THE DAY THE PIGS REFUSED TO BE DRIVEN TO MARKET: Advertising and the Consumer Revolution by Robin Wight

THE DAY THE PIGS REFUSED TO BE DRIVEN TO MARKET: Advertising and the Consumer Revolution

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KIRKUS REVIEW

We're the pigs (offensive thought that) and Wight's a hip hidden persuader (foreign) who's discerned that where his huckstering colleagues are driving us is right up the wall. The ad men, writes the author, are victims of their own success having raised our expectations too high -- hence the consumer movement to demand that either they put up or tone down. Wight connects the revolt to Consciousness III apparently without realizing that it passed through this country with something less than the impact of a white tornado; nevertheless, he is on to something when he notes that the consumer society has begun to grow out of a ""possession phase"" (owning a color TV is just about the only status symbol left) into a""usage phase"" (renting rather than purchasing). Wight goes on to argue against the Madison Avenue axiom that products sell because of advertising (and the converse that when they don't other factors are to blame); in fact he states the truth is often the opposite -- you probably buy a particular make of car because it performs well or simply because you like it and not because the ads (which in any case you've begun to resent) have subliminally convinced you that the drive will be as kicky as humping a chorus girl. Ad men will undoubtedly challenge Wight's notions that underclaiming -- ""We try harder,"" ""When you get back to basics you get back to Ford"" -- sells better, but readers will find it all as welcome as a homecoming to Birds Eye country.

Pub Date: July 22nd, 1974
Publisher: Random House