Saturday, July 18, 2009

Great Marketing

They don't usually sell Maybachs, Vacheron Constantine, Prada, McMansions, Versace or Louis XIII in the hood.
These brands aren't even made in the hood.
People in the hood don't even own these companies.
But somehow, many people know about these brands. Some even have the knock-offs.
But how do people, who are thought of as being too poor to advance in society, suddenly acquire the urge to possess these things?
It's not as though they are inherently part of their culture.
Maybe seeing the products in videos on BET has an effect.
These videos seem to be a nice marketing tool to bring such item to the common consciousness of many people who really can't afford them.

Some say that we shouldn't celebrate the rare individual who has overcome the many social, political and racial obstacles involved in making it to a higher level within our nation.
But why not?
If seeing someone else with a large flat screen television can stimulate the desire for one having there own - why can't the same be true of success?

I'm sure some people who were born into slavery were operating under the assumption that that was all there was to life.
That freedom was just some myth, or something only possessed by the bourgie.
That the system was always going to keep them in chains.
But what created enough volition in men like Nat Turner to cause them to attempt such an audacious grasp at freedom?
What caused some to escape through the Underground Railroad?
What caused others to learn to read - even though it was illegal?
Their "culture" was one of servitude.
What caused some to seek freedom and go against "their culture"?

During Segregation, when oppression was legal - what caused some to see past their roles imposed by society to a life of freedom?
Were the Civil Rights leaders "thinking white" in operating under the assumption that all men should be free?
How could they see themselves as more than "their culture"?

Obama is to Polo as Oprah is to Hermes.
Tiger is to Louis XIII as Cosby is to Maybach.
They are not the saviors (We are our own saviors in this sense), they are just the marketing tools that need to be used to elevate the expectations of the culture - of our common conciousness.
They are not "Too Bourgie" - they are the luxury brands.
If people in the hood can spend thousands of dollars on rims, Jordans or Hennessey - why can't those same people spend the same money on Your Baby Can Read?
If people in the hood can assimilate these luxury brands into "their culture" - why can't they assimilate the luxury brand of success?
How are Tiger, Oprah and Obama seen as "Too White" - But brands like Polo, Versace, and Rolex are not?
Maybe we need to redefine our "culture" instead of using one that has been defined for us.


brohammas said...

OK social scientist. How is this change in culture done?

uglyblackjohn said...

It can't be done without a change in the common conciousness.
Even most Black people assume that;
Black = Ghetto (Or poor, or uneducated, or victim)

FreeMan said...

There are only a couple of things that can motivate people. Lust,Envy, Greed and Power are the core of all motivational commercials for so called luxury brands.

So the Cosby's and the others mentioned do not seem like they write their own tickets in life even if they really do. They do not have fine women draped on their arms and they don't look like they can wipe their ass with their excess money. I want Oprahs money but I don't want her life at all and all the crap she had to do to get it.

So how do we change the people? We have to focus on the accumulation of power. Sacrifice has to be changed from keeping the peace so you can get a check to sacrificing for writing your own. The kids follow Lust and Envy as that's a powerful reason to dress like Lil Wayne even though you live in your mothers basement. The willingness to ball for a night and live it up in Vegas for one weekend instead of trying to set up that life forever is why many fail and don't even care to try.

So again how do we do it? Power accomplishes all of the petty sins in spades. Teach power at a young age and it'll sustain them through the lean years!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - But we need to teach confidence not cockyness.

I have a young cousin who is really good in most things.
He is cocky as hell.
His family encourages it.
But he is easy to beat becuase he doesn't know how to play from behind, or when conditions are bad - he has no heart.

Confident people know that they can come from behind, overcome any situation or beat any foe.
If they lose - so what, there is always neat time.

The nuances of success is what'll make a big difference in acheiving a lasting success.

FreeMan said...

All I can say UBJ is a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down! Now you and I know what is the core but it's boring and it's hard for most people to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. But if we can couch the meaning in a better more appealing sexy reason then we will reach more people.

Cockyness is words without deeds confidence is no words at all. Somehow we have to marry the two to produce someone who can deal. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself beyond reason in order to deal with the world.