Americans have not always been such a shopaholic, as it is now. Once they, too long delayed money, denying themselves the many pleasant things to do big and really necessary purchase.
That all changed in the period of abundance, which followed the First World War. There is a problem of overproduction, which corporations are addressed through psychological manipulation strategy.
"America must move beyond the struggle with the need to meet the needs of culture, — said the banker Paul Mazur of Lehman Brothers. — We need to teach people to wish covet new things even before the old expires date. America needs to generate new mentality. Wishes of the people should be much more widespread in their real needs. "
The embodiment of this theory in life is not long in coming, and it proved to be extremely effective.
By the end of the First World War, American corporations were already rich and powerful, but they are worried about the danger associated with overproduction. What if people, having acquired all necessary, just stop buying?
In advertising of any goods — from shoes to cars — emphasis is given to its functional aspect, that is, manufacturers have tried to influence the sense of rational buyers.
The representative of Lehman Brothers Paul Mazur saw progress as follows: "America must move from the struggle with the need to meet the needs of the culture. We need to get people want a new one. They wanted to buy a new thing — despite the fact that the old is still not out of order. America needs to generate new mentality. People's desire to surpass their real needs. "
To carry out this idea failed largely due to advertising the new format. The pioneer in this field was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays. He demonstrated corporations how to get people to buy things they do not need by linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.
Bernays says that he first proposed the car manufacturers to present their products as a symbol of male sexuality.
More Bernays famously the first to break the taboo on women smoking in public. He said to the women with the slogan "Light the torch of freedom" and turned into a symbol of a cigarette female independence. During one of the parades feminist group staged a "freedom" with a demonstrative smoking, and only Bernays made sure that the information on the upcoming action in advance "leaked" to the newspaper.
He invented the first use in advertising authoritative opinion of celebrities, as well as the repetition of the call to buy a particular product.
"I do not understand those who like to wear the same thing, the same hat and coat — wondered in one of the commercials famous aviatrix Mrs. Stillman. — I'm sure you are all interesting people and that your life is full of wonderful experiences, but on the street you are virtually indistinguishable. So I decided to talk to you on apparel and related psychology. "
In 1927, an American journalist, wrote: "Our democracy has acquired a new form called the" ideology of consumption. " Now the Americans for their country in the first place are not citizens and consumers. "
Strengthening the ideology of consumption helped create a boom in the stock markets. Bernays tried all possible ways to implement the idea in people's minds that they just need to buy the stock.
Elected in 1928, President Herbert Hoover became the first politician to have bet on consumerism.
Speaking to a group of experts in advertising and public relations, Hoover said, "You — manufacturers desires. You are turning people into machines running smoothly happiness. Machines that have become the foundation of economic progress. "
However, the rooting of the ideology of consumption in America has been a side effect. In late October 1929, while Hoover and top businessmen of the world gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the light bulb, the mass withdrawal of deposits, and then a wave of bankruptcies.
You know what happened next.
But the ideology of consumption will not go away. The National Association of Manufacturers and others started new PR-campaigns to show people the benefits of capitalism.
The Second World War gave a new impetus to American industry, and to its end consumerism movement was more powerful than it has ever been.
See also The Age of selfishness. Happiness Machines