Genfer Gruselkabinett (Genevan chamber of horror)

Despite its environmental consequences, I like travelling by air. I am fascinated by planes, and airports are to me what wellness-pools are to others. But I do not like the airport in Geneva. Airports often reflect on the character of a city in a certain way, through the people that use it, but especially through the ads that are shown there (in a way the ads also reflect on the very people passing by in front of them). Airport-ads try to attract the visitor’s attention to whatever the city has to offer and what is currently en-vogue there. And for sure, in Geneva everything I do not like about the city is epitomized in them. Geneva Cointrin airport has a long tunnel through which everybody who disembarks has to walk to reach the central area. This corridor is plastered with advertisements for either private banks or watches. While I could still warm my hearts for watches as instruments of time-measuring, I do not like banks at all. But what makes walking this corridor a-kin of a visit to the horror chamber is not just the fact that everything that seems to matter are either status symbols or money, but the particular way the advertisements are carried. Watches are mostly seen on woman there, but it is clear that the message is not directed to women, but to men gifting them. Both watch and woman are depicted as objects. The same goes for bank-ads. Indeed, to the visiting alien, unacquainted with names like Pattek-Phillip or Hublot, it would be unclear what is on sale here. Sadly, living in Geneva, I sometimes cannot see the difference either. As I am getting ready to get off my plane, I’m preparing myself for this month’s horror show. My only ray of hope, towards the middle of the tunnel, is George Clooney, who beams down from a nescaffe add.  How low can you go to look forward to a Nescaffe add?

4 thoughts on “Genfer Gruselkabinett (Genevan chamber of horror)”

  1. Funny thing! I always think the same when I am walking down this corridor, looking at the watch adds…I always start thinking about gender equality and how wealth is portrayed in those adds…:-). And: I don't like the Geneva airport either.!

  2. Airports seem so sterile, like a hospital, except for the ads. It makes them seem so serene, that I feel at zen in the waiting areas. The more paradoxal it is that they also seem to chic, especially because of the ads for luxury items and the exquisite brands in the "free" shops.

  3. Two points: most airport travelers are middle-to-upper class, so the ads generally skew that way.

    This is part of why I hate Geneva. As a quasi hipster/nerd, everything from the banks to watches to hotels shout: "This is not for YOU. This is for rich people."

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