Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Marketing is Evil

I got home late and it was too late to play music in my room so I thought I might sit down and blog because it might be a while before I can again once I start capoeira anticipating I dislocate my fucken shoulders and I gotta get onto the whole find a housemate biusiness.
But when I sat down I forgot what I was going to write about so I decided just to go to bed then when I went to get my book I realised what I wanted to write about.
And here I fucken am except my fatty head from eating dinner with my sis is so clouded I'm not sure I can do it justice.
I have argued before that Marketing isn't evil, malicious, insidious of itself but is a symptom of incorrect economic assumptions that cause it to most frequently utilised by the wrong organisations for shallow and unproductive ends.
I maintain marketing is a symptom of the priorities society has given itself however I must concede that the Marketing industry as it stands today is a waste of everybodies time and resources.
In 2nd year I watched a documentary called 'Cool hunters' that featured a section on Bionicles or one of those shitty toys. They got schools to identify all the coolest kids in some chicago primary schools and brought them in to a central location where the kids where given shirts and hats and told they were 'secret agents' they were given the product before the release date and chalk and proceeded to graffiti sidewalks with the brand name for the company.
When the stores opened to sell them families were lined up round the block to buy them. And you know as well as I do that the products were never cool, didn't make the loser kids cool and are not cool now.
To quote Afluenza marketing blurs the distinction between wants and needs, as soon as you have something you wanted you want something else. All these wants are directed at consumer goods.
Like a ninja the 5 weaknesses can be employed to push anyone towards one product or another. The sad fact is most of society isn't conscious. Most people when told what to do will do it.
Friday was casual day at work, one of my many managers was asking me why I dressed the way I did and wanted me to walk through another department to get a reaction, assuming that I dress the way I do to get a reaction. Which is true, I want to get a reaction from my friends which is generally acceptance. I don't give a shit about what work thinks of what I wear on casual day or any other.
But I told him I can walk down the streets in Brunswick and not get a reaction at all, I would go to a party and nobody would comment.
For those that saw me on Friday they'd probably be hard pressed to describe anything about my attire that was unusual.
I guess I've been to leniant on the industry I studied, because I understand it and am relatively immune. If I buy a porsche I know that marketers I know know that I bought it because I have a small penis, low sense of esteem and want a trophy bride to impress people I hate for hating me.
That's what underpins the 'innocence of marketing' per se, I am more willing to do some damage because I know I wouldn't fall for it. A bank manager is unlikely to use a credit card because he knows it isn't worth it.
But life's hard, I forget that. Nobody wants to be nobody. To not have an impact which does some good, to be a bad lover, to have kids that grow up to sell insulation. People want to be stars, to be exceptional, to have a beautiful house, to be artists, sportspeople all that shit. But you graduate from university and get a job instead.
You've got a job and because you want to be great you work hard at it and you work overtime. Then your other dreams slip wayside because you can work on whats there. But whats the point of earning all this money if you don't spend it on shit?
And that question deserves to be answered. Marketing blocks it though.
The underpinning economic assumption that fucks all of society is that growth is the answer, that increasing incomes and consumption = a better quality of life.
Marketing is what essentially allows this assumption to be sustained.
The saving grace of this assumption is that most marketers are just plain bad at what they do, occasionally getting lucky by intuitively hitting on something that looks good.
But enough do well enough to feed the cycle. Enough know exactly who you are, who you want to be and what you are most afraid of. They can twist and turn it any which way no matter what party you are associated with and what lifestyle you lead.
They can convince women they have the right to withdraw sexually if your man doesn't shave.
That a non diamond engagement ring is an insult or sub standard.
That your daughter is safer if she has a mobile phone.
That your mortgage will destroy you if you vote for this other guy.
4WD vehicles are the case in point, cigarettes are another. Repeated studies have shown time and time again that 4WD's are more dangerous for people both inside and outside the vehicle. They are resource intensive, fuel inefficient pieces of shit. But they've been a boom category for cars manufacturers. Smoking nobody has to harp on about, there is no incentive, benifits or gain from smoking. It's an expensive way to undo every other anxious measure you take to protect yourself whether that's drinking bottled water, going to the gym or scrubbing your toilet.
Most people do this but you gotta wonder why smokers bother?
Neither of these products or many others exist for any rational purpose. Marketing allows them to survive when otherwise they wouldn't.
That being said, marketing cannot be stopped. It's just communication, intuitively I suspect is how most of the most insidious tactics came about, association and anxiety tactics are the worst. Some products do inspire us when they are aligned with aspirations that are not self centred.
My ring with a dog on it has reminded me often not to be an arsehole to people. I slip up left right and center but it is nonetheless an affirmation it tells me how I want to love people.
But I designed it, I didn't see it on anyone. It wasn't bling. This is contrary to Carole's kid who needs shit bought for him so he doesn't feel humiliated or ostrichsized, I am ostrichsized because I wear where only supposedly married couples are supposed to, like married fucking couples own MY left ring finger. I got it for my ring finger out of ignorance I keep it there out of obstinance although it probably reduces the chicks who talk to me at a party.
But you can't bridge the gap between who you are and who you want to be by buying shit. I can buy VInce Carter's shoes but I'll never be able to dunk like him if I don't put the time and the work in.
I may never be able to anyway. being a 5'9" white dude and all. You can't buy your kid anything to make you a great parent. You can't where a shirt that will land you the CEO position. Who you are is a culmination of the people you meet and inspire you, the learning and reflecting you do, the work you put into achieving your goals.
If someone shoved a glass bottle into my face tomorrow, would I give up on any of my dreams in light of my disfigurement? that noone would love me? That I couldn't succeed in my career? That I couldn't run to the horizon? I don't know maybe.
The fact is marketing feeds everyone's demise, it sets the bar higher on the material things we feel define us, then we make sacrifices to pursue it, which gives us less time to ponder and build defences to the trap. Then the material things need to justify the way we've lived our lives. We try harder and harder to profit and it get's further and further away. Which would be fine if we could dig shit out of the ground forever. You could call it progress, but as 4WD owners are finding out things like oil can get scarce, desires in significant countries across the sea can push prices up. And so you start marketing the least safe vehicle on the road for it's safety because the petrol aint a selling point.
It all boils down to trying harder as a strategy to win. Buy more, own more and you'll be happpy. You can buy and buy and get no closer so it just must be that you haven't bought enough.
Buddha would have you sit down and appreciate what you got.
Imagine if you got paid more as you worked less, you bought less as you were paid more and actually had time and money to invest into your world, your friends, your passions. It should work that way and would. But instead the opposite happens. SUrplus isn't created only debt, more sacrifice is required as your desire for a lifestyle you never could afford increases.
The moral: Marketing is evil because it confuses wants and needs and distracts more people from living than anything else out there. Think it's not illegal yet.

Seriously fucking think. Sit down and fucking think. I am talking to you. Just do it fucking think. If you are still reading this understand I am serious, think about your life. Think now.

Probably the most ironic marketing at the moment is Jobs.com they got the add where a fat couple are embracing for a kiss, and they do a 'turn this into this' and it changes into a hot couple kissing in the rain. But nothings changed because they were in love before and are in love now, why they fuck do they need to look better?
Why has switching jobs become such big business anyway?

No comments: