Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eau de Toilet

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This is a really funny ad for toilet deodorant spray. We see what is set up like a typical "luxury" perfume ad; the shot in black and white, french lingo, cute guy who is inexplicably shirtless embracing... a lady in a hair net holding a toilet brush? I guess cute guys must really like fresh smelling toilets. Makes sense when you think about it I suppose.

-Sterling Hepburn

Ciroc with Puffy P Diddy or Whatever

This commercial for ciroc displays it as an upscale drink for people who do it big like Puff Daddy, who is escorting two girls out of his mansion to get taken home by his own personal driver.

Welcome to California

This ad makes California look like the most amazingly luxurious place to visit on the planet. By using Famous people, beautiful scenery and activities that are usually afforded to wealthier people, they are able to upgrade California's image.

2011 Lexus "The Hard Way" - Leather Testing

This just illustrates how far companies will go to give evidence to prove how hard the process is to give this type of luxury that can't be offered elsewhere.
This ad for toyota, a car not generally associated with the upper class, is trying to evoke idea of luxury and royalty. The design of the ad is particularly important because it uses old english style font and calligraphy. It's saying that you can live your lavish lifestyle of tiaras and ascots, while enjoying a smooth comfortable ride for a reasonable price.

The text reads:
Once you purchase the 2009 Corolla, you’ll start living the dream. To ensure a smooth transition into high society, we’ve equipped the Corolla with revised suspension, springs, and sway bars, which will keep any recently acquired tiara firm upon your brow. If you’re more of the fetching ascot type, consider the comfortable ride an accessory to your necktie. Whatever flourishes you fancy, the Electronically Controlled Transmission and Vehicle Stability Control will distinguish your dominion over the road.

Naomi Campbell Stars in Tv Ad

Ok so this video isn't even in English but the language adds more of a sense of luxury and wealth. Naomi Campbell stars in a commercial that advertises her boyfriends new BILLION dollar apartment building. This commercial shows her waking up in silk lingerie, working out on state of the art machines and swimming in pool that over looks Moscow. Definitely a great way to promote a way to have a luxurious lifestyle.

Beyonce v Beyonce [Vizio Tv Commercial]

When I first saw this commercial, I thought that this commercial was actually quite funny. Vizio does a comparison test between Beyonce in person and Beyonce on Vizio. Vizio's picture and imagery is just too much for the viewer and he is captivated by the amazing look of Vizio.

Lucky Stride Ad

I came across this cigarette advertisement on the internet that appeals to the desired sexuality from a female perspective. In doing so, the ad has placed an attractive female striking a seductive pose, as well as creating a solution to maintaining one's figure by replacing a sweet with a 'Lucky Stride' cigarette.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State Farm® - "Magic Jingle Hot Tub"

There are three State Farm "jingle" commercials. The above one is my personal favorite. These commercials make the viewer think that if you subscribe to State Farm Insurance, any problem/want can be solved by singing the jingle: "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."

BMW 2011 commercial

This commercial caught my eye because as it takes you through all the possible "good life" options you can be having with this car. I want to go to Brazil in it.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend, according to Armani

For years Armani has been a name brand tied to status, power and money. This commercial featuring Beyonce shows her in a flashy dress singing "Diamonds are a girl's best friend." (For the fragrance Diamonds) Celebrities are often featured in these ads to promote a luxurious lifestyle from clothes to watches to perfume, trying to persuade the audience that they too can look and feel rich and famous. ~Hannah Bolton

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dolce and Gabbana Ad

To be honest, I didn't even see the product in this advertisement so I was a little confused when I stumbled upon this ad. Yet I realized that the approach to this may be selling the lifestyle associated with such a widely known and expensive name brand. Wear Dolce and Gabbana and you too will become a wealthy member or Aristocracy! "" Luxury is not a goal anymore. For many, it has become a necessity, part of our daily experiences," and means to social class/status." "

Direct TV Russian Commercial

The very first thing we hear in this commercial is "oppulence...I have it, I like the best" and it immediately prepares us to see something grand and expensive. Then we see that this is indeed a commercial for direct tv, something that any working man or woman can purchase. However, in this commercial we see the man surrounded by women in fur coats, gold bricks, and even mini giraffes hinting that if you have direct tv you too can have those things.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fight Club Ikea Scene

Here's a interesting scene from Fight Club, a film which suggests, among other things that consumer culture is feminizing men.

John Kenneth Galbraith “The Dependence Effect”

Writing in 1958, Galbraith asks “What creates our obsession with material goods?” His answer:

Dependence Effect: As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied

The dependence effect suggests that the more wants that are satisfied, the more new ones are born. Our wants never end, despite however much more money we make and goods we buy. This goes against conventional wisdom, says Galbraith, that the drive to fulfill "wants" is easily controlled and much less powerful than the drive to fulfill "needs" such as food and shelter. In fact, the more we get, the more we want. This is what Galbraith means when he says fulfilling one "want" just creates another. He likens this situation to a hamster on a spinning wheel, which he warns is a dangerous model for an economy.

Two things responsible for creating “wants”:
    1. Advertising
    2. Society that values high standard of living
Below is an ad for the new Edsel car from about the same time Galbraith wrote the article. Notice the gated home or community from which the car emerges, and how the narration plays upon how people will "know you've arrived" suggesting not just literally arriving in your car, but having become successful.

Valuing a high standard of living, says Galbraith, means we are always wanting more than we currently have, no matter how much that is. This is something that we can readily see in advertising, even though Galbraith is talking about consumer culture in general. Ads, both print and video, often foreground images that showcase scenarios of a high standard of living, or play upon anxieties of not "keeping up with the Joneses." Advertising and popular culture are potentially even more important than our immediate neighbors for providing examples of what possessions and standards of living we should strive for.

We can see an example of this tendency in this car ad, which describes how Range Rover has updated the definition of luxury--a higher standard of luxury is always possible! This ad also echoes the Lexus slogan "The Passionate Pursuit of Perfection," which pretty much perfectly expresses the Dependence Effect, suggesting that perfection can never be reached, it can only continuous be striven for. Makes sense if you want to keep selling lots of luxury cars!

This ad for Continental Airlines business class appeals to a sense of luxury, though its style is quite different. There is no appealing image, rather a tongue-in-cheek reference to how hoity-toity people supposedly hold drinks with an extended pinkie. This ad simultaneously plays upon caricatures of the upper-class and promises luxury treatment.

Questions for discussion:

1.     What products or other items do we currently associate with a high standard of living? Can you identify whether your own standards of changed over the years?

2.    What examples of advertising or popular culture can you think of that seem to be organized around a display of wealth, consumption, and a high standard of living?