Re: ECON: Advertising

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 26 Jan 1999 08:41:21 -0800 (PST)

> >I offered this counterexample, because
> >people are "expected" to buy diamond engagement rings precisely
> >because DeBeers told them to in its advertising decades ago.
> Sorry, but using gems as a dowry to purchase the right to marry a female
> is an old tradition going back thousands of years BC. Although it fits
> this lists politics to blast advertisers for creating public thought, in
> this case it doesn't fit the facts.

I had my facts straight the first time: the specific "tradition" of the diamond engagement ring was created and popularized by DeBeers in the 50s. Before that, the only similar tradition in Western culture was the Jewish "bet" of silver.

> >Other examples: underarm deodorants, shampoos, cosmetics and other
> >personal care products that no one realized they needed until
> >chemical companies started telling us that we smell bad and that
> >plain soap makes our hair split and that painted faces are good.
> Again, sorry. Native Americans used shampoos from the yucca tree long
> before chemical companies told them to. The bible mentions
> face-painting, lip painting, eye-painting, shaving, and using pleasant
> scents on the body. These practices are also thousands of years old.
> Again, what you say sounds good in the course of conversation, but with
> a little thought you will realize that these claims are obviously false.

Again, you're off the subject: underarm deodorants were first created by Gillette, whose advertising created the term "B.O." among other additions to our culture. Before that, perfumes were common, but deodorants/antiperspirants were not. Shampoos you might be right about, though I doubt the Native Americans were big on conditioners and creme rinses. Yes, makeup has been around a long time, but not in its modern forms with moisturizers, exfoliants, and other modern pseudo-science.

> >The most effective demand-creation advertising can be very subtle,
> >as in movies that glamorize smoking and drinking,
> I hope you aren't going to claim that alcohol and tobacco are newly
> created demands....

I do think thousands of teens might never have tried smoking if they hadn't seen "cool" actors doing it. That may not be demand "creation", but certainly expansion--as opposed to brand preference.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC