communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.

10/27/2009

Is advertising killing the concept of happiness?

Lately I have been talking to a lot of my friends about what being happy means. Somehow I feel that we are in the middle of a crisis of understanding what happiness really is and I have been, on occasion, wondering if advertising has something to do with this.
Think about it: advertising is built on the logical assumption that you need to create a need for something and instill the idea that satisfying that need is going to make you happy. Most ads actually work like that: you are having an issue and the product comes in a solves it and then you are happy.
But truth be told most of these problems are not real and by consequence the solution provides only temporary satisfaction because the next ad will only create a new desire to be satisfied. And also, truth be told, this is what keeps the market economy going so it's not all bad.
What I am concerned with is with the fact that we seem more and more unable to specifically define what happiness is because we have developed priorities which sometimes do not relate to who we really are. We are cultural beings and thus respond to cultural stimuli. Advertising is becoming a huge part of culture so it is generating a lot of the stimuli we respond to (as opposed to a while back when the only stimuli were basic human needs and stuff you read in books) and which mess up our radar of what we are really looking for.

Think about it: when was the one time you were you really happy? and why?

3 comments:

Alexandru Ilie said...

The truth is we already have it all (well, at least most of the time); here's a good point of view on how to beat advertising: http://mnmlist.com/you-already-have-it-all-or-how-to-beat-advertising/

claudinho said...

Yesterday was the last time I was happy, when my 1 year daughter said "Baloo". Yes, the bear from "The Jungle Book" ;)

Felipov said...

He said it very well:
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html