Bell bottom blues, you made me cry.
Does the consumer control the corporation? Or does the corporation control the consumer? It is an unanswerable question.
On the one hand we have the idea that corporations would cease to exist without the consumer, so some argue that corporations exist to make us happy, and that if we’re not happy then the corporations are not doing their jobs and they therefore are eliminated.
On the other hand however we have the idea that the big companies brainwash us into thinking we need the products they sell. The marketing teams at these big corporations are said to use propaganda, or “newspeak” as they refer to it, to convince us that we want to consume or be associated with their products.
I have to say that generally I agree with both arguments. I mean obviously if people suddenly stop buying a product, the company making said product either has to adapt and make a more satisfying product, something people will begin buying again, or they will be forced to go out of business.
However, if there is one real proof that marketing works, and that it is the consumer who is controlled by the corporation, I would say that it has to lie in fads. Fads are those things that everyone buys, yet no one really can justify why they bought them. Ever since capitalism emerged in Western society fads have come and gone. They are all founded in media blitzes and the influence marketing can have over people.
If we control the media, how is it that we have huge groups of people that all dress and look the same way? For example the word “emo” to the majority of our society, brings forth an image of a skinny kid with tight clothes, a pale face, and long straight bangs.
Marketing has a lot to do with the way we define ourselves. We have fads, such as “being emo”, through the marketing of certain products. Another prime example is the recent “guido” fixation. This Halloween “Snooki” was one of the most popular costumes for females. MTV has marketed “Jersey Shore” to the point that a large group of people (not just Italians, but literally everyone) desires to be tanned, jacked and wear certain styles of clothing. Ed Hardy and Christian Audiger and many other similar styles of clothes are being marketed as “guido-esq”, meaning if you’re a fan of the show, and you want to be like those on the show, you should wear these brands and styles. It’s celebrity influence in it’s most basic form. MTV made these young people famous, and in turn they make their style and fashions famous. They are a fad, like fads of previous generations, created by Capitalism and it’s ability to market just about anything.
I would argue then that, because fads exist, it is the consumer who is controlled by the corporation. Obviously this is something that could easily be argued, which is why I mentioned above that it really is an unanswerable question. I mean for example, in class there was a student who brought up the example of how she is in a few marketing classes and in them they tend to work and study as though they are attempting to make the consumer happy. As if the consumer controls what they do. Which would certainly oppose my argument. But, for now that is how I feel.
And that I suppose is the end of the Blog for today. I don’t think there are enough people who actually read this thing to actually justify me posing a question, but who knows, maybe someone will. So if you’re reading this, yes I’m talking to you, leave a comment about what your personal favourite fad is/was in the past. I would be really interested to hear about it. I have to say one of mine must be the classic 90’s hair cut, you know the one with the long bangs that part perfectly in the middle? It’s just so ridiculous.
I am a strong believer in giving credit where credit is due. Therefore, although I did not directly use anything from this website, it certainly helped a lot. so if you’re looking for a cool place to check out some of the things the people in the past have obsessed with check this out.