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Advertising and Consumerism

            Effective advertising can lead consumers to believe they understand what the good life is and how they can achieve it. You can't buy a product without identifying your personality and generalizing your hopes and dreams. Consumerism, therefore, is perceived as the definition of progress. Out with the old and in with the new. The way for a better life is through products, acknowledged as the truest way to ease pain and achieve great things. Due to these ideologies, the practice of selling has taken on a holistic meaning in our culture and market: understanding motives, gaining attention, arousing interest, using persuasion. Sigmund Freud, therefore, through psychoanalysis and his arguments regarding the fulfillment of the id, can be considered a father of consumer culture.
             Responding to Marx's ideas about the pleasures of commodities, Freud sought to understand why a deep emotional craving for products emerged in behavior. Freud began to argue that people are unable to be fully satisfied in civilized society, as it is a mechanism of repression over a human's inner most desires and impulses – the id, the instinctual spearhead of emotion and behavior. Therefore, civilization fundamentally represented an abandonment of natural instincts, resulting in diminished happiness and repressed energies that need to be exercised. Here comes the consumer market, serving as playground for these needs and wants to be satisfied. .
             Since the id's desires can't be met due to societal oppression, people hope to fill the objects of their deepest desires with commodities and products. As Freud argued that pre-civilized humanity was propelled by infinite desire for gratification, consumer culture appeals to these repressed energies. Freud's teachings dismantle the assumption that consumer choice and behavior is different from normal choice and behavior. A choice is executed by weighing reason, and Freud argues that this very practice never fully transpires on an independently rational level, since the unconscious is not obedient to the conscious and has a significant influence over natural desire.

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