Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category
There is no culture, except the one advertising has sold to us through a number of media, mainly television. Our dreams have been packaged and sold to us, a lifestyle – nothing more than an article of trade. We consume this lifestyle and enjoy short bursts of satisfaction, much like an orgasm. Then we want more. The authenticity of life, of being a human being has moved away from inward reflection, to outward exposition. We have become what the consumer society has made us, individuals looking to satisfy our own needs and desires. On Maslow’s pyramid of the hierarchy of needs, then, we ricochet off the stages between needs for security and needs for love and belonging – which too are meagre, artificially fabricated needs.
It is no wonder then, that we tend to disregard the bigger picture and indulge in our own foolishness: we are too busy looking for the satisfaction in the wrong places, in effect, ignoring the true institutions from where we derive the atonements, our family, friends, and ourselves.
The result is therefore a loop, a mindset which benefits not our community as it should be, rather the marketplace. We become the fuel for the hungry engines of the corporations that try so hard to keep us innoculated with their ideas of culture and happiness.
So, I read an article by Malcolm Gladwell for one of my Advertising and Society course readings. I was really impressed at the unconventional, non-academic way of writing to get the point across, so I sent him an e-mail to give him my salutations and kudos. Turns out, he actually replied! Malcolm replied! You know what? That made my day! I just wanted to let people know Or voice my thoughts
Today’s phrase is Consumer Culture! While this may be true of advertising and society, it is also relevant to film studies. Here’s why:
This refers to the society in which consumption of goods is the major theme. In this idea, culture is commodified as an object of trade. Entrepreneurs bank on low self-esteem and make products which are associated with social dimensions such as relationships, socio-economic status and identity.
In film and television, we can relate this to how television is advertising and every program is filled with ads (be it product placement, or during commercial breaks). Television becomes a vehicle for mass consumption, each show being targeted to a specific audience, such as talk shows geared towards the female, and then advertising products related to them such as hygiene-related, food-related products: products for the household.
In the article, “Answering Advertisers’ Prayers,” the author Cashmore talks about how television audiences cannot escape advertising and the way products are advertised (such as Nestlé’s coffee blend) and how television is advertising. The author talks about how advertisers create problems and then create solutions which they sell to the audience as consumers. The author gives insight and further explains using various examples in history and the rationale behind the forms of advertising.
An example of consumer culture is Sex and the City. There is extensive advertising of a particular high lifestyle with dining out a lot, clubbing and expensive clothing.
Another example of consumer culture is Melrose Place which sells the idea of young singles living in a posh apartment in Los Angeles.