Further proof of our utter unfitness to write this blog, nay, anything at all-comes in the shape of a little You Tube Video called How Marlboro Changed the Face of Advertising Forever. For it makes LSS and its belief in Reason and a Whiggish sort of progress look so hopelessly misguided that you wonder how humanity could ever have progressed from caves.
Before we throw you this gem of despair, gentle readers, a brief summary. Back in the 1950s there was growing evidence that smoking tobacco was highly dangerous, and many of the companies that sold it began to panic big time. Not so the heroes at Marlboro! Taking a 1%-of-the-market product which had been targeted mainly at women, they quickly turned it into the fourth largest brand in the world, all in the space of a year. How? By targeting men via a chap called the Marlboro Cowboy. Who apparently embodied the manly values of roughness, ruggedness and freedom. Well, with all those stallions hanging out in long shot, who wouldn’t get the message? Marlboro had realised one vital fact about human nature-most people don’t care about research. They buy a packet of cigarettes to be cool. Lifestyle, they call it.
And so it goes today with advertising, illegal drugs, fashion, fast foods, tabloid newspapers and many a political campaign. We, who live by facts and reason, are never going to break through. And so, for this New Year of 2022, we set you a task, gentle readers-what are our options?
For thoughts on where all this might end we suggest the 2006 film Idiocracy from Mike Judge and Etan Cohen. This IMDB link should suffice