Monday, September 25, 2006

Advertising and Fantasy

On a completely different subject...

Advertising has always been a problem for those on the moderate left of politics. It does not take much knowledge of economics to know that wealth is produced by the circulation of money, and the desire to own and to buy is vital to the health of a modern consumer economy. If workers are to be paid good salaries, they need good jobs, and good jobs require good markets. The problem is that advertising over the years increasingly about became not just about making people desire one product over another, but making people desire something they never knew they lacked. Advertising promoted greed and discontent by firing the materialist fantasies of the consumer.

These days something wierd seems to be happening. Just watch TV and note that not only do the commercials advertise a product, but they portray an entirely unrealistic consumer response to the product. Advertisement after advertisment seems keyed to the fantasies not of the consumers but of the advertisers.

I am not quite sure why this is. Are the clients of advertising agencies now so insulated that they have left touch with reality, or does this approach actually work?


[I will list some examples as they come to mind.]


Nissan Versa Commercial
-A couple celebrate the huge internal space of the sub-compact car, thus avoiding "auto-claustrophobia."

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