Monday, July 20, 2009

The Paternal Pedestal (English Version)

Young people sipping a drink among friends, laughing and discussing about conquering girls and the new fashion trends.
A typical family, with parents in their mid-thirties, walking jovial into their new penthouse with a gorgeous metropolitan view.

A young woman in her twenties, gets back home (an old refurbished building) exhausted from work, lies down over the new leather couch surrounded by modern furniture, turns on her 52” flat-screen TV and calls a friend with her I-Phone.
These are some of the daily ads messages to which a young adult is exposed.

Those characters embody success, the fullness of life, beauty, modernity and above all, the pattern advertisers want to disseminate: an aspirational status supported by the reference group.
It is remarkable that this type of television commercials is pointed to a fraction of the hierarchical pyramid of the population.
Argentina, like all third world countries, has a huge gap between rich and poor, which is dilating in time and subsequently wiping out the national economy’s main boiler gradually: the middle class.
Therefore, in a population where class upgrades are diminishing, advertising has become a showcase which displays what everyone wants to be but very few are able to achieve.
Guillermo Oliveto (President of the Marketing Association of Argentina) wrote a book "They are not extraterrestrial" (which talks about Argentinians’ consumption habits) where he concludes that in our country there is a fourth class, which lies between the middle and the low class. It is the poor class, as a result of the crucible of social values, realities and the unstable and vertiginous local economy: families and single individuals who keep middle class traditions and customs, to which previously they belonged, but now earn a low-class salary.
I would add a new subcategory in the social ladder which fits inside the upper middle class, where most of the advertising artillery is targeted. This division includes all young people who are between 25 and 30 years, whether professionals, workers, married, etc. The so called hinge-generation.

Making a parallel between what ad spots communicate and the reality of these young people we run into a divergence: while they live with their parents, they see themselves reflected in the commercials, because they use their paltry salaries for their hangouts. Ergo they still belong to the elite.

However, if anyone wishes to become independent, he would live in anguish and austerity, due the low salaries, the informal labor (reaching 41.6% - Source: INDEC), among other reasons, that person has no choice but to rent a small apartment in an insecure neighborhood.
This puts in evidence that advertising helps to boost social exclusion. Formerly he belonged to the elite group and now he is an outcast.
There was recently a statistic that revealed disturbing results: 40% of young people between 25 and 30 years still live with their parents. Not only as a matter of convenience, but the fact that independence brings more problems to the plausible benefits.
One is worth, not for himself but for the pedestal carved and supported by his parents.

The ads business should take note of this phenomena and work towards a horizon of complicity, support, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner