Thursday, May 22, 2014

"The Order of Never Hide"

         Ray Ban, a sunglass and eyeglass company, just recently launched a new contest titled "The Order of Never Hide", which they described as a "non secret secret society" on their website. This new way of advertising was particularly interesting when you compare it to the presence of secret societies that can be found in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

         The Order of Never Hide is a giveaway contest in which a participant must complete five tasks in order to enter the competition. One must "climb the Hierarchy Ladder" through these five requirements, as described by the Terms and Conditions of the contest. "The Hierarchy Ladder" directly relates to social class, and for the same analogy of the rungs of the ladder to the upper class is used.
       I looked further to see if there were any indicators of exclusivity in this society, just as societies of different classes often are exclusive. All of the five requirements for the contest require creating or watching videos, which calls for access to a computer with a webcam. The need for a computer already eliminates people without access to a computer from this contest. 
        I think the fact that this company thought that this approach to advertisement was revealing about American culture and class. I believe that this is seen as effective because people desire, conscious or subconsciously, to be part of a secret society. Membership to something exclusive results in a somewhat elevated status. People naturally look for approval in others, and having something that others don't have can create a feeling of superiority. Because of these social behaviors, advertising a product through a promise of membership into a secret society can be very effective. 

1 comment:

  1. Intriguing blog post, Isabelle! I agree that this is an effective method of advertising. Ray Ban sells pretty expensive sunglasses (they're just a piece of plastic! I mean COME ON!) so this already puts those who purchase Ray Bans higher up on the social scale. If Walgreens were advertising the same way it would not be nearly as effective.