Even culture becomes commodified - these pieces of jewelry showcased at MagPie are, as the sign says, hand crafted in Mexico. For the consumer who is attempting to find a sense of identity by purchasing something new, this advertisement does the trick. Not only are they lovely pieces of jewelry, but they are hand crafted from Mexico - how unique! Furthermore, the advertisement tunes into fears of the consumer: These pieces are in Ottawa for the FIRST time at the MagPie exclusive showcase. The message behind this is if you purchase these items, no one else will have them and you will have achieved a status that not everyone can claim. Anyone can go to Peoples or Mappins in any mall, but shop at MagPie and you will be a top trendsetter. 

What must be asked, however, is this consumer ethic worth the consequences? These items are purchased with "you deserve it!" mentality in mind, but does the Mexican craftsman not deserve some acknowledgement or proper payment? Is this not cultural appropriation? These thoughts do not matter in an era where the consumer constantly feels as though they are not good enough unless they buy something to sustain that feeling of worth that is lacked.

Another example comes from Birks. The "She Will Say Yes!" advertisement caught our eye - this woman has no other option than to say yes to that beautiful, sparkling diamond. In particular, most likely a blood diamond. These trivial facts do not matter, though. You both deserve happiness and that comes with marriage. In a world confused with a multitude of beliefs and values, perhaps the most traditional value of all (marriage) will bring security to the otherwise confused couple, all thanks to the blood and sweat of slaves and migrant workers over seas. 

But aw, shucks, you deserve it!



Leave a Reply