing for decades.
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