april 11 - Production always seems in danger of consumption...

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4/11/07 Production always seems in danger of consumption The problem is you’ve got to get people to want more than they need and to decide that they actually need what they want A shift from an ethic of production to an ethic of consumption, a 20 th and 21 st century phenomenon The key to insuring that production did not outpace consumption is advertising Advertising has become the vehicle for American economic growth Advertising now does a lot more than sell a product, it shapes every American value, behavior, institutions Advertisement has become the common experience, and language for most of us 1984 presidential debate Reagan vs. Mondale, Mondale during the debate said “well yes mr. president, but where’s the beef?” Michael Ducockos said of soon to be President Bush, “you are the joe isuzu of politics” Advertising is emblematic of a cultural hedonism in the US that encourages Americans to desire above all else the pursuit of pleasure and more and more that desire is not constrained by religion, the work ethic, communitarianism, or any other restraints that operated on it in previous centuries Advertising helps Americans experience the joys of materialism without the guilt It encourages desire, materialism, immediate gratification and in a way that is frequently misunderstood, and anxiety Every advertisement must have a reasonable basis for its claim Food and drug administration requires “significant scientific evidence for its claim” Browns premium new light sausage says, “its 76% fat free, 30% less salt, 100% great taste” Stoffer’s lean cuisine, “never more than a gram of sodium” Ads trivialize choice, equate the right thing with the cool thing, subordinate ideas and principle to commerce The celebration of holidays in the US has been totally subordinate to advertising Hundreds of holidays, Professional secretaries day, Mother’s day (the day when the largest number of long distance calls are made from work even though its on Sunday) The period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is characterized by shopping, starts with the Macy’s day parade Scrooge says save your money, Santa Clause who was invented by advertisers says spend and give gifts, until advertisers emerged in the last half of the 19 th century gift giving wasn’t a Christmas tradition The use of ideas in the culture
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