November 28, 2011

Luxury Branding The Future Leaders Of The World

patek philippe mens.jpg
do you see?

Want to go buy a $10000 watch?  "In 2009-14? Hell yeah, let me get my coat."

Watches have the same problem diamond jewelry has; it better be beautiful enough to keep forever, because if you try and sell it you'll discover there is no secondary market for it.  No one wants the necklace your ex had waiting for you when you got back from Cozumel.  "I've been doing a lot of thinking," he says, "about how easy it would be for you to get all the penis you want.  Let's get married and make sure neither of us are ever happy.  No, no, moving closer to your parents doesn't sound like a bad idea."  Turning it into an heirloom keeps it out of the market and the supply stays regulated by the manufacturers, which I think is collusion but I'm no lawyer.

These ads can be seen in whatever rich people use to relax on Sunday afternoons, e.g. The Economist.


patek philippe dad office.jpg

This is a brilliant campaign, for technical and artistic reasons.  What is the brand that it conveys?  Heirloom quality

The ads use black and white photos: we've been around for a long time.  Even the advertising campaign self-referentially broadcasts this-- it has been the same since 1996, i.e. longer than a 40 year old has been in the market for an expensive watch to notice it wasn't always thus, reinforcing the longevity of the brand.

I know you probably figure this ad isn't for you because you're not a railroad baron or a Rothschild, but ask yourself a question: have you seen this ad?  Then it's for you.  Time to learn why they know you better than you know yourself.


I.


The demo for this ad isn't the Rothschilds or the 1%: they don't buy based on ads.   And they don't need to be told what constitutes quality or authenticity, they can tell, that's what boarding school was for.  Everyone else is going to need to be hit over the head with the semiotics of quality-- 


patek philippe seal.jpg

i.e. see  an ad campaign about those signifiers.   Oh, I get it now, this is a fancy watch.

The target demo is not the 1%; the target demo is the Aspirational 14%.   They know they are supposed to like quality and goodness and etiquette and discretion, but no one ever taught them what those things look like, so when someone does point it out to them they will go all in.  Hence: anything in Trading Up.  And they don't care about the next generation.  Not really. They don't want them to be eaten by zombies but anything past 2069 is of no consequence.   What they do care about is how a product brands them, what it says about them now, now that time is running out.  Can't afford to be subtle, which is the same thing as saying I'm willing to pay $10000 to get the message across.  There's a difference between what the brand is and what the brand says about you.  You'll pay 10x for the former and 100x for the latter. 

Most products have quick, easy, memorable taglines, because most people are idiots.  However, Patek Philippe's tag line is complicated and unmemorizable:

You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation.

Which is the kind of tagline a person who wants to be a wealthy, complicated, precise man who doesn't fall for tag lines would fall for.  The man in the photo is not a representation of the target demo; he is the impossible aspiration of the target demo.   That explains how the kid can be in a sweater vest and not trying to murder his family.

The ad is pairing the legacy of the watch with the other imaginary legacy: the heritable family fortune.  I don't know what the Dad in that picture does for a living, but you can be sure it involves a lot of money and the son will inherit it, along with a boat (below) and the means of production (not pictured).


patek philippe boat.jpg

Also not pictured is $15T in debt and war with Iran, which he will also inherit, though he'll only be responsible for the former while the bottom 29% will only be responsible for the latter.  Sorry folks, that's how it works, take it up with the Illuminati.  Dad is teaching the son the things a man should know, like how to tie bowlines, which Aspirational 14% didn't actually teach their own kids, which, and I hope you are appreciating the pattern, is precisely why this ad works.  It's not representational, it's aspirational, i.e. can be done from the couch.  "If I had a yacht, I would definitely teach my kid yachting.  Time for a nap."

Some Patek Philippe owners do indeed know how to tie bowlines but the majority of potential customers are close-but-no-cuban to these aspirations, they wish they had enough to start a family legacy and get their name on the backs of orchestra programs because that would mean that they go to orchestras, that they are sophisticated, they have made it.  Not Hollywood and dotcom made it, which was what they dreamed about twenty years ago, but the kind of made it where last names matter and "summer" is a verb.   

