How is it that an annoying 3-year old’s demand has become a major electronic company’s advertising slogan? Perhaps as a society we are simply accepting the reality that our consumerism is no longer about satisfying our ‘needs’, but rather all about satisfying our ‘wants’.
Of course, it is one thing for a company to observe a trend – it is altogether different for one to go so far as to openly admit their role in it. Companies are usually far more subtle in how they sell products, and the lines they use to attract interest in their products.
Think about “Have it your way”, “I’m Lovin’ It”, “A diamond is forever” and “Eat fresh”. None of the companies behind these slogans is admitting that their products are ‘wants’. In fact, most are trying to convert their products from ‘wants’ into ‘needs’ subtly in order to increase sales. And maybe that’s what is most surprising and bold about the slogan “I want that”. It’s an admission that the products being promoted are just that – ‘wants’.
This company is not alone. An online search found that several companies all over the world are using the line “I want that”. A South African company uses it as a shopping hub; A New Zealand company uses it to promote gadgets, gizmos and toys; and there is a HGTV hub for all the latest lifestyle and home innovations for the home, among many others.
Reverting to a strategy that states fact as fact may be refreshing to some. To others, perhaps only upon reflection, it’s a sad fact about the reality we live in. While most of the world’s population strives and prays for life’s core needs to be met on a daily basis, much of western society is fine admitting that their purchases are mostly centred on satisfying the annoying 3-year old’s demand within each of us.
According to GlobalIssues.org, about half of the world’s population lives on $2.50 a day or less. And 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where income gaps are widening. According to UNICEF 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. It’s hard to swallow an advertising slogan “I want that” when you think about what even a few well-directed dollars could do for another person in need.
Are companies giving up by using a line so bold and free of guilt? Hardly. They are simply trying to sell products by using an advertising line that resonates with their customers’ reality. Unfortunately, in my opinion anyway, that reality is one we shouldn’t be too proud of.
“I want that.” When these 3 demanding words are uttered by a 3-year old they’re just figuring out how the world works. When a major electronics company uses them in their advertising slogan, something else is going on.