Tuesday, 26 February 2008

His Dark Materialism

So which bit of children materialsim bad for is the difficult to understand?

Anyone with even a cursory awareness of Marketing will know that in its more rabid forms of managerialist expression it draws from sophisticated pyschological and philosophical insights about our needs and behaviours.

Children whilst showing sophisticated discrimination between brands are entirely unaware of the cues that tap into their formative understandings and impressions of self and identity. Therefore a question has to be asked about the integrity of campaigns and initiatives that exploit vulnerabilities.

And...to claim that marketing endevours are simply about freedom of choice and the presentation of alternatives is rather disingenuous when the 'targets' lack self-awareness and, lack awareness of the methods and techniques that tap into unconscious triggers and sense-making.

Materialism might keep the economic engine going with its country cousin Consumerism, however a singular lack of concern for an integral approach that accounts for the mental well being of the consumer and society is shameful.


  1. Sadly, that's what consumer marketing is all about? It's taking advantage of vulnerabilities. And, children being the most vulnerable are the natural recipients of so many round house curves thrown by marketers and advertisers everywhere. The whole concept of marketing to kids has gone so far that the warning delivered with a children's Superman costume reads:
    Warning. The wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

  2. Nicely expressed Jack, thank you for your comment. I am reminded of the story of the guy who had Gucci tatooed on his neck. Clearly he was unable to resist the 'image' creating power of the organisation and had to 'intergrate' the company mor completely into his identity of himself. As we know we are in acontinual state of personal development and I believe that organisations that exploit us at points along that path perhaps need to critically refelect on wht they are doing.

    Now- admission time, I am Marketeer latterly by profession and now in H.E. I sense that people are finding their voice on this matter and that instead of the inane 'new marketing' initiatives (old win in new bottles) a very profound response needs to be developed to account for the things we are discussing here if the notion of marketing is ever to redeem its credibility.