You can't buy into class but people will try anyway, so the watch gets the nouveaux and nouveauxing rich as close to this lifestyle as they will ever get. Not only is it a visible symbol of their success but it broadcasts (as per the ad) that they are the kind of person that reflectively considers the next generation, what they will pass on to them, their legacy.  (1)



drive ryan gosling watch.JPG
"But don't they already have money to pass on?"  It's not the money, but everything else but the money.  Ryan Gosling's character in Drive inherited nothing from his dad except a Patek Philippe watch, but because it is a Patek Philippe we are to understand that it symbolizes the real gifts his Dad left him, like masculinity and courage and driving skills.  The watch symbolizes the intangible legacy gifts that came along with it, but in real life there are no intangibles to pass on, so it is being used instead of those intangibles.  It replaces the intangibles.

If this is confusing, remember that the watch is for the father.  The point isn't to give it to the kid, the point is to convey the impression that he is going to give it to the kid. To convey the impression that he has other things to leave to the kid as well, just like those other high class  Americans who pass on connections or defense attorneys or the Greek Prime Ministry. That's the kind of man he is.

It may also help to understand that Patek Philippe is not here competing against Rolex or Breguet; it is competing against vacations and cars and kitchen renovations.  That's where $10k might have gone, so Patek must brand itself as an important generational necessity, a marker of European-style class, not a frivolous transient American-style expense.

This is the motivating force of Aspirational 14%: they have some money, wish they had a lot more, and want an ethical rationalization for their envy: it's for the kids.  Keep telling yourself that.  Dynasty is the wish-fulfillment of immortality through your bloodline.  But it's better than nothing.

 

II.


Then the Great Crash happened.  How did the ad campaign change to reflect the new economic realities?

The answer is in the above ads: there's father and son.  What's missing?  Mom.  Doesn't she want a watch?  Starting in 2009 she does, so tint the B&W to sepia and let's see what else modern women want.


Filippa-Hamilton-Patek-Philippe-Reference-4936.jpg


Nothing symbolizes the essence of a woman better than looking at herself in the mirror.  "Something truly precious holds its beauty forever."  A tag line even a Wellesley graduate can remember.



patek-ladies.jpg



Older woman's left hand conspicuously assures us she's married.  The younger woman's  conspicuously hidden in the mother's hand.   Mom maintains control of the daughter's sex. 


patek philippe drawing.jpg



In these ads the legacy is quite different:  not wealth, or the business, or dynasty, but the hopefully enduring commodities approved for use by women: beauty, art, joy.   It's mom and daughter and love, packaged in refined ostentationism, which is defined as subtle quality  visible from 1000 yards.  Not pictured is Dad, because he's at work or one of those parties in Eyes Wide Shut.

Financial Times reporter incorrectly interpreted this as an expansion of the campaign to target women.  This is where my training in neurology is helpful: precisely where in the brain did the stroke have to occur to cause that kind of deficit in logic?   Expansion?  In 2009?  That makes no sense: expensive jewelery, like a car, is almost always purchased by or with the husband.   The wives of the Aspirational 14%, even if they have good jobs, do not roll into a jewelry store by themselves and buy $10000 watches, unless they are the 0.5% or it is a present for their man.   Hence, this is an ad for men, not women, which is also why this ladies' ad is prominently featured on the back cover of The Economist, the journal of record of Aspirational 14%, a magazine with 90% male readers.  Through the triangular magic of Freudian advertising you, the viewer, become the Dad, with the aspirational images laid out for you: a beautiful and proper wife with culture and delicacy, taking care of your perfect daughter, while you're in the shower scrubbing the scent of concubinage off you.  So my silly joke was wrong: she's not a Wellesley grad, she's a Wellesley trophy wife. The Wellesley lets you both pretend you married her because she was smart. 


III.


Something else about these ads:  men and women never appear together.

