Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Go Forth O' Pioneer - Part 2

A recent advertising campaign by Levies suggests that advertisers have realized for years that images and myths created by the American Dream can be good for business. What exactly is Levies selling in their “Go Forth, O’ Pioneer” advertising campaign? Practically every image you can think of that expresses patriotism, youth and the American way of life is portrayed in these commercials.

The narration evokes a strong sense of purpose and destiny. “America centre, of equal daughters, equal sons, all alike, endeared, grown, ungrown, young and old, strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, perennial with the earth, freedom, law, love, and, finally, Go Forth America.” That’s an incredible amount of symbolism just to sell a pair of jeans. What Levies is really selling is their version of the American Dream. We, as pioneers, have a destiny to control and occupy the land, to become prosperous, and we can all do it by wearing Levies. Oh, and by the way, Levies are made in China.

Levies is just one example. There are countless others who use the same advertising strategies. This past Super Bowl, Chrysler ran a two-minute spot featuring rap artist, Eminem. The ad asked the question, “What has a city that’s been to hell and back know about luxury?” It invokes images of an old dying city, but rekindled it with a spirit of optimism as it portrayed the people of Detroit determined to restore past glory. The final tag line of the spot reads, Imported from Detroit. What Chrysler is selling is not cars but a restoration of the American Dream. The meaning of this message is somewhere deep inside of us in our subconscious, and as Americans ,we can all relate to this message. And Chrysler understands this completely. We grew with the original dream. But nowadays media makers, politicians and advertisers are prepared to take advantage of or our concept of the American Dream to create new meanings to the American Dream for their advantage.

The bottom line.

The American Dream is up for grabs. It’s anybody’s guess who will ultimately redefine it. But one thing is for sure. Whoever does will control the fabric of our society. I put my money on the mass media culture. They have the means and the motivation to do it. The question is, are we paying attention. Do we realize what’s at stake, or do we just nod our heads and continue to spend our money, our savings, and our future and charge our way to the American Dream?

And did you know that Chrysler spent $12 million to run this add which they got from the bail out from the American people.

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