Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Manufacturing Desire

In a recent Microsoft booklet aimed at computer manufacturers pushing them to go for more creative and appealing design of actual computers:
"We want people to fall in love with their PCs, not to simply use them to be productive and successful. We want PCs to be objects of pure desire."

People using your products in the manner in which they were intended is not enough? Your products must now be objects of pure desire?!?! The very idea of that is the wrongest ever. Also, in an ad for a luxury car that is broadcast on the wall of the subway tunnel (wrong enough in and of itself), the question is posed: "is it possible to engineer desire?" am I wrong or should desire and love be reserved for things that have intrinsic value...

This makes me fume when I see it. Of course it's possible to engineer desire!! The prevailing trend in America is to go into large amounts of debt to drive cars that are too big for ones needs, to live in houses that contain hundreds upon hundreds of unused square feet, to buy piles and piles of useless consumer products and techno-gadgetry that distracts people from participating in their communities and in reforming their corrupt government... Yes, people should have the freedom of choice to tune out their communities and submerge themselves in material extravagance if they want to... But people seem to be doing this en masse. And the desire to do so is manufactured by those with something to sell. The results of that desire are detrimental to our communities and our culture.

If desire for these items has not been purposefully engineered and manufactured, well... I don't know where it came from. It's certainly not an inmate human desire to be gluttonous and wrapped up in material extravagance or to want to stare at an LCD panel all day and all night... The attempt by marketing strategists to manufacture desire for non-essential products is deplorable. If marketing your product requires psychology of this level, either your product ain't worth it or you're trying to oversell. In either case you are diffusing people's attention from things that matter (kids, community, government, etc), to things that don't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to think I'm a fairly open-minded person. I'd really like to know what you have to say but the red on black color combination is nearly impossible to read. If you really want people to read and consider your opinions, couldn't you make it a little easier?

11:16 AM  
Blogger and i said...

red on black is hard to read?? first i've heard of that from anyone. i find it quite easy... but if you can't read it, I suggest copying and pasting the text into a word processor or some such thing. or perhaps increasing the font-size on your web browser.

11:59 AM  

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