Thursday, January 29, 2009

Danger: Buy This or Else!

Axe advertisement
Geez, advertisements must have low self-esteem. Yeah, ads aren’t people, but think about it: They pump themselves up by making us – the viewers/readers/listeners/consumers – feel bad about ourselves, constantly reiterating the plain and simple truth that we suck.

We’re ugly, fat, our homes aren’t clean enough, we aren’t eating enough McDonald’s, we’re not spending enough time with our family, our boobs aren’t big enough, we don’t have the newest…whatever.

Low self-esteem is the advertising business. How else are we going to buy things we don’t need unless that “need” is created?

OMG! Not blackheads! No, I can’t live another second with that regular face wash! I need the fancy one made with Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Titanium Dioxide, Trideceth-9, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Xanthan Gum, and a whole lot of other ingredients I’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce. You know, the one Jennifer Love Hewitt uses so I can be hot like her!

Speaking of hot people and skin cleanliness, I recently saw a commercial for a product called Acne Pro (which is pretty much the same as Pro-Active but for half the price and sans celebrity endorsements).

It opened up with two 20-ish women looking at a picture of a young guy with acne. They basically just call him “gross,” and say they would never date someone who looked like that.

An equally mean commercial for Axe hair care products demonstrates similar bullying tactics. In the commercial, a bunch of modelesque guys put on semi-ridiculous wigs and try to pick up girls, all of whom refuse.

The commercial ends with: “If guys like this can’t get girls because of their hair, what chance do you have?” Watch it if you haven’t seen it yet.

The sad thing is, even if these were the meanest commercials out there, commercials that are obviously just trying to make people feel bad about themselves so the multi-million dollar companies can sell their “miracle” product, people are superficial.

As much as I despise these commercials, it’s clear – at least to me – that we have become the advertisers, putting down others so we can sell ourselves that much better. Is this the long-term effect of advertising, or are we just naturally vain?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your post. I personally believe that the advertising we see today will not change. The way in which advertisers are targeting their consumers will continue to stay the way it is. The fact that advertisers can get individuals to want their product means that they are doing their job. People want to know that if they want to look like Vanessa Hudgens they can buy her Neutrogena face wash, or if you want to look like Lauren Conrad they should purchase her makeup. Bottom line as you said it, people ARE superficial and I do not think this is going to be changing anytime soon.