YOU ARE THE PRODUCT
Fear of Missing Out? Just have to have it? Just have to be there? That’s MY style?
Honey, you’ve been played!!! Yes, you. Yes, seriously!
Come closer, let’s talk.
Most of the stuff you buy, you actually don’t need. A need is a requirement, a necessity… a something you cannot do without. Like oxygen. Not another pair of shoes. Or a ticket to an exclusive event. Or the latest whatever. Need is food. Not pizza. Something to sustain you and give you the nutrition, immunity and strength required for whatever task is at hand. Including preventing or recovering from an illness. Need is water. Not the most expensive bottle of wine. Something to hydrate your body, to ensure proper and effective cell function and cleansing of your system. Food and water you can even do without for a period of time. It’s called fasting. It helps you master self. Fasting has even been deemed healthy. Hmm, I guess God knew what He was doing all along. But, I digress.
The majority of people on earth spend their money on items that they do not actually need because they have been manipulated into doing so by businesses that want their money. I am deadly serious. You don’t need margarine, but you were convinced to buy it by someone who wanted to make some money off you – not so that they could pay their staff, but so that they could buy stuff they don’t need. How did they manage to convince you that you cannot do without hydrogenated vegetable oil that may not be nutritionally beneficial for you? This wonderful tool called branding. Actually, it’s more like they manipulated your emotions to get you to do what they wanted.
How? They appealed to something that is inside of you that either wants to fit in and be accepted or wants to protect or help your family or save money … or your favorite song or color. Yes it’s that easy. Just check what’s on your shelves in the house and tell me I’m lying. You bought that stuff on a whim or because you saw an advertisement or somebody you look up to is using it. The last time you grabbed a slice of bread (that you also don’t need) and ate it with peanut butter or plain, but without margarine, did you die? No. How do I know? You’re reading this sentence. So, no, it’s not a need.
You want to go for an event so that you can be seen by people who don’t care about you because the guy who branded the event gave it an intrinsic value that made you believe that it would be important to your social standing to be there. Yes, I am even talking about a networking event where all the ‘who’s who’ were present. Did you ever wonder what made them part of the ‘who’s who’ or a ‘trendsetter’ or why you believe that’s even a thing?
What is branding? It is the process of creating perceived value to make the target (did you know that a target is a military term? But I digress again.) … to make the target form an association in their mind, that causes them to be loyal to the item that is being branded. Kind of like training a dog. Dogs believe you offer something of value and they offer you their loyalty. It seems mean, but just pause and think about it before you react. (Oh and I’m not the first to use a dog as a teaching reference, Someone much greater than me led the way in that.)
How do they get you to form an association in your mind that is so powerful that it accesses your subconscious and influences your choices at the level where you believe firmly that it was because of your personal preference that you made a choice in a purchase? Common tools and strategies used to do this are:
1. Color: Color is a powerful associative tool. You have been trained from childhood to think of certain colors as being predominantly male or female in nature. You have also been taught that certain colors are related to passion, others to comfort. Others have a positive or a negative inference. Now, without a word, all I have to do is flash a color on a screen or use it in association with my product to get your mind to link my brand with whatever you have in your subconscious concerning that color. Easy.
2. Sound: A deep male voice, again due to social conditioning is associated with masculinity and sexuality and is used to lure unsuspecting females and males to purchase certain products or services. The females want a man that’s strong and masculine and the men want to be that man that draws the females. The same is true of a ‘sensual’ female voice; just switch the roles/desires around. When it comes to sounds, certain sounds are associated with fear, affluence, elegance and power. It doesn’t take long for the mind to make the connections and if brands use these in tandem with images, voila, you are hooked subconsciously to believe their brand offers these values or protection from the negatives.
3. Music: Your favorite or a popular song used in association with an advertising campaign is used to make you more amenable towards certain products and services. You ‘just feel a connection’ with the brand, ‘like they just get you’!
4. Price: Probably the sneakiest of them all. Price can lead you believe that what you want is better than the competing brand because it’s more expensive. That’s why some businesses will never lower the prices of their products, even when others in the same category are doing it. They want to manipulate you into believing that theirs is more special somehow. Funny, you would think that it was the discounts that did it, right?
