We’ve all seen the commercials for clothing; everyone is friends, the girls are all “perfect”, the guys are jacked, and their lives seem suspiciously carefree. Whatever they are doing has nothing to do with the close they’re wearing. However, these commercials have shown great success at luring people in in today’s advertising world. Why is this? The desire to be the people in the commercial or do what the people are doing. Who doesn’t want to be a kick ass rebel who sits on the curb eating fries and not caring about anything? And we can’t forget about the free spirit who runs through a meadow while everyone else is working or in school.. Ah, priorities..
This is all explained by the Audience Commodity Theory. People don’t necessary want the product, they want the lifestyle that supposedly goes hand in hand with possessing the product. The use-value of jeans means absolutely nothing. Why put big pockets on girls jeans? Why even put real pockets on them at all? Right? Wrong. If we were actually concerned about the use-value of what we were wearing, women’s jeans would have pockets that can actually hold more than a stick of gum. Too bad we, as a society, are generally only concerned about the exchange-value of things. If I start to get specific, take the American Eagle Ad that I just looked up: AEO Denim Flex. It’s totally cool to be causing down a back road in the middle of nowhere with your bestie- I get that-, but what that has to do with flex denim is beyond me, and if we are so concerned with things being flexible, why don’t the girls in the ad put on loose sweatpants…?
We are all guilty of falling into the trap of letting ads use us as the product, but if you are aware of this you can start making wiser decisions on why you may by a product: for the use-value or the exchange-value.