Here we see the explicit pairing of same-sex members, never a family. They both get a watch but what the son inherits (everything) never overlaps with what the daughter inherits (a husband).  "But that's how the watch will be passed on."  Haven't you been listening?   These are brand ads, not product ads, they sell the aspiration, and, if I am reading this right, that aspiration is to become European.  Not Eurozone European, of course, but Hapsburgs and Romanovs European.

Do these ads appear sexist to you? (2)  Shouldn't some "intellectually curious" (the explicit demo of The Economist) woman somewhere notice the contrasting aspirational message between the men's ads and the "ladies''"-- and that word itself is a kind of branding-- ads?  But 40 years after women's lib, this isn't such a terrible fantasy to women, either.  They might not want to give up their job as a CT surgeon, but they may happily abandon their job as  employee of MegaCorp if they could afford to.  That's the fantasy, and this high class ad in a high class mag is saying high class women not-so-secretly want this. 

Why reveal this desire now, in 20XX?  Hmm, isn't it weird how just as soon as women entered the workforce it became completely impossible for a family to achieve the American dream without the woman in the workforce?   Turns out that part of the drive to get women into the workforce was driven by... the workforce owners.  Get it?  Whenever you don't understand geopolitics just ask yourself where the lowest labor costs are, and wait for the headlines to read "human rights issues."

Of course women should be paid the same and should do whatever they want, but the point here is that that is a coincident benefit, the other purpose of it is to have a larger pool of labor willing to do jobs too good for Mexican illegals and not good enough for American men, i.e work in retail.   Is it really liberating for women to work at Bebe but not be able to afford to shop at Bebe?  Or is it just stupid, except for Bebe, which derives the full value of their employees' sex for $12/hr?

Here's an example: there's a dwindling but vocal segment of the female population that thinks that young women in the office should not have bare legs, that it is too sexualized.  Bare legs are okay if you're a gold-digging whore, but "inappropriate" if you want to be taken seriously as a professional woman.  Simultaneously, however, they believe professional office attire should be heels and a tight skirt.  "It's called a business suit."    It never occurs to them that the requirement of hose/stockings in the office was started way back when it was stockings, not bare legs, that was sexualized.  You can go as far back as a Bob Hope movie where a sailor gets his best gal a pair of nylons (swell!)  all the way to the 1986 scenes of Kim Basinger masturbating to a Kodachrome art show or stripping to the worst song ever in 9 1/2 Weeks, the intense eroticism depicted not by her naked body but by close up shots of her stocking covered thighs. 



Nineweeksposter.jpg


Once upon a time stockings were so fetishized they put them right into movie posters, nowadays the only place you're going to see them is MILF porn or all of Britain.  And so the prohibition against bare legs has to be rethought-- is the worry that some 20 year old guy is going to get internet hard if he sees his coworker cross her bare legs?  Who cares what 20 year olds think?   The non-Lacanian, non-postmodern, super-duh conclusion is that the (male) office wanted their women all dolled up--  the trick, however, was that it convinced women to self-enforce this trend, to believe that the stockings helped de-sexualize the professional women, gave the power back to the women.   No one man could pull off that kind of mass hypnosis, it has to be programmed into the Matrix.  The system at one time wanted the office woman to be a simulacrum of a woman, all silhouettes and shades and posture, the stockings looking more like an idealized pair of gams than real gams ever could.  Burning the bras wasn't nearly as liberating as getting rid of the pantyhose.

This is why the return of pantyhose is so revealing; hose represents a return to that sublimated female sexuality; to the more dangerous implicit, not explicit, masculine control of the sex.  It isn't just like the 1960s, it is a retreat to the 1960s.

"Mr. Davis can't trust himself around you if you're naked," says the Human Resources department for a 50 year old mustachioed small business owner,  "so if you don't mind we'd like you to cover up with this sexy lingerie.  Thanks, you're a doll, now he can get some work done.  He's going to need you to work late tonight.  No, he'll drive you home after."


IV. 


Back to Patek Philippe.  That The Economist would want Patek Philippe to buy advertising space makes sense, it's good money, it decorates the pages of The Economist,  and attracts an important demo that will pay the $130 subscription fee (the higher price is the magazine equivalent of the Patek Philippe Seal).  This demo has made The Economist one of the only magazines to see a consistent growth in print subscriptions.  And it's part owned by the Rothschilds. How do you like that? 

