Legs, thighs, owner benefits

Posted on January 25, 2018
Filed Under Cadogan's Laws, Commentary, Economic & Political Philosophy | Leave a Comment

A friend sent me a collection of old newspaper and magazine ads from the past century. Some things change. One doesn’t.
Modern day ads don’t promote the health benefits of cigarettes, cocaine or alcohol and opium tonics. Women’s legs and thighs, however, are still a prominent feature of many ads and commercials. Even ads for women’s shoes often feature legs and thighs up to the point where they are no longer thighs but hips. Don’t misunderstand. I am not offended. The female form is the most delightful in the world to me.
It did remind me of the sales training I had as a junior space cadet (advertising space sales rep) at Southam in the early 1960s. Every rep took the Don Scott sales course in a never-ending series of weekly sessions. When the course finished, it started over. Even the most senior sales veterans took it over and over.
The foundation of the course was that customers really only want to know “What’s in it for me?”. The term for that was owner benefits. The qualities of the product or service the rep was selling were whatever features produced those owner benefits. They were known as good qualities. The students were challenged to come up with answers to the questions posed by the course instructor.
The consensus was always that the ultimate owner benefit was a happier sex life.
Even a restaurant tumbler had to have good qualities that would lead to that. A tumbler sturdy enough to survive being dropped would reduce costs, producing more profit, allowing the proprietor to pamper himself and his wife more generously leading to a happier sex life.
There were, for course, techniques involved in getting the prospect to see the owner benefits and good qualities. The first was to get his attention.
In my first class, when we were asked how we might do that, one of the oldest, most experienced and most successful veterans, offered up, “Jump through his window and p**s in his ink well?”. While that would undoubtedly be effective, the consensus was always that sex is a sure fire attention getter. It doesn’t actually sell as many people think but it does get attention.
It’s all driven by our chromosomes which are not our friends. They really don’t care about anything but reproducing themselves. We are just their carriers. They have always driven both men and women to do things that endanger their lives, their careers, their families and their assets. One thing chromosomes want is new genes. Male chromosomes drive men to spread their seed as far and wide as they can. Simple mathematics dictates that the more progeny there are out there, the more likely some will survive. Female chromosomes want a variety of genes too but, because women’s role in reproduction is a much bigger commitment, their chromosomes motivate them to keep a partner around to help raise the children. They are no less likely to seek variety but they are more careful to preserve the partnership whether that partner is the other parent or not.
What this all adds up to is that there are primarily two things going on in the world. One is sex. The other is foreplay. A corollary of that is there is only one game going on in the world and that is the power game. The acquisition of power is foreplay. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s Secretary of State said “The ultimate aphrodisiac is power”. Lord Acton intelligently pointed out that power corrupts. Those two points account for both the extra prevalence of sexual attraction in fields of power like politics, business and entertainment, and the abuse of power for sex.
I wondered for quite awhile why it was that women’s legs, thighs and breasts were almost as common in advertising directed at women as at men.
Recently I read a quote to the effect that when the only power a woman has is sex, she tends to learn to develop that power to the best of her ability. It’s a variation of Abram Maslov’s observation that “If the only tool you have is a hammer, after awhile everything starts to look like a nail”.
Traditionally women have been susceptible to advertising that suggests a product or service will make them more desirable and, therefore, more powerful.
All of this evolved over millennia when men had most of the tools of power which in turn motivated women to be attractive to it.
Now that women have their own political and financial independence and power and are seizing their own sexual independence and power, advertising is changing. We may start to see advertising aimed at women showing young hard bodied men draped over the hoods of cars (if we still use cars) and a woman CEO in a power suit sitting at the head of the board table while attentive men hang on her every word.
It seems likely that women will continue to have more power in the near future. Women have made up 80% of the graduating classes of journalism schools for some 50 years now. They represent the majority of university graduates. They have tended to develop social skills more relevant to the Information Age than have men.
I am already seeing some amusing issues powerful women are encountering. Maureen Dowd, the deadly New York Times columnist, wrote a doleful piece a few years back about how her successful women friends were having difficulty finding mates who could keep up with them as they moved up the power ladder. She wondered what they could do.
They’ll do the same thing powerful men did for centuries. Some of them will find equal or complementary mates and have successful relationships. Some will take lovers and whatever the male term for mistress might be. Some will divorce and perhaps engage in what a feminist friend once referred to as serial monogamy.
Some of their lower ranking male mates will find fulfilment as house husbands or in personally challenging and satisfying careers. Some will hook up with one of their personal trainers, yogis, or soccer mom acquaintances and live happily or resentfully ever after on their martial property settlements and alimony.
What was sauce for the goose will become sauce for the gander.
And the marketers will continue to find ways to convince us that the realization of all our fantasies depend on the purchase and regular use of their gluten free, organically raised, antibiotic free, steroid free, modified Mi’kmaq stem cell tanning injections.
On we go! DAC


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