The automobile dominates the United States because it is the best possible platform for advancing the cause of sellable waste, which is itself a systemic requirement for the perpetuation of corporate capitalism. The SUV/pickup breakthrough of the 1990s was a huge advance in the history of car-marketing, as we all know, but never properly discuss. … Continue reading "First World Problems"
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As current host of the nation’s biggest single advertising platform (the Super Bowl), NBC Sports Group has, according to today’s Advertising Age, done some extra research: NBC analyzed the ads in the last four Super Bowls (2014-2017) based on 575 variables like creative messaging and structural elements. It then looked at the effectiveness of each … Continue reading "Cars Versus Kids"
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Matt Richtel is a great journalist, and some kudos go to the NYT for retaining him.
Today’s story from Richtel and co-author Andrew Jacobs is about how, in order to satisfy their shareholders, corporate capitalists are pushing junk food onto the Third World. It is well worth the read, and includes the story of how Nestle hires women to visit poor households in Brazil with snack items right after their meager welfare checks arrive.
For those of us keeping track of our system’s
Apple has touched off a pretty major row in the halls of marketing. Apparently, the next version of its Safari browser will restrict the creation and retention of “cookies,” which are little computer codes that allow big businesses to collect increasingly rich data, without acknowledgement or permission, on internet users. Why Apple is expressing this ... Read more
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Ad Age today has a thought piece by one “Tim Leake, senior VP-chief marketing officer at advertising agency RPA.” Mr. Leake says using natural disasters as marketing opportunities is “the icky thing to do.” Of course, he also answers a clear “no” to the the question “Should we just stay away?” So, here’s what you ... Read more
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Corporate capitalism, by design, commodifies everything and mal-distributes income. As a result, it paints its own primary beneficiaries into a corner, even as it sustains their obscene wealth and increasingly decrepit power. As silly products proliferate and the bottom 2/3 of the population goes without discretionary income, it gets harder and harder for corporate marketers … Continue reading "Those Who Love Hurricanes"
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Q: When does the entire political establishment — both wings of the Business Party — ever achieve Congressional unanimity? [Hint: Despite the disgusting near-misses on imperialism and illegal wars, it only happens on one topic.] A: When public subsidies to cars-first transportation arise. Consider the interesting exception represented by the 2005 passage, amid oil war … Continue reading "Political Quiz"
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Great news! For the low, low price of only $128, you could purchase this desperately needed corporate product. Yes, these are — in the phrasing of the corporate maker — “anti-ball crushing” pants! At last!
This begs the question of which is more telling and hilarious: 1) the claim that pants, in themselves, have ever harmed or even mildly disturbed anybody’s testes, or 2) the product’s pre-literate promise to crush anti-ball.
Either way, such is the stuff of late corporate ca
Prideful delusion is an interesting and important human phenomenon, with obvious Freudian origins and still-huge ability to pass without serious criticism in a supposedly ultra-informed, seriously democratic society. Foaming, torch-carrying neo-confederates say they aren’t racist. The Ford Motor Company, one the major purveyors of the machine that obviously and aggressively undermines its own feigned concerns … Continue reading "Chutzpah, Unchallenged"
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“In the end, it’s a mindshare race. You want the customer thinking about your product as often as they can, for as long as they can.”
— Eytan Albaz, cofounder and chief strategy office of Social Native, and cofounder and chairman of Render Media
[Advertising Age, August 15, 2017]
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Seems robocars are already producing negative effects in existing drivers’ behavior. Per Automotive News: “Without question, technology is making drivers lazier and less attentive,” said Mike Harley, group managing editor at Kelley Blue Book. “Most of today’s digital ‘driver assistance’ features are designed to overlay basic driving skills, which relaxes the driver’s sense of responsibility.” … Continue reading "Bad Ideas All the Way Down"
The post Bad Ideas All the Way Down
Nobody knows for sure what percentage of overall (so-called) economic activity now goes into marketing. As reported in The Consumer Trap book, experts in the early 1990s guesstimated that it was something like 1/7. Because even that probably didn’t including the share of expenses of actual production that are explained by marketing considerations, that, stunning ... Read more
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The latest Bloomberg Businessweek has an edifying report on how the U.S. government helps dairy farmers literally, consciously shove more cheese down people’s throats. Titled “The Mad Cheese Scientists Fighting to Save the Dairy Industry,” BBW‘s (pardon the unplanned pun there) story tells how the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service collects a small producer tax on each 100 pounds of dairy sold by farmers, then spends the money on things like Dairy Management, Inc., a non-profit agency tha
It has long been asserted, across the political spectrum, that the great American majority want cars, cars, and nothing but cars. Among our social classes, that inflexible attitude is, in actuality, held only by the overclass, those “primary beneficiaries” (quoting business historian Alfred D. Chandler) of corporate capitalism, who are certainly very far from a … Continue reading "More Evidence of Public Concern"
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The New York Times editorial board today blithely states the two foundational axioms of the quasi-official “liberal” view of sustainable transportation: 1. That it is an important topic, so long as the alternatives are cars, cars, or cars. 2. “Electric” cars, if somehow fully implemented, will somehow be sustainable. ROFL times a million. Meanwhile, the … Continue reading "EV ROFL from NYT"
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Our grandchildren, should they somehow retain print literacy, will undoubtedly be disgusted with our stupidity in the face of the preposterous wishful thinking about “electric” automobiles that was used as such obvious haloware in our time. Meanwhile, per Automotive News, there’s this, the real driving plan behind the “electric” trickery: In the first half of … Continue reading "The Age of the EV"
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Corporate capitalism means an ever-expanding marketing race between its major firms, which in turn means the ceaseless, progressive, radical commodification and commercialization of human cultures.
Here is one apt indicator of this entirely predictable, if politically unmentioned, trend:
As of 2016, the annual revenue of the U.S. self-storage industry exceeded the annual gross domestic products of each of the 100 poorest nation-states on Earth.
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General Motors, it says, is the “First Company to Use Mass-Production Methods for Autonomous Vehicles.” In a society that had either the rudiments of a sane attitude toward transportation or actual journalism, this shameless howler would be getting rightly trashed. Instead, of course, GM’s ridiculous PR claim is generating the usual straight reprints of its … Continue reading "GM’s Brand-New Haloware/Vaporware"
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The Consumer Trap has several core theses. One is that corporate capitalism, through its constituent firms’ relentless expansion and refinement of marketing operations and campaigns, is every bit as totalitarian a social order as ever there was or will be. Another is that, thanks to its peculiar nature (it works in part by doling out ... Read more
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