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Your Product: Light of My Life

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You Complete Me.

ChevyCredibility-03282013Am I right? The magnetic power to draw citizens off the street. The hushed tones in the presence of greatness. The loving gaze. This car will change your life—perhaps it already has?

The fawning devotee image is standard fare in our media diet. Models perpetually doing homage to the product at the focus of all attention. Chevy, Toyota, Cadillac—who doesn’t make ads like this? Product as hero. Forever. We see this everywhere.

Somersby recently turned the Apple experience on its head by grabbing the dead-earnest communication style to appropriately ridiculous ends. It is perfectly reasonable to poke fun at the high places certain brands have taken in our lives.

Can we get beyond product as instrument of life change? True: it is possible that some consumers (that is, those who have already chosen to purchase a car/beer/computer/whatever) may look with unbridled lust toward their purchase, this object of their desire. But is it possible to promote a product without making the (thoroughly ridiculous) promise that it will indeed change your life?

Maybe not. Because quickening desire has always been at the heart of selling, and nothing quickens desire (and loosens the wallet) like showing the person you will be once you buy this car/beer/computer/whatever.

Maybe so—and this may be what is behind the eventual victory of online advertising: product messages that follow our search patterns and interrupt us with the key to what we’ve already been seeking.

Maybe both. Because desire follows a need or want. And we want what promises to make us different. Better. Smarter. Hipper. Advertising will always make these promises and will find ever new ways to get the message to us. And because we self-identify as “consumers” we’ll probably never run out of the optimism that buying stuff will change our life

It’s just that the loving magnetism of the Chevy image seems, well, juvenile. It’s a credibility issue.


Written by kirkistan

March 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

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