Advertisement and Contemporary Fetishism

We have all been guilty of unnecessary purchases one time or another, but what if I was to tell you that all you’re shopping was mostly impulsive and involuntary? It may sound bizarre that what seems like a voluntary action is influenced by mass media. We shop the image value of things and not necessarily the use value of them. These objects are represented in real or imagery settings. Ultimately, this takes the essential use away from the material nature of the commodity or activity that we purchased the item for and lets us fantasize about ourselves. In the circumstances that the commodity is represented it gives us the illusion that they acquired some sort of super natural quality and that we will be worthy of possessing that quality once we purchase it. We want to believe that the commodity has the power of transforming our lives. The power of the commodity lies not in the social relation of the legitimate possession, but in the use value of it.

How do we fall victims of this strategic advertising scheme? Advertisements main goal is to make us forget what commodities are all about, which are mainly for our daily survival such as eating, clothing, sheltering and work. Instead they convince us that they’re a way of expressing things and gaining skills and qualities that we don’t posses. The commodities that were once man made over power us. Marketers use our daily necessities to force ably without regards makes us fetishes about them. They study us psychologically by identifying what colors, music, lighting and even temperature affect our consumption of commodities. In North American mainstream culture the color silver is associated with prestige, and black with sophistication, elegance and mystery. As a result various high-end companies utilize these colors in clothing and even cars such as the jaguar to make us desire them and their factious “qualities”. The second step to making us desire these items is “pricing” given that it affects the way we view things. The more expensive the more valuable, we been socialized into thinking that items that are pricier are of superior value. Realistically thinking we are aware it’s false, but marketers have done such a good job in using the focusing affect method that they displace our rational feelings into our desires and fantasies. Marketers use the focusing effect on consumers by convincing us of the necessary features of the product by ignoring the rest; as a result we develop “tunnel vision”.

“Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do”, stated Steve jobs. This sounds kind of odd, how do you invest so much money and time into creating something that might flop. I use to believe that a Steve job’s was either a mind reader or a great risk taker. None of my hypothesis were actually hundred percent correct, he might of been somewhat of a risk taker; but most importantly he was a very smart marketer. He believed in the power of great marketing. One of the many ways marketers convince us to acquired their products is by reminding us that we have tried their products before and how much we enjoyed them and this is exactly what mister Job’s executed. How can we possibly have memories of a product we haven’t even tried? Or even exist yet? There have been various studies that printed ads with bright colors and vivid descriptions of products unconsciously give us the impression that we have previously tried the fictional product. It has been demonstrated by marketing surveys that if we think we have tried a product previously we are more likely to like it even more and they’re higher chances of the consumer purchasing it again. Most of the businesses if not all have done such tactic; the first step towards achieving the “ hypothesis” like state of the consumers is by launching a trial advertisement to a targeted audience. Depending on the results from the trial they intensified their marketing strategies.

The attributions that we project on to the commodities create a distorted relationship between us individuals and the commodity itself. We lose sight of the fact that we are responsible for the creation of the commodity and we are the ones who hold valuable skills and qualities not the item. Therefore we fall victims of alienation and become dehumanize as Karl Marx mentions. We feel powerless and unworthy and fall into a paradox of misconceptions. That’s causes us to try to fill in the emptiness that we hold by purchasing the items that put us in this situation in the first place. This unhealthy relationship with commodities is created by big companies “capitalist” and there meticulous marketing schemes that are already destroying humanity. So before making your next purchase I suggest you ask yourself, “Do I really need it”?

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One response to “Advertisement and Contemporary Fetishism

  1. Hey Lizeth,
    I do agree with you that when we take part into purchasing commodities most of the time we think that we choose our likes and make decisions based on our own voluntary action. Advertising has a great deal to do with our impulsive shopping. The way that they portray items to be extraordinary is quite convincing sometimes. We see it all the time in infomercials. They display these AMAZING products which seem to work WONDERS. I can testify to falling victim a couple of times and when my order arrives and I put it to work I realize it was more of the hype or the persuasive advertisement that lead me to purchase the product. I like the phrase you use “tunnel vision”. We constantly upgrade our phones for example because the new versions have new features although not much different than previous ones. Advertising tactics convince us with placement and lighting. They are indeed “meticulous marketing schemes”. The color and placement of each item as illustrated is all well thought out. Nothing is a coincidence. I like that you integrated advertising because it a majoooooor tactic involved in capitalism to lure us into purchasing goods. Its all enticing and carefully planned. We immediately link expensier products to being more qualified than the cheaper ones when sometimes that may not be the case. A lot of the time simple things and home remedies do the job just fine or even better. Think of how it was back in the day. They made it work and survived!!!!! Now a days we feel the need to secure ourselves with all these commodities that we don’t even need. Sometimes we have so much that we don’t even use most of what we buy. But it makes us feel good and secure in a sense. Even simpler think of colgate in comparison to crest or any toothpaste brand or even scott tissue in comparison to charmin. It’s all about the advertising that leads us into believing that we must buy the better brand. It’s all about the brand think about an expensive cup of starbucks coffee in comparison to McDonald’s $1 coffee. We walk proudly with the starbucks logo in our hands. We help to promote these companies as well. We are definitely shaped by capitalist ideologies.

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