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Philosophy of futility is a phrase coined in 1928 by Columbia University marketing professor Paul Nystrom to describe an increasingly prevalent outlook which, he believed, induced a greater demand for fashionable products. The growth of industrialization had brought about a narrowing of interests, contacts, and achievements for many people in the Western world. Such conditions of life, Nystrom observed, encourage a tendency to become quickly bored and, consequently, a continual appetite for newness and change and a greater interest in goods in which fashion dominates, such as apparel, automobiles, and home furnishings.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Paul Henry Nystrom was an American economist, and professor of marketing at Columbia University. He is most known as pioneer in marketing, and for his The Economics of Retailing (1915) and his Economics of Fashion (1928).
The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.
The following is a quotation from Nystrom's Economics of Fashion (1928), often cited by historians and analysts of marketing, consumerism, and commercialism:
Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. With the industrial revolution, but particularly in the 20th century, mass production led to an economic crisis: there was overproduction—the supply of goods would grow beyond consumer demand, and so manufacturers turned to planned obsolescence and advertising to manipulate consumer spending. In 1899, a book on consumerism published by Thorstein Veblen, called The Theory of the Leisure Class, examined the widespread values and economic institutions emerging along with the widespread "leisure time" in the beginning of the 20th century. In it Veblen "views the activities and spending habits of this leisure class in terms of conspicuous and vicarious consumption and waste. Both are related to the display of status and not to functionality or usefulness."
Commercialism is the application of both manufacturing and consumption towards personal usage, or the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of free enterprise geared toward generating profit.
Philosophy of Futility and Retail Therapy:
Shopping in order to make oneself feel happier is a symptom that is referred to as “retail therapy” in the popular press. The term was first used in the Chicago Tribune of December 24, 1986: "We've become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy". Retail therapy, sometimes observed in people in times of depression or transition, indicates lack of personal purpose, and involves shopping as a therapeutic act that improves the buyer's mood or disposition; therefore, goods purchased during retail therapy are often referred to as "comfort buys."
Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer's mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or stress, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys".
The “vicious cycle” in Nystrom’s theory can be seen in many economic and philosophical arenas. Robert and Edward Skidelsky, in a father-and-son/economist-and-philosopher writing partnership, discuss that needs are finite and can be satisfied, but wants are infinite in quantity.Adam Smith, a pioneer in political economy, states his Theory of Moral Sentiments that “Riches leave a man always as much and sometimes more exposed than before to anxiety, to fear and to sorrow.”
Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' or ''The Father of Capitalism''. Smith wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. In his work, Adam Smith introduced his theory of absolute advantage.
Advertising can manipulate those wants, and make them appear as needs by making consumers feel they are not whole or happy without their product.In his criticism of Christianity, Friedrich Nietzsche said "To act as a physician," he writes, "the priest must make one sick!" For Christianity to appear as the savior, people must first have a problem. Advertising can make their product be the savior of a consumer’s problem.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.
Advertising can be particularly influential on children. Between the ages of 2 and 5, children are unable to distinguish between advertising and scheduled television broadcasts. Many countries have banned advertising targeting children to help avoid marketing saturation, and to allow them time to develop an identity beyond that of a consumer. Child advocates have condemned ads from children’s cereals for their lack of nutritional value leading to child obesity to advertising campaigns for action figures based on adult movies or themes. With the average US youth seeing anywhere from 2000-3000 ads a day, the content and intent of those ads has increasingly come under scrutiny.
Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement, or "ad" or advert for short.
Junk food is a pejorative term, dating back at least to the 1950s, describing food that is high in calories from sugar or fat, with little dietary fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals. It can also refer to high protein food like meat prepared with saturated fat. The term HFSS foods is used synonymously. Fast food and fast food restaurants are often equated with junk food, although fast foods cannot be categorically described as junk food. Concerns about the negative health effects resulting from a junk food-heavy diet, especially obesity, have resulted in public health awareness campaigns, and restrictions on advertising and sale in several countries.
Shopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the potential intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. A typology of shopper types has been developed by scholars which identifies one group of shoppers as recreational shoppers, that is, those who enjoy shopping and view it as a leisure activity.
Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power—of the income or of the accumulated wealth of the buyer. To the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means of either attaining or maintaining a given social status.
Distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. Distribution is the process of making a product or service available for the consumer or business user who needs it. This can be done directly by the producer or service provider, or using indirect channels with distributors or intermediaries. The other three elements of the marketing mix are product, pricing, and promotion.
Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, targeted television, newspapers, magazine advertisements, and outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response marketing.
Direct response television (DRTV) is any television advertising that asks consumers to respond directly to the company — usually either by calling a toll-free telephone number, sending an SMS message, or by visiting a web site. This is a form of direct response marketing.
In marketing, promotion refers to any type of marketing communication used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or issue. The aim of promotion is to increase awareness, create interest, generate sales or create brand loyalty. It is one of the basic elements of the market mix, which includes the four Ps, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion.
Marketing ethics is an area of applied ethics which deals with the moral principles behind the operation and regulation of marketing. Some areas of marketing ethics overlap with media ethics.
Food marketing brings together the food producer and the consumer through a chain of marketing activities.
Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.
Youth Marketing is a term used in the marketing and advertising industry to describe activities to communicate with young people, typically in the age range of 13 to 35. More specifically, there is the teen marketing, targeting people age 13 to 17, college marketing, targeting college-age consumers, typically ages 18 to 24, young adult marketing, targeting youngsters use professionals, typically ages 25 to 34.
Retail design is a creative and commercial discipline that combines several different areas of expertise together in the design and construction of retail space. Retail design is primarily a specialized practice of architecture and interior design, however it also incorporates elements of interior decoration, industrial design, graphic design, ergonomics, and advertising.
Targeted advertising is a form of online advertising that uses sophisticated methods to target the most receptive audiences with certain traits, based on the product or person the advertiser is promoting. These traits can either be demographic which are focused on race, economic status, sex, age, the level of education, income level and employment or they can be psychographic focused which are based on the consumer's values, personality, attitudes, opinions, lifestyles and interests. They can also be behavioral variables, such as browser history, purchase history, and other recent activity. Targeted advertising is focused on certain traits and the consumers who are likely to have a strong preference will receive the message instead of those who have no interest and whose preferences do not match a product's attribute. This eliminates wastage.
Advertising to children is the act of marketing or advertising products or services to children as defined by national legislation and advertising standards. It is often the subject of debate, relating to the alleged influence on little children's consumption. Laws concerning such advertisements have largely evolved in recent years such as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the United States. In most countries, advertising to small children is framed by a mix of legislation and advertising self-regulation.
[edit source] Fashion Merchandising can be defined as the planning and promotion of sales by presenting a product to the right market at the proper time, by carrying out organized, skillful advertising, using attractive displays, etc. Merchandising, within fashion retail, refers specifically to the stock planning, management, and control process. Fashion Merchandising is a job that is done world- wide. This position requires well-developed quantitative skills, and natural ability to discover trends, meaning relationships and interrelationships among standard sales and stock figures.In the fashion industry, there are two different merchandising teams: the visual merchandising team, and the fashion merchandising team.
"Pester Power" or "The Nag Factor", as the phenomenon is known in US literature, is the "tendency of children, who are bombarded with marketers' messages, to unrelentingly request advertised items". The phrase is used to describe the negative connotations of children's influence in their parents buying habits.