Advertising to Obssesion

by Robert Rodgers

"Used Marshall cabinet needed. Reasonably good shape, not much mileage." For almost forever, I have been repeating such a statement in pawn shops and junk stores across West Tennessee. Ever since I started to play guitar, I wanted a Marshall amplifier. But when my youthful, unrealistic dreams of owning a new cabinet (rated a about $2,100 for the whole package) it became clear to me that I had to start my own search. That meant finding a cheaper replacement.

What is the point of the story above? I'm sure it's a situation most of us have been in before. I was giving up the quality of a new amp for an old one. But I was still blinded by the light of a name-brand product. As a culture, and as a generation, do we focus too much attention on brands? I feel we do, especially in my case. It seems almost sad that we sometimes can sacrifice quality for a name. Eventually, I found a Marshall cabinet. Of course, as low as the price was, it was old and decidedly battered. But in the light of commercial indulgence, I lost myself and ended up making the monetary transaction.

This is definitely applied to other things in life. Everyone has heard of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. They have made their way into our homes, our lives, and our minds. Conglomerate advertising ultimately affects our decisions, and we happily let it. Is this such a bad fate? No. In actuality, it's a very mild position. But, is it also as important to continue the cycle? Again, no.

What we must do is take the steam out of name-brand hounds. Divert the focus to other, more important aspects of life. With as many problems as we face each day, we all could learn from our desperation and not worry about Hilfiger or Marshall. Name-brands, in themselves, are not the problem, but our fevered search for them. All we need is to learn this and apply it to everyday life.

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