But what is interesting is that Patek Philippe thinks the readers of The Economist are a good fit for this campaign.  Are they insane?  Perhaps not.  On the one hand The Economist is an intelligent magazine that does promote free market, free thinking, "liberal" values in a mostly non-partisan way; but if you imagine a magazine's ads as the unconscious fantasies, the dreams, of the readers, then the wish fulfillment they depict is not riches or bitches but a return to the old feudal order. 

What you are seeing is the slow acceptance among an important demo, Aspirational 14%, of rigid class divides. They may have some lingering disapproval about income inequality, hedge funds and genetic engineering, but it is tired of fighting a losing battle and you know what? all men aren't created equal, science keeps saying so and we pay our athletes accordingly, why not everybody else?  Aspirational 14% doesn't want a monarchy, but they sure as hell don't want democracy, not the American kind, not anymore. I know, I know, you're rolling your eyes, you don't care what the readers of The Economist think or want, but the trouble is that as compared to the readers of Wired, Time, or The Atlantic, The Economist readers are more likely the ones who are shaping the new world order.  That's why the classified ads in The Economist are for CEOs and the ones in The New Yorker are for mental institutions.
 
It is a sleight of hand on the American dream, and it's been a decade in the making, the Great Crash only accelerating it.  On The Apprentice the big prize is a Rolex and a job with Donald Trump, but the person evaluating you for that position are two generations of Trumps, take that American meritocracy!  There's no illusion you can become a Trump, the best you can do is become a wealthy employee of Trump.  And you'll take it.   But if The Apprentice is indeed a metaphor for this European feudalism, then you should observe that the show's original judges were Donald Trump and his business partners (=American capitalism); Trump's kids were a later addition.  The evolution of the show was towards dynasty, not away from it, just as the Patek Philippe ads have moved, after 172 years in the branding business, towards this:



patek filippa.JPG


--towards this, during a time of social and economic upheaval, flattened earths, "student" revolutions in many Middle East countries and all out wars in many others; towards this, during the time the most important person in Europe is a woman; towards this in the pages of higher brow magazines for the "intellectually curious."

Anyone who thinks the profound changes happening in the world now are going to result in greater democracy or equality is not reading The Economist as carefully as he should.



----


1. This is also why I think college tuition is likely to remain high for another generation.  While government loans are primarily to blame for the complete disconnect between the value of college and the cost of college, parents represent a significant part of the demand. Lacking any other inheritance to give them, it promises to get them as far as college with college prep classes, violin lessons, (unpaid) internships, etc.


2.

If you want to know what an aspirational image for a "ladies'" luxury watch targeted to actual ladies looks like, i.e. what women who will buy this watch want to think of themselves, you have to roll back the chronometer to 2003, back when the biggest crises facing the world were stem cells and Muslims: 


patek philippe 2003.JPG


Forget the watch, why do I suddenly want to buy shoes? (Because nothing says "I can be someone new" like new shoes.) The campaign was started in 1999 to target 28-35 year olds, but how many of those women could actually afford a Patek Philippe?  Zero, hence the genius of the ad: build brand awareness. "We'll see you at the store when you're 40 and rich," the ad proposes, though it tacitly admits that a woman can't think more than 24 hours into the future unless it's to imagine becoming a trophy.  Wife.  NB: these women would be 40 now and on their second husband/watch.

Speaking of marriages, note that the single tweak necessary to distinguish the American vs. European ad campaign is to hide the wedding ring, Inception style, so you aren't sure.



patek philippe 2003 ladies series.jpg
In an American ad, if a woman is possibly going to have sex, she better not be single.  In Europe, she better be.


---

See also:  If the rich youth can't get jobs, it means socialism has failed.

-----

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych







Comments

And all this time I thought... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 6:55 PM | Posted by Machiavelli: | Reply

And all this time I thought people just bought this kind of shit to signal wealth and hence get laid. Hell, if I buy a Mercedes when my income dramatically increases in a year or two (if all goes to plan), it'll be for exactly that reason.