These tools apply to Consultants, petroleum companies, banks, governments (selling visas), clothing and alcohol brands, events, musicians, video games, fast food outlets – you name it. All of them are the same. They appeal to your emotions and your ego and that’s how they get you to give them your money for something you don’t need.
Truth be told, if you could grow it in your garden, knit or stitch it, paint or repair it yourself, you would probably save a lot more and you’d have the guarantee that the work was safe and high quality. Now you’re contending with aflatoxins, painted meat, planned obsolescence (that’s where the manufacturer has programmed a fail date into the product they sold you so that you can make another purchase in two years), overpriced vegetables (but they’re organic!), poisoned products and conmen. But they have a fancy name and color you love and the guy/lady in the advert is just so gorgeous. Some years back I saw a study in which it was revealed in a blind taste test people ranked wine that wasn’t a well known brand higher in quality than the well-known branded product. You must have heard about this one. But it makes you feel good or think you’re better than others and that’s why you pay for it and that’s how you help sustain a system that’s basically one huge con game that is not good for your health or economy. Pride and emotions. Pride elevates you above others in your mind and emotions move you to take action. It could even be for a good cause, helping the orphan babies go to school. That’s how the donor industry (yes, industry) grew in Afrika, by moving people’s emotions to give money for decades to a problem that never seemed to end: “Oh those hopeless Afrikans who can’t help themselves.” That was you and your family and friends they were referring to in their adverts.
Which brings me to the point you may not be aware of; the truth about what the actual product or service is. In all of this, the actual product and service that is being developed and sold and re-sold is not even the brightly or darkly colored toxic soft drink containing petroleum extracts. Nooooo. The product is actually YOU. Newspapers don’t use sensational headlines to convince you to purchase their papers so that they can supply you with information that edifies for US$ 6 or because it’s profitable for them. They carefully ‘curate’ content to draw you to purchase their papers because they can then convince the advertisers to place their adverts with them. Same with TV and Radio stations. That’s where they get their money; by selling you. Have you not noticed an increasing number of advertisements in restaurants and bars and stadia? These facilities are set up to appeal to you so that they can sell you. They get adverts, get better deals on their supplies and make more money off you. Schools convince you that theirs is the best and that’s why you have to part with US$2,000 to US$20,000 or more so that your child can have an edge, otherwise they are ‘likely to fail in this life’. They just bought you using your fear, ego and social aspirations as payment. Banks and insurance companies want to ‘support’ you through it all. Isn’t it lovely?
You have been carefully trained using movies, books, adverts that look like movies, news articles and documentaries to think and believe a certain way. In The Matrix there is a fundamental and horrific truth they break down. You are the battery that runs the system. Without your attention, media houses will close. Without your coin, supermarkets and high end retailers will be out of business. Without your support, governments and politicians will shut down or change. Question: How do I ensure that I get sustained business not only throughout your lifetime but your children’s and their children’s and so on? I condition you and I work with others to set up an infrastructure network that conditions you to believe that you need all the things that are being pushed at you. I get you to believe that they are good. Go to school, work hard, get a job, TAKE A LOAN, buy a car, get married, GET A MORTGAGE, buy a house, TAKE A SACCO LOAN, fill that house, have children, buy them toys they will get bored of quickly so that you have to buy more, INSURE EVERYTHING/ONE, take them to schools that are better than the one you attended, TAKE A LOAN, go on holiday. You are the product. Bad news is, all products do expire and so shall you.
Getting out of this system is a necessity. It is not easy because of all the conditioning you have received, but it is necessary and it is possible. Believe me, in the coming days as the global system takes over the running of things you will need strength and willpower to stay out, because they will use all that conditioning against you. But there is a way out and an invitation to do so as an urgent priority, with the promise of safe harbor. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” Because this thing that you’re in is temporary and it is heading for a big and mighty crash. While you have time, it would be wise to find out what the options are and prepare a way not just for you but for your children as well to escape it. It is possible to.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.