The extreme effect of commercials on the spending/thinking habits of (some) Americans

(mods, if this belongs somewhere else please send it there, thank you)
I’m just wondering on your thoughts on the effects of commercials on different people, specifically those who’s desire for consumer goods could be considered a mental sickness. Has this standard (the point where it could be considered a mental sickness) changed so that it is now considered “normal” to want to buy something everytime you go near tbe mall compaired to the average thoughts on tie subject since the post WWII boom of consumer goods?


(yes, I know I’m being an ass, close the thread if you want)

Well, this is not entirely what you asked, but I do have this to say.

When I’m on a plane, reading the in-flight whizbang stuff you can’t live without catalog, and I see a six hundred dollar leather jacket, I think, “Wow, that would be a nice jacket if I were a millionaire.” Whereas, I think there are a whole lot of people out there who make no more money than I do, who would think, “Wow, that’s a nice jacket. I’m not over the limit on my credit card, so I’m going to buy it.”

I understand what you mean, Bluethree. The idea of having a “magical card”, something you can just give to a cashier and get your amazing new must-have consumer product while not really thinking of what is required (payment and interest) and how long it takes to pay off a large purchase, that’s what the credit card companies play on. If you had to write out an amount and sign your J.H. (as in a check) you’ll think a little more about whether or not you really need this new product and if it’s an impulse buy.

I see the impact directly on my kids, most notably at christmas time. All year they don’t ask for much, but starting around October, I become bombarded with “Mama can I have that?” It got so bad this year that the TV was off limits for a while. I wonder if they put subliminals in there that we weed out, but the kids pick up?

I can’t remember the last time I saw an advert or a commercial that made me feel as if I had to get whatever was being advertised.

I’m pretty low maintainence I guess.

Has there been a study or a documented strategy which the companies use as the Christmas season approaches?

I don’t think a commercial has really influenced me since I was a kid and GI Joes were all the rage.

FOOD. Food commercials move me like nothing else in the world. If televisions ever have an odor-making component to them in some bizarre future world, I’m gonna be 1000 pounds.

I’m a HardCore Consumer[sup]TM[/sup] from WAAAAY back.

When I saw the Gap “swing” ad, I was there.

When I saw the Venus shaver ad, I was there, and it’s a particularly good shaver.

I admit that I pay attention to advertising, and if a product appeals to me, I buy it.

However, I am single and childless, so I have a lot more disposable income than many people. I think if I was trying to support a family, and rushing out to buy consumables at the expense of my children eating, then, yes, I would have a mental disease.

I’ve become very cynical when watching TV ads. I pay attention to figure out what they’re not saying. So if they claim is “Nothing cleans better!!!” I’m thinking “Yeah, but everything else cleans as well.”
Sometimes I compare the visuals to the audio - maybe I’m over-analyzing. I’m wondering how much if this is due to the time in high school that we studied TV ads and watched them for a solid hour.