A little economics for dummies.
When I see a televised commercial or a full-page advertisement for a product, I think to myself
“They have a big budget for marketing.”
A marketing budget should of course be a percentage of expected profit (we assume total agent rationality on the part of the producer, not the consumer).
So they are expecting a lot of profit.
Which means the market pressure or competition is low.
Of course, commercials are for brands or what I call “monopolies on the mind”: Effective advertising shuts of competition, which operates on comparable characteristics of a product, completely. Pepsi can be anything it wants – it can never be Coke.
A brand, to me, is a name for an illusion we buy because we’re too poor to create one ourselves, and materializes in the plethora of advertising, the sky-high profits, and relentless cancerous global growth.
If there is a functioning market for a product that makes sense (where no monopoly on the mind, or brand, is involved), where there is healthy competition, accountability, and a fully informed public, it would drive the price down and the quality up.
Indeed, if you give the “rational agent” some human attributes, rather than forcing them, by means of the Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein) and similar methods, to become a slave of the unstoppable profit-machine – you might end up with something remotely useful.
I diverge. All I wanted to say is that when I see a commercial, I automatically think something like the above and have decided not to buy the product before I figure out what it “is” (what material basis underpins the illusion it sells).