Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on December 19, 2011
Advertisements today are out of touch with the consumer. One example: Chase credit card does an ad about using their card during your vacation. How many people are taking vacations now? Especially of the kind depicted in their commercial? It feels very much like they are pandering to a elite, select group anymore. It makes me very sick to know people are flaunting this kind of wealth while most of us are struggling to get by.
Even Disney, once a mainstay in American culture is out of touch. They depict families where the kids wear new clothes (in fashion) all the time, where parents aren’t struggling to put food on the table, and where the sets look like million-dollar-plus homes. In this economy, their programming flaunts the wealth that few people have in this country, and that fewer will have in the future if Grover Norquist keeps his pledgers saying “no” to taxing the wealthy.
Even the head of the IMF, Christine Legarde, seems out of touch with reality. When asked: “What’s the worst case scenario?” (of economic disaster) she replied, “stalled growth, high unemployment, potential social unrest as a result, and financial markets in disarray.” This stunning statement is an admission that she is not aware that these things have already happened, as the word “potential” implies.
We here on the ground, and not in ivory towers, know that we have been living a different sort of life than those who are deciding policy for the rest of us. But it is embarrassing that now advertisers (businesses) haven’t picked up on the fact that it doesn’t make much sense to promote a lifestyle few can attain.
If companies want to help people spend money on their products, they are going to have to be more creative.