SUBURBS

 

Everything’s Under Control

 

By NICOLAS BLAIS

Freedom can be defined as an “exemption from external control”[1]. What if this exemption was proved to be merely ephemeral for ordinary citizens? For instance, people living in suburbia are deceived by stealth marketing and surrender unconsciously their free will, as illustrated in the movie “The Joneses”[2]. The suburbs are indeed involved in hidden selling.

Stealth marketing is commonly used by businesses lacking effective publicity. Indeed, the incredible amount of commercials distributed nowadays has caused a loath directed towards publicity. That’s the precise problem stealth marketing solves because it’s undetectable at first sight. Thus, techniques such as product placement in daily situations are used in order to create an interest that will restore the public image of publicity and end up having the same effect.

First, publicity agencies aim at the suburbs because keeping up with the Joneses, which is an idiom that means accumulating as many material goods as other neighbors, is important for most suburban families due to the fact that it displays one’s socioeconomic status. They envy those who possess what they don’t, oftentimes regardless of their essential needs. That foolishness is the crucial point at the center of marketing techniques used on the suburbs. A clientele that will buy anything as long as it’s owned by someone close to them will definitely turn out to be targeted by companies and brands.

Second, none of them is going to wait until their products get noticed by the people living in suburbia. Not only will they make sure that it’s going to infiltrate the suburbs, they will also spread the merchandise themselves by hiring top sales people that will complete the marketing technique. At first, those specialists will simply “sell themselves”, meaning they will charm their new neighborhood. Once it’s done, they introduce more and more material goods to their new “friends” in order to make them desire what they “own”. By doing so, the undercover seller enhances the impacts those very same commodities would have otherwise. In other words, the same television attracts attention a lot more when it’s promoted by someone you actually trust. A publicity agency doesn’t have the kind of credibility customers are looking for nowadays because they fear that its one and only goal is to make profits out of them.

Finally, due to their usually overloaded schedules, people living in suburbia are barely influenced by regular publicity[3]. Indeed, very few suburban families have time to spend on commercials between jobs, school and family life. Those people are therefore outcasts that media in general have difficulty to reach, especially when it comes to publicity. Because of the enormous amount of people living in the suburbs and having a loaded life, publicists understood the important clientele they were losing. As a result, they came up with stealth marketing as their best way of selling big quantities of their products, which leads to making more profit.

In brief, the suburbs are victim of a new way of introducing publicity to the customers. Stealth marketing is almost impossible to detect because of how natural it is for human beings to desire. However, this eagerness is drawing the society nearer and nearer to unconsciousness. After all, if marketing specialists are able to influence people’s purchases that easily, then what else is controlled on a daily base? A lot of people can’t see the psychological game that is involved in stealth marketing. Therefore, is it safe to assume that other mind games are going on without the society being aware?

 

[1] DICTIONARY.COM, LLC. Freedom, [Online], 2015, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/freedom, (page consulted on October 16th 2015)

[2] ROADSIDEFLIX. THE JONESES-Official US Theatrical Trailer in HD, March 01st 2010, [Online video], YOUTUBE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM70zDrERfw, (page consulted on October 16th 2015)

[3] EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC. Marketing to Parents in Affluent Suburbia, [Online], http://www.experian.com/small-business/marketing-affluent-suburbia-parents.jsp, (page consulted on October 16th 2015)

 

            

 

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