By Stuart Ewen
Captains of attention bargains a old examine the origins of the advertisements and customer society on the flip of the 20 th century. For this re-creation Stuart Ewen, considered one of our premiere interpreters of pop culture, has written a brand new preface that considers the continued impression of ads and commercialism in modern lifestyles. now not restricting his critique strictly to shoppers and the advertisements tradition that serves them, he offers a desirable background of the ways that enterprise has subtle its look for new shoppers by means of ingratiating itself into Americans' daily lives. A well timed and still-fascinating critique of existence in a shopper culture.</Div>
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Additional info for Captains Of Consciousness Advertising And The Social Roots Of The Consumer Culture
Putti n g aside t h e buoya n t a d rhetoric of progress and beneficence for a moment, Printers ' Ink put the need for social con trol in the fran kest terms : "modern mach inery . . "7 Elsewhere the busi ness com m u n ity was i n fused with a political messianism w h ich im plied that the mere sel l i n g of prod ucts was no longer an adequate goal of advertising.
S u c h traditional appeals would n o t change t h e dis position of poten tial markets toward consum ption of Mobilizing the Instincts I 35 given prod ucts . I n stead each product would be offered i n isolation , not in terms of the natu re of the con s u mer, bu t through an argu m e n t based on the i n trin s ic q u al i ties of the item itself. The ad vertisers were concerned with e ffect i n g a self-conscious change in the psychic econom y , which could not come about if they s pe n t all their time tal k i n g about a product and n o n e tal k i n g about t h e "reader.
In an attempt to build a responsive mass market, the Clean li ness I ns titute appealed to what they must have known was a major dissatisfaction with the reality of mass life. Their sol u tion was a sort of mass pseudo demassi fi cation . A good deal o f drug and toilet goods advertising made eve n more specific references to the q uality of industrial life. Appeali n g to dissatisfaction and i n securi- 46 I Advertising as Social Production ties around the job, certain advertisements not only offered their prod ucts as a kind of job insurance, but i n timated that through the use of their products one might become a business success-the capitalist notion of ind ivid ual "self-"fulfillment.