...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

January 24, 2007

The Persuaders - 6

This is an unofficial sequel to Douglas Rushkoff's previous PBS Frontline documentary, The Merchants of Cool. That project focused on how teens are marketed too, how an industry is run on the tapping in on and producing "cool." This piece goes further into the world of marketing. With all of the clutter, ads on everything, how is advertising suppose to work? The answer is the code and use of language and how it affects people. Rushkoff also explores the new trend toward marketing to individuals by use of demographic information that is stored in company databases. The game is no longer to pitch a message, it is to pitch the message particular consumers will need to hear in order to buy the product. Rushkoff makes an interesting case, but only scratches the surface of explaining the complexity of marketing that is always changing to re-adapt to the changing conditions which it often is responsible for creating. What is most interesting about this piece (and The Merchants of Cool) is that it explores questions of the deepest human desires: to belong, to know who we are, and ultimately to find happiness. This is what makes Rushkoff and the persuaders so great...and so scary.

2 comments:

Qere Ketiv said...

I kid you not that there is a new energy drink out called "Cocaine". The marketing is meant to compare the energy it gives to that of the infamous powder. Scary --sniff--.

~greg said...

Yeah, you can also buy Chronic Candy, which is flavored like marijuana! Snoop Dogg (surprise, surprise) brought it to the Letterman show.