Yesterday I asked the question: are you happy? Despite the number of views, only 2 brave people posted an answer in the comments… One said “yes”; one said “no”.
So how does this tie in with marketing and advertising and media? Well, for the most part this industry is probably the most responsible for convincing you that you’re unhappy…because that’s what we do. Don’t get me wrong. I love marketing…but only as long as it adds value to the consumers, in whatever way it can.
Meanwhile, here’s a slightly left-of-centre “rant” at no-one in particular (except maybe myself).
As marketers and advertisers, we convince people that they won’t be happy until they have the latest gadget or must-have…and once they’ve got it, we convince them that they won’t be happy until the next one. We blow it out through all media channels, even in entertainment. We’ve defined what success looks like and for most people, it’s an impossible ask. Hell, we’ve even gone so far as to create tiered faux-success marketing: can’t afford to own a Ferrari, buy the jacket…or the t-shirt. Because we know that unless you feel like you’re a success, you can never be happy. It’s the vicious cycle on which consumerism is built.
But if you answered “no” to the question, I understand. So here’s a little something else to ponder.
Theodore Roosevelt said a while back: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. That is success. And real success, the kind that makes you feel proud about yourself, is the key to real happiness.
REALITY CHECK: of course, no-one holds a gun to your head and forces you to buy the latest thing that we say you must have… and that means that although it’s easy to get sucked into this spiral, you also have the power to break it.
Like my late father used to say, “Don’t fall for the joke.”