I Push Buttons

Whether I'm coding, writing, playing games, or pissing people off, it all boils down to pushing buttons.

June 22, 2008

"Because I Earned This, Dammit!"

My Pet Peeve: Gratuitous use of the word "deserve" in advertising.

It seems to me that the number of advertisements saying that you "deserve" whatever it is they're selling has increased exponentially. Either that, or I just haven't been paying attention until now. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty certain it is the latter. Regardless, I find it kind of appalling that companies are projecting a sense of entitlement onto the United States population (especially the teenage and young adult age group; gotta get 'em while they're young and easily influenced by the groupthink!), and what's more disturbing is that people are falling for it. Just look at the recent real estate fiasco.

You live in the greatest country in the world! You deserve this five bedroom house, three car garage, and two acres of land. What's that? You don't think you can afford it? Step into my office...

Before you go and write an angry tirade in the comments, I'm aware that not everyone affected by the housing crisis is suffering from this kind of mentality. Some people were legitimately ripped off or misled. In addition, I'm not saying that everyone who can afford the finer things deserve them and people that can't don't. I'm sure there are thousands of hard-working, kind, and generous Americans who deserve a better life than the one they are currently living, just as I am sure that there are those who want for nothing, are horrible people, and deserve none of what they have. My problem is more with this trend in advertising and the marketing departments of these companies, not the average citizen.

I'm sure this direction in product promotion isn't just a problem in the United States, but I haven't been out of the country in a very long time to know what is getting shoved in everyone else's faces. My gut feeling is that marketing BS transcends national borders and language barriers. I'm sure these companies would love nothing more than for everyone in the world to feel like they deserve to have more stuff.

I went searching through Google Images to find an image to go with this post, but I couldn't narrow it down to just one. Just head on over to Google Images and type "you deserve it sale." If the results don't make you just a little bit nauseous, congratulations! You're a good consumer.

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At June 25, 2008 at 10:58 PM , Blogger Matt said...

I like to think of this as the "entitlement complex," however, it is so pervasive, I'm not sure that it fully describes it. Unfortunately, I think we're all infected with it to some extent. The advertisers have won -- we have a culture founded in consumerist thinking. I don't see that changing, either...there has to be a radical shift in values. People don't part with their shiny toys easily.


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