Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jeans and Offensive Marketing

Just recently I commented on the year old topic of Jeans in this thread here, Lex Anteinternet: Lex Anteinternet: Levis, in which I commented on the insanity of $700.00 "designer jeans"  Earlier this week, I posted on Froma Harrop's thesis that we might be seeing the end of the consumerist economy.  Many times in the past here I've posted on trends and developments.  Here, all dovetail in a story on pants.

Or, rather, the marketing of what are simply jeans.

Some company is marketing jeans in the United States under the brand name "True Religion".

I suspect that this is calculated to offend, but if it isn't, it certainly does.  It also says how numb our society has become to being truly and unconscionably offensive.

Pants are religion, nor does the depiction of hip, young, pretty adults clearly in an extended adolescence have anything to do with religion.  Indeed, as there isn't a religion on Earth that doesn't advocate selflessness and humility, what the subtle message of this marketing is, is anti religious, or perhaps more accurately the worship of cheesy slick consumerism as a religion. Critics of our consumerist economy have, at their most blunt, criticized consumerism for this very reason.

With the possibly relatively rare example of univeralists beliefs, which seek to incorporate all faiths of all types into a universal truth, and primitive religions that are basically animist in nature, a basic tenant of any faith would be that it is a "true religion" and indeed the True Religion.  Indeed, it wasn't all that long ago that this was sufficiently understood so as to be incorporated into the an ironic line of dialog into a popular film, The Magnificent Seven.  Now the concept of that is so vague that its being used in this fashion with the marketers counting on some vague recollection but not one sufficiently clear as to cause righteous indignation.  It's frankly pathetic.

And its all the more pathetic when realized that this is undoubtedly directly offensive to all the of the monotheistic religions, each of which would maintain that they are the true faith. Here, again, the marketers benefit from the diluted nature of any strong understanding of beliefs in Western society, as the majority of people in Western society are some variant of Christian, and Christians have become used to being picked on in this fashion so that they don't generally react.  One can only imagine what the reaction would be if a person marketed jeans as "True Islam" jeans, or "True Judaism". There would be an uproar, and justifiably so. But, as Islam and Judaism do both maintain that they are the true faith, calling something "True Religion" doesn't vary much from that, really.

Well, things like this should make for a good test of Harrop's thesis that we might be entering a post materialistic age.  If we are, and if the numbers are as high as she maintains, then at some point people begin to buy jeans based on their quality and price, and not the clever marketing.  Jeans marketed in this fashion can only appeal to a consumerist materialistic society, as its some weird sort of image that's being actually purchased, rather than the real product.  As for me, I hope this product fails.

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