Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Consumer Durable Commercials and Breakdown of Families

Sample this,

1984 – A commercial for a television set shows a family comprising grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and kids sitting in the family drawing room watching TV together.

1989 – The family watching television in the drawing room becomes smaller, featuring only the grandparents, parents and around 3 kids.

1994 – A commercial for the same product shows a nuclear family comprising parents and children watching television together. The children are of varied ages , 18 - 6 years old.

1999 – The family grows smaller. The advertisement for the same television shows a young couple with their two small kids watching television together in the drawing room.

2004 – The television commercial shows a newly married couple with no children watching television together.

2009 – Well, this is the ultimate in family breakdown. You must have seen the advertisements on TV. Today, we see a single guy, staying away from his parents, watching television alone in a small flat.

The effectiveness of good advertising lies in its capability to maintain or encourage new sales. Consumer durables usually have a life span of between 5 – 10 years depending on how much it is used and the maintenance and repair facilities available. Some consumer durable goods are household appliances, electronic equipment, home furnishings, recreational goods, toys and cars.

Because of the long life span of consumer durables, the companies that manufacture consumer durables can only hope for new sales, if,
  • They develop a new improved technology and advertise it.
  • The standard of living of the people increases enabling them to purchase goods like computers, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions and so on.
  • The availability of loans increases making purchase of consumer durables easier.
As part of a long term brand building process, many consumer durable companies try to increase the demand for their products by bringing out commercials that show a new type of smaller family/society to encourage purchases.

Say, for example, there is a country with 1,00,000 people and no competition in the television sector. In 1984, if a family of 14 owned a TV set each, the company had the capacity to sell only around 7,143 televisions. However, in 2009, if each person lives separately, the company has the potential to sell a maximum of 1,00,000 televisions.

This process, though very gradual, works in the minds of individuals who watch television commercials and programmes every day. Things are worse in foreign countries, where single mothers, divorced couples, late marriages and living away from home are promoted both in advertisements and television programmes sponsored by these commercials.

As people are fed this information daily on every television channel, over a period of time they begin to believe that the concept of the family and society is changing. Not wanting to be left behind in the scheme of things, they indulge in the very behavior being promoted by the advertisements of consumer durable companies. People leave their parents to start nuclear families of their own. Divorces and single motherhood lead to fragmented families. Finally, people start living alone. The breakup of the family is complete.

Is single living and the breakdown of the family being promoted by manufacturers of television sets, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and other consumer durables in your country? What do you have to say about this issue?


  1. May be that's is the reason why they show a single guy in the end. 1+ billion sale of their TVs, one TV for each person. Clever of them.

    To me, India represents family values. if we lose that, there is no difference betn US and India. Look at the old people here living alone or in old peoples homes, visited by their kids just on Christmas (if they are lucky!). Same thing happening to older generation Indian immigrants here. Kids(Americans with Indian heritage is what they call themselves!) don't care, their parents and grandparents are all alone and end up dying in old age homes or alone in their little apartments. Scary!!

    Hope that doesn't happen to India.

    1. Going to happen in India also as Amnesty is funding the women rights organizations for lobbying and passing unrealistic laws to be misused by unscrupulous women instead of helping the needy.
      the worst 498A, divorce laws where men cannot stop divorce, and the new law of 2012 for unconditional 50% share of property after divorce where the court has nothing to do with the nature of the case if the girl is guilty or rich.

  2. india is more family values than us.But this truth is not enough at this 2010 year.Indian young generation also copying us lifestyle.Then don't bother of their parents and garndparents till date.

    LMC belting


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