platos_cave

On Consumerism And Marketing in Modern Culture

Everybody wants to sell you something, they usually don’t intend on what little their product can provide but rather, they aim to sell the emotion that they wish to be associated to it.

I’m reminded by the film “They Live” on consumerism. It is a quirky sci-fi film of the 80’s which has a man that discovers glasses that allow him to see truth. The truth even becomes apparent when he looks at large advertising and newspaper headlines.

They-Live-4

Some of my thinking has been after listening to many different stand up comics such Patrice O’ Neal, Joe Rogan, George Carlin, Bill Hicks and many more. I always feel that these kinds of stand up comics are the modern day philosophers.

They chuck many of the big life question and issues, to their own benefit, when they do it with humor, they tend to win people on their side.

A common topic is selling people things and marketing and how people do these kinds of things. Bill Hicks, specifically had a bit where asks the audience: If anybody is a kind of marketer? The audience responds and says that they should kill themselves.

I understand the line of thinking that Bill Hicks came down to. I believe his notion is that people in sales and marketing are wasting themselves and possibly other people.

By selling things people don’t need, and simply making them believe they want. I can agree with this sentiment because people are so easily manipulated. They are encouraged to do things outside of their own line of thinking and claim it as their own. But marketing can be a toss up at times, what I mean by that is marketing can be good.

The only manner in which marketing or commercialization can be a positive force is when the product has actual value, not perceived value, not associated value but real, innate value. It must have intrinsic value for the purchaser. Perhaps it serves the greater good of humanity or serving for enhancing or potentially ameliorating the human condition.

Manipulation

When reality becomes twisted, information is reconstructed to pacify and gouge time from the unsuspecting masses, this is what the extent of marketing can be capable of –  manipulation. As the old adage goes, advertising has people buying  things they don’t need to impress people that don’t care.

I don’t think it is for simply being a contrarian, it is just using your thinking cap.

Out-reasoning, out-thinking marketing and advertising. In my estimation, much marketing is to distract the masses and to pacify the masses. Mostly distract from their finitude.

There’s a timeline and it’s always ticking, from the time you first lay eyes on the advertising, to the hours hammer to put in the work to purchase, then the small inflection of joy, then the plateau of ordinariness and repeat.

To get back to Bill Hicks, this is why marketing is the most disappointing aspect: It is disempowering. Nobody wants to buy a product market a product of truth if it makes people feel bad.

People want to dance around in glee, unaware of the illusions, oblivious to the strings being pulled behind the curtain.  It is filler.

If you are advertising or marketing, you must empower and provide value. The architecture of marketing will tell you there’s something wrong with you, so you can purchase their product. Maybe you will be temporarily satisfied, maybe you won’t.

People that can see the game, see the chessboard, aren’t manipulated by the trivialities of modern consumer culture.

Marketing and Social Media

Marketing has it’s purposes, advertising with social media it is going to be easier or difficult – depending on where you are coming from – to deconstruct companies.

You can now consume mindlessly from your smartphones!

When you have communication and communities hyper-involved with the product and being a “big-brother corporate” stances on their activities and their position in global issues.

“Leaked” or “Hacked” information can probably Incapacitate or immobilize a company in this modern, connected culture. Something similar to what has happened with Sony Pictures recently.

The shrieking of the few is heard much loudly online, to the detriment of companies. They are now are more easily scrutinized at the click of a button.

The legs of the company will now be seen as the thin pipes they are, companies that are seemingly giant require people

Envy

The interesting thing about marketing is that you do not always require advertising to drive a closed brain to get something they do not need.

The simple act of seeing someone experiencing a new product. People will innately come up with rationalizations as to why they can’t have good/nice things.

“I need that.”

“I want that”

“Why can’t I have that?

At every moment our attention goes away, we get lost into whatever we are looking at. It’s undeniable that we still have our hind brains of a monkey. And we are primarily driven by more emotional urges.

Marketing uses an unenlightened person’s mind and feelings of inferiority as leverage.

Minimalism

I never buy a lot of stuff. I don’t have a lot of things on my walls. Most of those were gifts. I rarely consume many things.

Mindless consumer culture is rampant. It has been ingrained. I believe many people do not question their lives and existence, when you don’t have the time, when you are at work and you arrive home like a zombie you turn into an automaton. One should keep to their goals.

One’s life begins be more and more mechanical until little you realize nothing happens as you wish it to, things “just happen” on autopilot.

Not everyone can live a lifestyle of minimalism, some people need to live large and expose their earned wealth. That is ok too, I don’t think any way should be minimized if it’s right for someone.

To each his own. You can’t spend your time convincing everyone on everything.

Experiences

I believe the best thing to do, irregardless of poverty or wealth, would be to consume experiences. What do I mean by that? Flight getaways, Concerts, Shows, Exhibits, Books, etc.

Anything that can take your mind to a new place, will probably have a more enriching experience to your life than purchasing something that can possibly break off soon anyway.

Fleeting toys don’t last, they are temporary.

I’m not anti-consuming goods, so much as pro-sanity and anti-mindless-consumption.

The Century Of Self: Happiness Machines

It’s hilarious when marketing started out, it was essentially called propaganda, today it’s known as public relations. You notice the potency of language with marketing so bad when you tweak the propaganda to PR.

People working the kinks out from what little we understood of the human mind, it’s desires, fears and hope. I urge to check this documentary out

I don’t know what it is about the video clips Lo-Fi and old footage but it makes a lot of the experimental psychology clips where they lash out quite creepy.

A brilliant documentary series on propaganda and the psychology behind humanity. Great!

Until next time.

http://freedocumentaries.org/documentary/bbc-the-century-of-the-self-happiness-machines-season-1-episode-1

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *