Your Brainwashers Come With Smiles Dept.

Peugot Uses WACKY RACES Nostalgia To Sell Cars To Gen Xers | Badass Digest

... this commercial is in the same vein as the Volkswagon Darth Vader commercial, where you don't even realize you're being sold a car. It's all about positive brand identification; they want you to finish the commercial feeling good about their brand so that when you are car shopping Peugot or Volkswagon are your first choice. This is how advertising truly works, not by making you want a Coke right now but by making it so that the next time you're thirsty Coke is the obvious, unconscious choice. They don't want you to feel like you're being sold something, they want you to feel happy. And maybe, just a little bit, subconsciously associate that happiness with their brand. It's absolutely brainwashing, on a small and hard-to-notice scale.

This, I think, is one of the most dangerous things about geekdom. It becomes easy to assume that anyone who can speak the geek language — and speak it that fluently, eloquently, idiomatically, and with such gusto and humor — can't be anything but their friend.

I don't say this stuff because I'm trying to be some joyless twerp who wants everyone to feel like they're being exploited at the slightest mention of commerce-for-culture. But we need to not kid ourselves about how thoroughly we can be used — and how easily, how silently. We also shouldn't be delusional about how easy it is for someone to seem "like us" — to know our trappings and our manners, to engineer flattery that makes us feel special, but to be doing it all in the service of folks who care only about bottom lines and profitable quarters. (Past a certain point, selling cultural things for money stops becoming about getting some personal expression out to an audience, and more about filling a pipeline.)

Really, people, we ought to know far better than this by now. Was it too much to ask that we had finally grown past the "Fine, fine, I'll buy your stupid soda, now leave me alone" stage of being manipulated? Doesn't look like it.

Tags: advertising fandom geekdom psychology

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2014/07/01 10:00.

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