By: Joan E. Battey

American generations have all had their special linking-to-each-other customs and interests, in addition to their familial traditions and national shared beliefs and traditions.. Up until now, that is! United we stood; Divided we are falling. Accidentally or deliberately, the results are the same. Until we understand how we got here, we can't hope to become "one nation" again,. In past years, we were mostly all on the same page on any big issues. For the most part, we disagreed only on smaller issues, but were a unified front against large issues which would affect more people..

Maybe we should start the "understanding quest" by working backward to see how we got off-track. (Kind of like carefully unraveling snarls to make sure we don't make them worse.) All shifts in focus and culture were marketed steadily, almost slyly, in many ways -- often with music as one of the main crossover interchanges. The result, intended or not, was steadily achieved. Way back, lyrics of one old upbeat song illustrated the fun route to what was to be a fun and happy lifestyle: "...we don't know where we're going, and we don't know where we've been, but, hubba, hubba, hubba... jump right in."

Wind-up victrolas had shifted steadily to RADIOS! Families focused together on radio programs first, then were steadily shifting to smaller sound devices that were portable. Then, swiftly came TV with all its ability to rivet focus by gathering families together in rapt attention to the few programs on less than a handful of channels.

Along the way, music subdivided into youth "ownership" vs. old stuff on devices that didn't cater to the emerging youth audience. Youth wanted to listen or watch alone, or with others their age. New outlets catered to expanding and differing age-markets. Same with entertainment, as with music. Each expansion to a new target audience brought a market for new and different product sponsors to suit the differing audiences. Audiences came for the programs; but were captive audiences for sponsors and their products. Making profits while expanding, soon became the way of life in marketplaces of all kinds. It was no longer possible to just list business names, a few products with current prices, and a single place for customers to buy what they needed. "Needed" was the sticking point for great expansion of sales of increased varieties of products, for increased kinds of "markets." "Needed" had to be changed to "wanted."

Advertising and marketing cleverly jumped the gulf between "needed" and "wanted." It took off and never looked back. it's now almost THE dominant industry in the U.S.

What reaches "markets"? Pushing the message out to more people, while not losing current customers! The "message" is carried by "Advertising." Those selling products need ways to reach as many kinds of customers as possible, while not losing current Customers. Advertising must cleverly and constantly change its thrust in approach, to appeal to "diverse" audiences, in diverse ways. We now have so many diverse ways and so many diverse audiences, that we also need those diverse ways of convincing each audience to accept portions of what they weren't interested in to begin with. Need has to be changed to Want, regardless of price.

One of the most effective "advertising" techniques is to gradually insert desired change into eyes and ears that wouldn't accept it all at once. It works with products, but even more so, also with ideas. It works by changing disinterested resistance, to thinking that a specific product or change will move them up into the ranks of discerning and forward-moving groups. Change wears many faces, and the need for "change" involves many products, as well as ideas.

It works with products and it works by changing thinking and belief systems. It aims to have many things of all kinds accepted by those who can be made to think that THEY are among those discerning enough to change from old to new. However, each segment of potential markets is "marketed to" differently, using different references and different styles. The aim is market dominance over all other products, belief systems and governance procedures. The last item , while still aiming toward market dominance over all other products, belief systems and governance is itself a contrived approach to convincing people that it is better than dominance/dominating by old governing systems..

Changing thinking came with changing ways in which people were taught. Reinforcing changes came in how the changes were marketed to people. Markets were originally the open places where things were displayed for sale. Markets gradually changed from physical places where things were displayed and sold. Even the early changes in marketplace venues are primitive by comparison to today's multiple and fast-changing ways of marketing/advertising both visible and invisible products. Added to it has been the marketing to visible and more often invisible audiences..

Those who produced the first sales pitches, in primitive ways compared to today's myriad of electronics and staging, had to self-finance the costs, primitive as they were. They did so by selling time for a manufacturer to convince viewers or listeners that they needed a product shown or described to people watching or hearing the entertainment .

That long ago changed. Vastly increased audiences led to vastly different tastes, wants and needs. Thus came the illusive marriage of need and want, to ADVERTISING and MARKETING.

It is now well on-track to be the dominant, if not the last industry in the U.S.

(To be continued.)

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Joan E. Battey is a freelance political writer from Apalachin, NY. Her love of logical dot connecting and writing developed over many years of  typesetting and proof reading in small daily newspapers; ad agency and manufacturing office secretarial work, and volunteer work in libraries, animal welfare, political campaigns, and networks of people keeping abreast of the steady "reforms" in education. She is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Joan E. Battey can be reached at:

Published in the August 23, 2012 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2012 Ether Zone.

We invite your comments on this article in our forum!