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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cheap is the New Green

Gimmick commercials using buzzwords like "bailout" and "stimulus" are all the rage these days. The Domino's Pizza commercial above is one of the most egregious examples of using current economic language to sell their product. With belts tightening in unison, it's hard to blame them for picking up on the prevailing mood of the country. But these ads actually trivialize the economic situation and leave the trend of economic awareness susceptible to becoming a fad instead of a new consumer culture.

In our oversaturated media culture, the life cycle for trends has reduced tremendously, much to the peril of worthy concepts like moving towards fiscal responsibility. Take for example the portrayal of "going green" in the mainstream. I can't help but feel the "green" trend, which was en vogue in the not too distant past before being bumped aside by the recession, still hasn't had the opportunity to make a full impact on society. While people are more aware of the concept of "green", people still don't fully grasp important concepts like sustainability. Certainly the "greenface" (acting green without actually being conscious) put on by celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures certainly didn't help the cause either. But will the same thing happen to financial awareness once the economy shows signs of improvement?

This recession has really made an impact on most people's bank accounts, but it's not a foregone conclusion that the buying habits of people will actually change. The marketing campaigns designed to encourage you to spend frivolously under the guise of fiscal responsibility are extremely dangerous for the psyche's of consumers. Not to mention it attempts to protect the status quo in a system where many people are enslaved by debt. While it's certainly not pleasant, this recession offers an opportunity to adjust our economy and increase fiscal responsibility. Let's not waste it on a "taste bailout" or an "automobile stimulus".

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