Because insecure people, people full of self doubt buy more perhaps? Negative portrayals of individuals are the basis of advertising (or by opposition, the aspirational well being). I expect it also extends to relationships.
This post was actually inspired by the recent Media Markt ads. Have you seen them? With the scruffy comedian who acts like a “woman” and in a high-pitched voice bitches to her dude about his need to buy a TV?
I mean, I guess it makes sense. If you portray enough bitchy, unempathetic women, who want to keep their men from bliss by preventing their purchase of TVs, some of those men will eventually believe that the only thing keeping them from a 60-inch flatscreen is their motherfucking girlfriends, and they’re MANLY MENZ so they’re gonna show that by asserting themselves and dragging their asses off to Media Markt. Or something. It just pisses me off. All these ads about women cutting tags off new clothes to pretend they didn’t just buy them and men tricking their girlfriends into believing they need a new computer or whatever.
Just, OMG SHUT UP CONSUMERISM.
I haven’t seen the ad yet (haven’t watched much TV lately due to feeling mostly ill in the evenings). But yes, this is the basis of advertisement, I suspect all over the world (I’ve been exposed through work to the advertisement industry in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, so I can vouch it works identically in all three places; the output might vary culturally, but the reasoning behind it is the same all over). It’s an aspirational model based on making people feel bad about themselves (or their relationships, or their environment, their jobs, everything in their lives basically) and attempting (quite transparently) to replace these negative feelings with consumer goods. None of it is based on actual needs but on emotional, artificially created desires.
I contend that contemporary capitalism runs on this very basis. People keep the economy running (from better homes to better make up to new clothes) not so much because there is a real necessity for those but because it is a futile attempt to feel better about their lives. I know it is an overly simplistic analysis, but Occam’s razor, you know. It really is not much more complicated than that.
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