Have you seen the new Audi commercial? Watch the commercial below: (nope I'm not even getting paid to post it here)
I saw the commercial last night and it bothered me until this morning.
Then I put my finger on it. The marketers do a great job of subtly telling you that only by buying their product will self-actualization be attained. While for years marketers have been urging us to keep up with the Jones, I had never seen materialism so subtly and clearly expressed.
Here's the subtext and buildup behind the advertisement which I saw playing during the Championship NCAA basketball game.
- It played during a time when many collegiately educated people are watching.
- Collegiately educated people generally have a higher disposable income.
- Collegiately educated people mainly work in office or 'white collar' or corporate jobs. Large, corporations and group tend to strip people of their indivituating characteristics.
- All people desire to be unique, and loved for who they are. This is self-actualization.
- Few people feel that they are really loved for who they are.
- As a culture we are shifting many of our values but one thing remains: individualism.
Thus this advertisement gathers a group of people who are by and large indistinguishable from each other at work, at home, education-wise and income-wise. Many characterize this as the suburban lifestyle of 'quiet desperation' .
But enter the Audi SUV. In reality the main distinction of the black Audi SUV and the gold generic SUV's is it's color. But the text says it all... "Identity Theft". Contrapositively, the text might have said 'Identity Protection'. The advertisement thus proposes to those without an identity (or those in danger of losing theirs) that an identity might be obtained or protected by owning the new Audi. And so, in purchasing a new black Audi SUV, one remains part of the upper middle class pack but is now an individual. One can remain educated, wealthy, and corporate, but now with a soul, an identity a self.
The Audi advertisement in short promises to restore selfhood to those who have lost all hope of being loved for who/what they are instead of what they own! If you can't be loved for your self, be loved for what you own!
Yes, it is understood then by the audience that being loved for who you are is a fool's dream. Only (poor, dirty, weird, lowly) hippies still believe in love!
It even goes so far as to insinuate that by owning an Audi one's children will again love and respect their parents. The children exiting the school are bewildered and perhaps angry at their parents for failing to differentiate themselves materially. But not little Johnny who fortunately has a 'cool' dad!
The truth is that by next year, the identity brought about by the new Audi is quite easy to steal. A new identity will have to be found sooner or later.
I forgot how smart those marketers can be!