This is a blog for the community of Rhetoric 20, the Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Who Holds the Keys?" in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley, Summer, 2014.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Get 'em while they're young
This very brief commercial says so much with so little. Famous Footwear isn't just selling shoes, they are selling "confidence." To ten-year-olds. I don't even know where to begin. First I thought of Althusser, and the media as a cultural ISA. What kind of ideology is this promoting? Perhaps something like what Debord discusses? What's important is how we appear? But what's really troublesome about this short ad is that it's directly telling kids that the way to be happy and like yourself at school is to make sure the cool kids like you, by having cool clothes. Especially if you're black, because the cool kids are white, and you definitely need their approval. If you win them over, by buying stuff, "victory is yours!" Consumerism, spectacle, racism, and child indoctrination, all in one fun little package.