Thursday, January 21

Friday, September 15

What the public wants. By 1933 it had come to the public’s attention that mass culture was a thing. I mean, of course, the smart set had known this for decades, but now the masses knew it too.
This may have been because somebody pointed it out to them as a marketing scheme. Rather than simply putting up a billboard about hair creme, touting its excellent qualities, an advertiser now took pains to note how positively the public was responding to their product. As if the poor sap reading the billboard wasn’t just another poor sap, but who was themselves on the other side of the billboard, looking out across America, seeing the vast public who preferred this very hair creme. From the masses, one. You!
Why would the readers of Wireless Weekly in Australia care about “what the public wants”? But they did, or were led to care about it. The view of the advertising man was to become the view of the public- no, not the public as a whole (they were just the poor saps without a lick of sense, after all) but that singular member of the public- discriminating, knowledgeable… you!
The customer is always right. About everything. It turns us off to be told we’re stupid, so just don’t go there! What we really want isn’t an object or a service, it’s to feel smart, secure, special. It’s a feeling!
There are always exceptions. Suzie E. Lee writes to Crisis! magazine seeking “small pictures of notable Negroes” to hang on the wall of her West Virginia classroom. On the waterfront they want the latest news about work actions. Readers of Vogue? They just want beautiful things.
find exactly what the public wants here.

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