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by Hamilton Nolan
Even though poor people like you don't have much money, all of the poor people put together have plenty of money. That's why corporations from Nike to Wal-Mart still deign to advertise to you, the poors: because you have to survive, and you also have to use consumer goods to appear as if you're not poor, and you'll spend every last cent doing so. Which adds up to a lot of cents!
Well, that game is over. We've gotten to the point that—despite the advertising industry's successful half-century-long campaign to plant the virulent seeds of capitalist striving most firmly in the brains of those with the least legitimate means to fulfill their insatiable materialist cravings—it's just not worth advertising to poors any more. They can't swing it. Ad Age reports:
Last year, the only growth in spending came from people making $100,000 or more annually, said David Calhoun, CEO of Nielsen Co., speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation's annual Re:Think conference in March. If anything, the disconnect between the haves and the have-lesses has only kept widening since.
All of the non-rich people are increasingly less willing to spend money, while wealthy people are more willing to spend money. It's just common sense that companies will have to direct their marketing dollars towards the spending haves, rather than the tightwad have-nots. The worse news for corporate American is that the types of households that spend the least (single parents, depressing people living alone) are on the rise, while the households that spend the most (Ozzie and Harriet types) are on the decline.
What's it all add up to? More poor people! All of whom are spending less. And a shrinking upper-class caste that feels free to spend to its heart content, which is lovingly catered to more and more by all of the world's marketers, who turn their backs on the poor and flock to the rich like all the women that you were talking to before Justin Timberlake arrived at the party.
The good news: all this increased advertising targeted at the rich will slowly but surely suck their wealth out of them as they fail to resist the impulse to buy, buy, buy. The bad news: all that wealth will just go to other rich people. It seems clear that in a time like this, there is only one reasonable solution: revolution. Nike Revolution.
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