Model: Chaze Matakala
People don’t know what they want until you give it to them. That’s what they tell you in advertising, anyway. They also teach you not to sell a brand, but to sell a lifestyle to the consumer. If they so wish or dream to be of that calibre of human being, they will buy into it. Rich or poor. They will find a way.
Growing up in a lower to middle-class black community you learn compromise very quickly. Every spaza or shop on the corner had branding splashed across the face. Coca-Cola and Sprite.
Many wear brand new or hand-me-down designer brands. Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Lacoste and Gucci. It’s an unspoken need to project affluence, it’s in our blood as a people born from royalty. You can live in an RDP house, but drive the latest Mercedes. Is there food in the fridge though? Are we eating brand?
Not only are we eating brand, but we are killing for brand. One you get a taste of the caviar, upper echelon lifestyle as seen on television you grow a need for it. Without it you’re just Eve in the garden, naive and simple minded.
The consumer becomes the consumed. The consumer measures their progress and success in acquisition. The consumer is a patriot of the brand. The brand blurs the line between need and want. The brand doesn’t care about the well-being of the consumer. The brand only wants to be consumed. The brand wants to consume.
For some the potent potion wears off over time. For some it’s an ongoing addiction. It’s part of their identity. How did we get here? How did we lose sight of the garden?
Or were we just intoxicated by the highs of a vicarious exploration of a new self? Sedated into forgetting the real issue at hand? To forget happiness and life outside boxes and labels? Are we really everything we consume? If so, then I suppose we can be packaged, shipped and resold many times over.