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Evaluation of frontline the merchants of cool - Essay Example

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Student's Full Name: Professor's Name: Frontline - “The Merchants of Cool” (An Evaluation Essay) 20 January 2013 (estimated word count = 1,401) Introduction The power of marketing can be viewed from different perspectives, either as a source of inspiration, influence, and guidance, or in more crude terms, as a form of “brainwashing” in which it tries to mold the minds of viewers, consumers or target market or audience…
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Evaluation of frontline the merchants of cool

Download file to see previous pages... However, marketing is admittedly not that simple or easy, as consumers are quite fickle. They can change their minds readily, by following trends and whatever is considered as “cool.” Marketeers and advertising professionals can focus their efforts only on a particular sector or segment of the population, to achieve maximum effect. One can direct all marketing and advertising on middle-aged individuals, for example, for these are the people who are at the peak of their earning capabilities, at the prime of their careers. Or one can focus on youths which is also fast becoming a significant sector because of its huge spending power. Teenagers are the hottest consumer demographic today, at 33 million strong with a buying power of about $100 billion by themselves alone, and by influencing parents, can still command another $50 billion to spend. I will argue in this paper that the comparison made by media critic and professor Robert McChesney likening this population segment as a massive empire to be colonized, an intellectual equivalent to Africa, is not very accurate. Discussion Teenagers as a separate demographic segment came into prominence only recently as family incomes rose during the last few decades. Teens today have more pocket money when compared to earlier generations due to this rising affluence brought by a good economy and a continued globalization in teen culture has a marked influence on how this sector came to the attention of professional marketeers. Teen lifestyle became a distinct marketing category that deserves all the attention from marketing and advertising professionals because teenagers' big spending power on consumer items is a crucial factor when selling items like CDs, films, television programs, clothing, jewelry, shoes, books, music, sports, and many other items. In a certain but limited sense, this is probably what Prof. McChesney referred to as a moral equivalent of the vastness of the African continent at the turn of the previous century, when it was ripe for the taking and exploitation. The teen demographic sector provides a vast opportunity for the purveyors of youth culture, food, fashion, fun, beauty products, activities, etc. because of their huge spending power in absolute dollar terms. Teenagers in a way had become a legitimate sector as part of an American consumer polity (Lee & Zhou 102). However, the comparison of this teen demographic sector to the African continent is not very appropriate, as it is a bit of an exaggeration because of one key difference. In the time of British colonialism and imperialism, the colonized peoples of Africa were in no way able to offer some form of resistance. It was largely a one-way relationship, in which the British held all the cards, so to speak, with the African peoples in a very weak position in the relationship of colonial power and colonized people. The colonial encounter in Africa was that of inequality, the British from a position of strength and the Africans in a weak position (Asad 16) but this is clearly not the case when it comes to the teens in terms of marketing. The youth today have a voice or choice, in which they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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