These two views seem to go together often:
- People are consuming too much
- The advertising industry makes people want things they wouldn’t otherwise want, worsening the problem
The reasoning behind 1) is usually that consumption requires natural resources, and those resources will run out. It follows from this that less natural-resource intensive consumption is better* i.e. the environmentalist prefers you to spend your money attending a dance or a psychologist than buying new clothes or jet skis, assuming the psychologist and dance organisers don’t spend all their income on clothes and jet skis and such.
How does the advertising industry get people to buy things they wouldn’t otherwise buy? One practice they are commonly accused of is selling dreams, ideals, identities and attitudes along with products. They convince you (at some level) that if you had that champagne your whole life would be that much more classy. So you buy into the dream though you would have walked right past the yellow bubbly liquid.
But doesn’t this just mean they are selling you a less natural-resource-intensive product? The advertisers have packaged the natural-resource intensive drink with a very non-natural-resource intensive thing – classiness – and sold you the two together.
Yes, maybe you have bought a drink you wouldn’t otherwise have bought. But overall this deal seems likely to be a good thing from the environmentalist perspective…
My guess is that in general, buying intangible ideas along with more resource intensive products is better for the environment than the average alternative purchase a given person would make…
Another thing advertisers do is tell you about things you wouldn’t have thought of wanting otherwise, or remind you of things you had forgotten about. When innovators… do this we celebrate it. Is there any difference when advertisers do it?… leggi tutto.