JackSolomon’s article, Mastersof Desire,brings the methods and strategies that American corporations use toadvertise their products to the fore. Solomon contends that thesecompanies appeal to the populist and elitist appetites of theAmerican populace because the associated symbols have an intrinsicmeaning to the American people (Solomon 402). A variety of symbols,for example, images from storybooks, sexual fancies, urban existence,and even the wishes of the distinct subgroups in America surfacenoticeably in promotion drives (Solomon 402 – 410). Jack alsoargues that signs have a class connotation thus, the value of theitems that individuals buy classify them into various socialstatuses. Consequently, the customers start “living the fantasy,”offering advertising companies the opportunity to exploit theunconscious desires of the persons in the marketplace (Solomon 406).Jack Solomon’s conceptualisation of “Live the Fantasy” is aclear depiction of the manner in which the American populace ismanipulated into purchasing the products that it does not need.
Thesymbols of American advertising reveal that fantasies drive thenation. The masses usually prefer signs to substance when buyingproducts (Solomon 406). The semioticians contend that advertisingcompanies use the subconscious desires and dreams of their clients tomanipulate them into purchasing the products of their affiliatecompanies. American businesses also focus their campaigns onparticular groups. Companies like McDonald’s pitch their productsat different social classes, age groups, and even races. Sexualfantasies are also being used in advertisements (Solomon 407). Theconcept "hot!" has gained the center stage in advertisingthe once "innocent" products, for example, cars and shoes,are now being depicted as sexually appealing (Solomon 408). However,in spite of the issues highlighted beforehand, companies have toproduce high-quality products and develop wide-ranging ad campaignsto maintain their customer bases thus, the concept “fantasy,” inadvertising, may not be very well-founded. Nonetheless, the way oflife of the American populace reveals a high affinity for the itemsthat are populist in nature and show social success (Solomon 402),which brings to bear the fantasy world that grips the majority of theAmerican people.
Thesuccess of American companies is dependent on the precision ofadvertising. Previously, most enterprises geared their ad campaignsaround a “one-size-fits-all” strategy this approach has changedwith time (Solomon 406). Companies now develop products that fitparticular sections of society. Corporations are now focusing onaccentuating the emotional aspects of their products to whet thedesires of children. Enterprises are associating their merchandisewith the symbols that appeal to the youngsters, for example, toys,the circus, and illustrations of stories like Alicein Wonderland.Additionally, businesses are taking advantage of adolescent fantasieslike happy youngsters singing, dancing, and cavorting collectively toappeal to the youthful populace to buy their products. This approachworks because the young adult generation is usually afraid ofloneliness. The older age group is more sophisticated because it ismore interested in finding a place to enjoy a night out, as opposedto seeking social acceptance (Solomon 407). Thus, businesses haveresorted to developing an environment that is, somewhat, associatedwith urban classiness, to accentuate the illusion that these placescan accommodate all types of individuals. Fantasy advertising is anew mythology that is geared towards arousing people’s desire forparticular products (Solomon 410) however, like many other fads,this type of advertising will, most likely, stop being as valuable asit is. Nonetheless, advertising that has been focused on specificgroups of people has led to the success of companies like McDonald`sand Wendy`s (Solomon 406).
Solomon’swriting reveals that, in the United States, associations are moreimportant than the value that a product accrues to the buyer.Americans are obsessed with the fancies that commercialadvertisements advance, as opposed to the significance that theseitems have in their lives (Solomon 406). In essence, advertisers tapinto the subconscious desires and dreams of people, manipulating theminto making unreasonable purchases (Solomon 402). Jack also assertsthat people can free themselves from the hypnotic grasp ofadvertising by bringing their fantasies to the surface (Solomon 406).This assertion proves that the majority of the American consumerspurchase products because they appeal to their cravings, as opposedto making a meaningful contribution to their lives. The mostsuccessful companies in the US have exceptional "fantasyadvertising" campaigns. McDonald`s is among such businesses theenterprise transformed its burgers into symbols that expose thedesires of the American life. However, despite the allegationsadvanced beforehand, the majority of the successful companies excelbecause they conduct in-depth research and understand their clients’needs. Even so, the fact that the American marketplace is driven bythe desire to associate itself with particular representations cannotbe overlooked, because the majority of the flourishing companiesfocus on these signs to reel in and attract prospective clients(Solomon 406 – 410).
Sexualityhas also been used as a tool in the modern day’s language ofadvertising. In the olden days, slogans such as “new and improved”were fairly popular however, the recent years have been exposed tofads such as “hot!” (Solomon 408). Most products have the label“hot!” it implies that the product is new and more advanced thanthe previous versions. Advertising agencies posit that theproliferation of TV, magazines, radio and newspaper ads is "clutter,"and the only way to move beyond this mess is by using sexual contentin ads. Sex has been forwarded as an attention grabber, competitive,and expensive (Solomon 408) thus, advertisers prefer using whatworks. Marketers will go to any length to ensure that the productthat they are promoting gets the attention that they desire. Thereason for such an approach is premised on the fact that flesh bringsthe most inbred and coercive human emotions to the surface. Solomon,however, contends that advertisements do not reflect the Americansexual desires, but the desperation to develop new and innovativeways of positioning products in the market. Nevertheless, in spite ofthe advancement of such assumptions, sexually explicit advertisementshave been proven to be an effective way of reeling in prospectivecustomers thus, painting the American public as one that is drivenby sexual cravings.
Ina recap of the above discussion, Jack Solomon’s conceptualisationof “Live the Fantasy” is a clear depiction of the manner in whichthe American populace is manipulated into purchasing products.Solomon asserts that corporations resort to manipulating the populistand elitist enthusiasm of the American masses because representationshave profound meanings to the American populace. Various symbols, forinstance, illustrations from storybooks, sexual fantasies, urbanliving, and even the desires of the different subgroups in Americaemerge distinctly in marketing campaigns. The author also states thatsigns have a class association, so the worth of the items thatpersons buy categorize them into different social statuses.Consequently, the clientele starts “living the fantasy,”prompting the promotion companies to take advantage of theunconscious wishes of the people in the market.
Solomon,Jack. "Masters Of Desire: The Culture Of American Advertising."(1988): 401 – 410. Retrieved fromhttp://www4.ncsu.edu/~kalaviab/documents/Solomon.pdf