Optimism from marketing execs: "People are living lives of desperation."

business and consumers, business cheers and jeers, marketing and advertising

From CMO magazine comes this gem, talking about the opportunities and benefits of using “real people” (I presume this means non-professional actors?) in advertising.

The Dove campaign for its firming cream, for example, has proved popular with consumers, but industry experts disagree on whether the ad is effective. “Using the average person won’t sell anything,” says Gerald Celente, director and founder of Trends Research Institute, a consultancy. “The purpose of advertising is to create desire beyond what the product can actually deliver. Do you want to see the floppy Big Mac that the fast food worker actually packages up and hands to you, or the perfect airbrushed billboard version? People are living lives of desperation; they don’t want to be themselves.”

This comment is so sad, I’m not quite sure where to start.  Indeed, there’s undeniably an element of fantasy involved in advertising; this explains Bud’s attention to buxom bikini babes breasts’ rather than beer drinking guys’ bodaciously bursting big bellies.  With that said, however, I resent and reject the implication that:

– All of us consumers are desperate, lonely, pathetic souls… deriving happiness and self-worth only from airbrushed airheads shilling soap.  Speak for yourself, Celente!
– Such condescending and pittying attitudes from overpaid marketing morons will endear consumers to any brand.

I can only hope that consulting firms such as Calente’s AND the advertisers that believe in such self-defeating tripe will themselves end up living lives of career desperation.

3 comments… add one
  • John Feb 26, 2008

    Great post Adam,
    Living and Getting alone it’s recycle process.
    Alone i bleed my self.

  • Wow that is an interesting take on the Dove Real Beauty Campaign—we have only heard positive things about the campaign itself and have never heard criticism like that but it makes sense to a degree.  We beieve some people are living lives of desperation while others would like a campaign to relate to as opposed to air brushed models everywhere—we suppose they are two different demographics.

  • Online Shopping May 22, 2008

    something 2 do
    something 2 love
    something 2 hope
    something 2 live life…

What do you think?