The Joneses

Your friend walks into work/class and shows you the COOLEST new thing she just bought!  Even though it was pretty expensive, it is the LATEST hi-tech gadget that EVERYONE is going to want.  She tells you that anyone who is anyone is going to have it, and all of the celebrities are buying it!  Not only is it the most innovative product around, but it can do EVERYTHING!  Touch screen, Internet, automatic, GPS, you name it, this product has it.

Have you ever heard a friend talk about their “new toy” in this way, and you immediately wanted to buy the new product that she bought?  Whether it is a new cell phone, new piece of clothing, a new car, a new camera, a new television, a new video game, a new ANYTHING.  Your friend talks about all of its great qualities, and you immediately want to buy it.  Heck, you may even go out to the store immediately and purchase it.  Well, this is where the new movie The Joneses comes in (make sure to check out the trailer).  This movie is based off of four characters who are placed in a home together and instructed to act like the “perfect family.”  However, the mother, father, daughter, and son are not only not even related, but they have been hired by a marketing agency to engage in stealth marketing.  Their job is to make new friends in the community and brag about all of their new products (jewelry, sports equipment, cosmetics, food, décor, cars, etc.) in an effort to convince their peers to purchase these products for themselves.  They are instructed to sell “a lifestyle” instead of simple the products to convince as many people to buy them as possible.

Even though this movie was a bit exaggerated about the effects of this type of marketing between the fate of poor Larry and the monthly evaluations of the household, this type of marketing exists every day.  The recommendation of a trusted friend or family member about a particular product, service, or brand is more powerful than any other type of marketing.  When you need a new product or service, how do you find out where to go?  If you go online or to any social media outlets, you are looking for a recommendation of someone else who needed the same thing.  If you call up a friend or family member, you are putting your trust in them to figure out the BEST possible solution.

The movie refers to the ripple effect, in which Person A recommends a product to Person B who recommends the product to Person C and so on.  How often have you heard, “Well I don’t have one, but so-and-so LOVES her *insert product/service here*.”  The power of word-of-mouth marketing becomes endless in this way.

The power of marketing has reached new heights.  No longer do advertisements on television or in magazines make or break the success of a product or service.  A person is exposed to 5,000 advertisements per day in any form.  When a person is checking their e-mail on Gmail, they are exposed to advertisements.  When a person checks Facebook, they are being marketed to.  When a person is doing research for work or a class, they are shown advertisements.  Soon enough, when a person tweets, companies will be marketing to them.  In a world with millions of choices being shown to you every second, the types of stealth marketing shown in this movie really take predominance.  How do you narrow down these choices?  How do you make your final decision?  Of course you simply ask a friend!  Even though this movie was a satire on American consumerism, it takes a real picture of the life we thrive on as consumers in the 21st century.

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