Exploitive Marketing & Desire Creation

Marketing, according to Kotler and Armstong in Pinciples of Marketing, many business students who have learnt some marketing, might have used this as their textbook and it is foundational marketing knowledge. Kotler and Armstrong define Marketing as “A social and managerial process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others”. But the “want” and “value” creation process can be translated into many things.

Kotler and Armstong highlighted “…the pure marketing concept overlooks possible conflicts between consumer short-run wants and consumer long-run welfare.” They go on to use examples such marketing efforts by fast-food chains. Their foods in its real essence are high in fat and salt. They may not be very healthy, but they are definitely successful in selling their somewhat unhealthy food. So now many fast-food chains are charged with providing more information on their food, so that consumers can make a more informed decision if they want to eat those foods high in fat and salt, or choose to eat something else, or do more exercise to burn off those fat and salt.

Such concerns and conflicts led to issues such as “False wants and too much Materialism”, “Marketing Ethics” which are also covered in Kotler and Armstrongs book. Marketers have the power to create desires, wants, temptations, but are they ethical? They will definitely make profit, but do they can also cause problems for people who buy their products.

Children are the most innocent creatures that I can think of. Their knowledge of the world, their understanding of how things work can be very different what we assume. They are pure, they innocent, it is almost difficult for them to make an informed decision. Many products are marketed towards children, because of this, kids just want, want, want, possess, possess, possess, it is their carnal nature. This is the state of our world now. In extreme cases, we see many kids crying and squirming on the floor in toy departments, in a way they are somewhat saying “if my parents don’t buy it for me, they don’t love me”. As a parent, I know that feeling is terrible and I believe many parents feel the same. Teenagers feel the same way, but instead of squirming on the ground, they will do other more appropriate stuff of their age, I think I got the point across.

Kids are comfortable with things that they can relate to, when they recognize something, they feel a sense of familiarity, they feel confident and that would lead to good self-esteem. With a combination of aggressive marketing tactics, toy vendors have reaped great harvest from parents who don’t control the carnal desires of their kids. I’ve seen kids who insist their parents to buy them everything from their favorite cartoon character, the bags, the dolls, the figurines, the stationary, the works! My view is that this behavior when not controlled or worse still encouraged at a young age will lead to devastating problems in the future. Toys now, branded goods later, my way now, uncontrollable teenagers in the future.

Maybe I’m just paranoid; maybe I just love my daughter too much.

Alot of Anti-Barney stuff on thenet is quite childish, but there is some truth in Aimee Yermish essay on “Barney & Friends vs. Sesame Street: A Comparison”. Just take it as casual reading.

I’m anti-Barney just because Barney is very uncool, what about you?

3 Replies to “Exploitive Marketing & Desire Creation”

  1. Hi nick, im an occasional visitor of your site, and i happened to chance upon this entry, and just thought i’ll share a little of my opinion, and experiences, after reading the articles abt barney. =)

    i believe that everything, should be practiced in moderation, and sometimes, people, especially adults, do tend to read a little too much into certain things, maybe barney is one of them.

    im not a barney fan, but neither am i against it. I have a brother who’s 12 now, and when he was younger (2-4 years old), he used to love barney, and whenever the “i love u” song came up, he’ll immediately stand up and attempt to hug everyone in the family, before the song is over.

    Though at that point i did not know there was that much controversy with regards to this purple dinosaur, but so far, through God’s grace, he has grown up happy and an extremely loving boy, who tells his family, he loves them, on a daily basis, and loves to give hugs.

    All in all, i think at the end of everything what is most important is to bring up the child close to God, church and the family, and there will be no regrets in the future. =)

    just my two cents worth. =) p.s. u have beautiful children =) congratulations.

  2. your thoughts are cool, parents aren’t perfect either. I reckon we all are learning all the time and it’s hard work being folks.

  3. Yeah Nick, from what I see from friends & people around me who are parents, what the kids become depends very much on how the parents teach & guide them.

    (‘ ‘,)

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