The Democracy of Goods

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In the early eighties, Hyundai Motor Company created an advertising campaign that appeared in many popular magazines. The advertisement was directed towards the working class who couldn’t afford many extravagant items. The punch line of the ad says that the car looks like a million dollars, therefore suggesting that people have the opportunity to buy a car that is worth more than they will have to pay. This gives them the opportunity to own a “superior” product that they would never have had the chance to buy. The article, “The Parable of the Democracy of Goods”, by Roland Marchand states that by convincing middle class consumers of the desirability of the “best” products and then offering those products at an affordable price, the middle class can have those same luxuries. This Hyundai advertisement epitomizes the formula described in the article, “The Parable of the Democracy of Goods” by insinuating that its desirable to have a car that looks valuable, without having to pay the price tag. The big bold print on the top of this Hyundai advertisement reads, “Our new 3-door. It looks like a million but costs $995,005 less”. This is an excellent headline for an ad because it gets your attention, and gets the point across at the same time. Hyundai is stating that the buyer will get excellent value out of their purchase. They will get a car that, in their opinion, looks like a million dollar car. Another benefit to writing $995,005 out in number form is that consumers will look at it and think that the car is really a good value, a discount of $995,005. Which in perspective to a million dollars, is really inexpensive. This is commonly studied in psychology. For example, if an average person goes to buy a soda and it costs three dollars, they would be outraged. When an average person goes to buy a car and it costs $29,900, as opposed to the $30,000 retail. They don’t

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