Kant (paraphrased): It is unethical to treat people as a means to an end; you must view them as an end in and of themselves.
We experience “buyer’s remorse” when we realize we’ve been used as a means to an end.
We aspire to buy things when we feel the material object (“social object”?) we buy will externally amplify our internal values.
The external amplification of our values manifests in two things:
1. I’m wearing this Lady Antebellum t-shirt because I’m hoping that others who also like Lady Antebellum will see my t-shirt and we will be able to connect around this thing that we both value.
2. I’m wearing this Lady Antebellum t-shirt because I’m hoping that others who don’t know about this thing that I value (Lady Antebellum) will be curious enough to ask me about them, and give me the opportunity to do what I’m hard-wired to do: share information about this thing I value.
(NB: when we were a t-shirt, it’s physically uncomfortable (absent a mirror) for us to see what we’re wearing; we wear it so others might see it. This, of course, also explains why there are mirrors in guitar stores.)
So, the cognitive dissonance — which explains our hatred for marketers and advertisers — occurs when we have been persuaded/coerced by an advertiser/marketer to purchase something that does not align with our values, and therefore amplifies a falsity with respect to our values.
At that point, we are being used as a means to an end for the advertiser/marketer.
That’s why we hate marketers:
On the other hand, when we amplify things we value, and it provides us the opportunity to connect/share, the marketing disappears.
Tags: bill hicks