Chapter 19

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Today I was shopping for a piece of musicians' gear, and came across a manufacturers' website that featured demonstration videos.

The male actor in the videos was in the 25-30-year age range, and he looked like crap. Hair all messed up, two-day beard, raggedy worn-out t-shirt with a raggedy, worn-out picture printed on it. I mean, groovy young rebels have always dressed to annoy grownups -- I did, myself -- but this guy really looked like crap.

Which suggests an observation: When manufacturers use models, the advertiser is trying to relate to you, or his perception of you. Their models are literally models -- they reflect what the manufacturer thinks that you are or want to be.

What the manufacturer is telling you with this picture is, "We know you, and you're a useless, low self-esteem slob. Buy our product, you loser."


Sometimes I see companies and enterprises with names that seem designed to repel or at least discourage customers.

Curl Up And Dye Hair Salon
Puket Thai Restaurant
Buy Buy Baby
Mattress Firm
Bicycle Chain

Or, any company whose name is Something Enterprises. The word "Enterprises" gives the customer a sense that their interests are primarily their own, and definitely not the customer's.