In our today’s contemporary world, everything has changed in terms of ‘consumption’ and ‘production’. People are forced and exposed to a highly sophisticated wave of mediated images. Advertisement is everywhere in every time whether it’s an online promoted product, pop-ups appear while surfing online, product placement in the Tv shows, bill boards, and all those fancy click bait links. As well as spam messages which contains more than 65% of our received mails are also sent for the aim of advertisement.
According to French philosopher and Marxist critical theorist, Guy Debord, those simulated images create the society of spectacle which leads the people to emerge from “being to having”. i.e. consumers will focus more on acquiring that promoted product regardless of its functionality and its benefit for them. Thanks for the mass culture, which Radios, TVs, Cinemas, and finally the mass-producing technology helped its early origination and paved the way for mass society, individuals who are more inclined and vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation by core institutions, such as the mass media.
Mega fashion and clothing companies for instance, are known for their products which promise happiness, strength, self-confidence, boosting statue in the society, freedom and so on. Nike’s sneakers due to their fancy and attracting design are associated with freedom and action. As I visited Nike’s Online shopping site, I came across where they are applying one of the most frequently used advertising approach “famous-person testimonial” (Media and Culture, Chapter 10: The business of mass media by Richard Campbell et al, 337) which is the advertising method where a celebrity person endorses a product. In the case of Nike, they hired the famous Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo by portraying him with his famous acronym “CR7” and in order to awake the sleeping consuming monster in the consumers they present the sneaker through an ad under the title “CR7 sharing his path to Success” beside the title nothing related to success or happiness is presented other than the Sneakers placed in the front side of the banner.
This idea of associating products with people’s emotion in order to trigger their consumption behavior could be considered such successful marketing approach used by major Advertisement agencies. In our example of Nike, even though they would like to sell all products to each and every single person willing to get it, but at the same time, they are targeting a certain group of people especially youngsters who are already there with high energy of adolescences and mature hormone. By promoting their sport shoes and sneakers with famous, highly respected athletes and sportsmen whom teenagers look up always will shift their supply curve to the right and getting a very generous profit from the hope, energy and happiness which have been sold to the teenagers.
What’s more, as they study the psychology of the people and that we, as human, are social animal who cannot survive alone and always look for similarity and common shared value with others for the aim of ‘survival of the fittest’ as also Darwin’s evolution theory claimed. The promoted products lead into mass consumption of the mass society, where it finally becomes a daily life used product by ordinary people. Therefore, in this case no one would like to be left behind and out-casted by the society. Thus, Nike’s sneakers also promise us that we will fit the best in our friends and we will never get isolated by them. Only wearing Nike’s sport shoes can shed the lights on you by placing you in the center of the gaze let alone to be outcasted.
Finally, The mass media thanks to its all mediated images, spectacles, simulated images which even lost the referent to its originality has produced these mass-audience, the kind of society who are passive consumers, easily manipulative, and more inclined to consume and spend more and more until they have each and every single product promising them something they might missing. Such as happiness, sexiness, freedom and even love. Or might trigger their feeling thinking that a technologically produced product such as Nike’s sneakers or copied Mona Lisa’s paint would boost their statue in the society and elevate their honor and respect. Which is one of the biggest reasons the Consumers are not aware of these alluring mass-mediated placed products. Therefore, Major fashion and clothing companies for instance as well as all those other industries out there are not selling sole products anymore. But instead they are selling hope, happiness and freedom.