Understanding Consumer Masquerades

'Are we really happy with
This lonely game we play
Looking for the right words to say
Searching but not finding
Understanding anyway
We’re lost in this masquerade'

- Carpenters; 'This Masquerade'.

When Ameen states, 'The desire to tell or hear lies is not new; it is as old as humanity itself. It would not be wrong to assume that perhaps we started using ‘make up, in its primitive form, around the same time we started checking ourselves out in the water a la Narcissus. Each era has had its own technologies enabling us to carry on a masquerade: in fact it can be argued that as technology progresses the lies keep getting better and more beautiful', he makes a pertinent point.

But then I feel he's just a tad harsh. What he terms as 'chasing the lies' and donning the 'masquerade' is in effect human race's race to realise what they have always had in their heads as better forms of themselves, their 'ideal selves'. Take it a tad further and consumers seek their 'ideal social selves', their desire to have others see them a certain way.

In a way, this answers what Ashutosh earlier asked, 'I am just wondering if social acceptance is a higher need than self-acceptance?' Thank god it is, else marketers would have their lives snuffed out. But let me ring a note of caution. Its not just about the 'lie'. Its about understanding the various grades of lies. Push the lie too far, distort the camera image too much, and it becomes obvious not just to the consumer, but even to others that the image is a living lie. The lie would then be abandoned; in consumer terms, the camera with its lying images wouldn't be bought. Therefore its important for the camera to know how much to 'alter' and how much not to. The consumer must be presented with an image of what he sees as his 'ideal social self', with the lie concealed to the extent its not detected, at least not by others, while at the same time providing the consumer with an image that's 'honestly sweeter'.

Now that's the perfect lie! In effect, the truth.


Perfectly explained the perfeect lie. Liked it sir.
Prof.Ray Titus said…
Thank you, Ashutosh, appreciate it :)

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