"You're not good enough" marketing
Curt Rosengren on Business
You know what really irritates me? 'You're not good enough' marketing. The kind that uses the message, 'You're not good enough as you are, but if you buy this product you will be.' It tries to get into people's wallets by fanning the flames of insecurity.
Why does it bug me so much? Because it adds to the constant reinforcement (via the media and elswhere) that we're not good enough the way we are. And I'm probably more aware of it because my work is about helping people embrace who they are and let go of who they've been told they 'should' be, so I see the negative impact of that kind of message up close and personal.
I got a great example of that kind of marketing in the mail today, junkmail for a men's hair-color product that basically says you're hosed if you've started to go grey. 'Now is the best time of your life. Don't let gray get in the way.' So let me get this straight...those grey hairs popping up are going to have a substantial impact on my quality of life? Oh no! Send me two - no three!
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Inside, it implies that having my 'natural' color hair (i.e., not grey) is going to open amazing doors, and I quote...'When you look and feel your best - when you are truly ready for what's next - life opens up in ways that it never did before.' \n\nOhhhhhh...OK. Silly me. And here I thought I was going to have to work for it. \n\nBut the thing that REALLY got my goat was this gem, suggesting that getting rid of that grey is the key to bliss with that woman in my life...\n\n'Getting rid of your gray says you take care of yourself - so she can be sure you'll take care of her.'\n\nAck! \n\nI happen to be in the target market for this product, but I find this kind of marketing just as distasteful when it's aimed at others (and realistically, I think women get bombarded with it far more than I do). \n\nWhat do you think about it? Am I just oversensitive, or does this approach to marketing really have a negative impact?