Captain American Pride

Remember when Captain America: The First Avenger came out earlier this year during the summer? What about the Green Lantern that came out around that time too? Well, even if you didn’t go see either movie like I did, you and I were probably very aware of its presence via other marketing outlets besides dramatic trailers aired on TV.

After stumbling across this article on Captain America on the USA Today’s online website, I couldn’t help but think that there was evidence of murketing at hand.

In Rob Walker’s book Buying In, he addresses the phenomenon of lifestyles and cultures of specific groups such as underground skateboarders and musicians becoming huge brand names that are not only associated with the original members that started it but attracting individuals who aren’t regular members to the activity. Instead, they are drawn by the meaning that they associate with the brand’s image.

I see two things going on here. Within the advertising efforts to publicize Captain America (Green Lantern too) there is a creation of a following towards the superhero themed brands for people who honestly weren’t originally loyal fans from the beginning. The other thing is the meaning that is now associated with Captain America and other superheroes of the like are spreading to the public through murketing.

The image in question today is that of the group of comic readers and superhero followers who have demonstrated their passion for the culture while others looked at them as seemingly uncool nerds. Those individuals who have been avid fans of superhero comics before the film industry started creating superhero movies know what it’s like to be looked down upon. However, with the subsequent years that have passed since the first release of a superhero movie with advanced graphics (Spider-man), somehow it’s perfectly fine to like comics and superheroes.

Let’s face it it’s cool to be a nerd.

To stand out against the other superhero films because face it, they are getting tiring, the patriotic theme market campaign mentioned in the article made Captain America even more noticeable than previous films. Companies like Dunkin Donuts had an American themed beverage sporting the Captain America logo on it. Why not sip a beverage while contemplating seeing the movie? But nothing tops the one thing I saw during the summer that REALLY got me. The number of guys wearing T-shirts either with the Captain American symbol or hats with the Green Lantern emblem increased significantly.

All of this for a movie?

I’ve always been a fan of superheroes but not to the extent of how it’s being consumed today. But if it’s a way to show my patriotism, maybe I should go buy a Captain American T-shirt too.

Don’t Cry Over Disneyland

Children today are growing up in an unprecedented era of extensive advertising that is drastically different from the more forthright days of TV commercials and billboards. How do advertisers aim to reach kids today?

They quite simply cross the ever wavering line of marketing into murketing, and thus enter right into the lives of these children, simply dropping their products into their everyday lives. The film, “Consuming Kids,” addresses this phenomenon, emphasizing the endless assault of advertising that children are unknowingly confronted with in almost all contexts. From schools to grocery stores, children are constantly targeted as potential consumers.

As one professional stated in the film, “Commercials are so 20th century.”

These advertisers attempt to capitalize on the “nag factor,” sending children messages that if they keep asking for something, their parents will eventually give in. Ever seen a two year old throw a temper tantrum in a grocery store?

Perhaps the child’s parents, and the unfortunate bystanders, should shift the blame to advertisers for such behavior.

Which leads me to address a YouTube video I recently encountered. Try not to be distracted by this adorable five going on six year old’s bright blue eyes and ask yourself the question of how deeply advertising has infiltrated her life.

If you ask me, she nails it when she exclaims, “Oh my goodness.”

I would be overwhelmed too. Before she even opens her Disney Princess backpack, notice that she is clad in Paul Frank pajama pants. She proceeds to open two Disney DVD’s (Hey Mom, how did you know she wanted these?), Minnie Mouse pajamas, an “I ❤ Disney t-shirt” and Oreos, among other snacks. All of this culminates with the final gift, a trip to Disneyland. Are we seeing a theme here?

Looks like murketing to me. You tell us, is it worth crying over?

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