Consumerism In Thomas Frank's 'Commodify Your Dissent'

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Consumerism is the economic theory that an increasingly greater amount of consumption is a positive aspect for buyers. It's so significant to our modern day society because it's a cycle of transferring money from the consumer to the seller/employee. This idea of consumerism has been a growing concept ever since the early 1900's when American's began to see more and more advertisements. These advertisements, however; can heavily affect the ideas and opinions of the consumer. The notion of advertisements and how it affects the minds of buyers from the mid-twentieth to today can be explained in Thomas Frank's “Commodify Your Dissent” and James B. Twitchell's “What We Are to Advertisers.” In the essay, “Commodify Your Dissent” by Thomas Frank,…show more content…
Twitchell's article, “What We Are to Advertisers,” he addresses how advertisers target specific groups of people, stating how they work with the idea of “birds of a feather flock together.” He asserts that producers want consumers to believe that it's meant for them, to make them feel unique and special, and that they don't want to force the product on the costumer. He supports his ideas by showcasing how advertisers use data mining to find what consumers like and prefer. However, by doing this they are looking for what the majority of a group enjoys rather than considering how the individual feels about a certain product. This mindset of advertisers contradicts their ideology of producing to the individual to make them feel important. Twitchell also uses the Stanford Research Institute's (SRI) psychographic system, VALS, as an example. VALS schematic system is based on the views of what the average consumer will buy. The SRI categorizes the types of consumers into different groups like the Actualizers, the Fulfilled, the Believers, the Achievers, the Strivers, the Experiencers, the Makers, and the Strugglers. The author's purpose in writing this essay was to portray the idea that advertisers organize their customers into certain types of buyers, focusing on making ads to a whole groups instead of the individual. The producers main objective is to make sure that the audience is sold on the product by making them feel unique amongst the groups and that the

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