Also, see Paul Fussell. And Thorsten Veblen.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -26 (44 votes cast)
Oh man, your articles are j... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 7:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh man, your articles are just getting too long. Brevity is a blessing.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -89 (117 votes cast)
If this was slashdot I was ... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 7:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by bbrodriguez: | Reply

If this was slashdot I was commenting on, I'd say "whoosh" to indicate the point flying over your head like a poorly thrown frisbee...

"Advertising affects _other people_ who probably aren't as smart as me. "

Keep thinking that and drinking yourself to sleep at night. If Alone is right, you should probably research divorce lawyers, even if you're not married.

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Actually, dumbass, I'm deny... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 7:59 PM | Posted, in reply to bbrodriguez's comment, by Machiavelli: | Reply

Actually, dumbass, I'm denying that advertising affects ANYONE in the way Alone suggests. I'm suggesting that most people buy this sort of thing to signal wealth for the benefit of others, rather than to satisfy some kind of weird self-image need. (Paging Robin Hanson...)

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Its so much more fun to rea... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:23 PM | Posted by DreadSovreign: | Reply

Its so much more fun to read these things in the voice of Anthony Hopkins lecturing Jodie Foster on the finer points of psychoanalysis.

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I enjoy more substantial po... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by anonymous: | Reply

I enjoy more substantial posts; they're a nice contrast to the short, half-formed words composing most of the Internet.

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PP watches start at 25k for... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:29 PM | Posted by ed: | Reply

PP watches start at 25k for the most basic models. The median PP is about 50k or higher (basic complications) USD The "grande" complications run 100k+. Most PP consumers buy entire collections so the idea of passing one watch down to a son is indeed fiction.

I think these facts contradict your analysis, because while a high salary 200k/year + "Trump employee" could plausibly buy one PP watch as an aspirational purchase, there is no way he could buy 10 or 20, and the guys who can afford 10 or 20 PP watches are the real "Trumps" worth billions, which are PPs core demographic.

I think what these ads do is to tell the aspirational class what a PP watch is (no one would know about PP or care about mechanical watches otherwise) so that they know the proper amount of envy to feel when they see a real Trump is wearing one.

All these ads prove is that even real Trump rich people are not above base vanity and wanting to be admired and respected by the riff raff

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PP watches start at 25k for... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:32 PM | Posted by ed: | Reply

PP watches start at 25k for the most basic models. The median PP is about 50k or higher (basic complications) USD The "grande" complications run 100k+. Most PP consumers buy entire collections so the idea of passing one watch down to a son is indeed fiction.

I think these facts contradict your analysis, because while a high salary 200k/year + "Trump employee" could plausibly buy one PP watch as an aspirational purchase, there is no way he could buy 10 or 20, and the guys who can afford 10 or 20 PP watches are the real "Trumps" worth billions, which are PPs core demographic.

I think what these ads do is to tell the aspirational class what a PP watch is (no one would know about PP or care about mechanical watches otherwise) so that they know the proper amount of envy to feel when they see a real Trump is wearing one.

All these ads prove is that even real Trump rich people are not above base vanity and wanting to be admired and respected by the riff raff

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I am offended that you are ... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I am offended that you are being disrespectful and resorting to name calling. Mature people don't do this, and when they do they realize they're acting childish and apologize.

The other commenter's insult was also disrespectful, but it was kinda funny, and you are behaving in an insecure way by denying the validity in the way you are. I think it would be better if you tried talking about it in a more patient, level headed tone. Here I'll help you by asking a question:

What invalidates the claim that these things are more for the purpose of identity than status for reward?

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Disregard the brevity thing... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:46 PM | Posted by Flabeetos: | Reply

Disregard the brevity thing. Alone's whole thing is chiaroscuro.

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Hmmm... That's a very... il... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 8:57 PM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by bbrodriguez: | Reply

Hmmm... That's a very... illuminating reply.

You ever consider that the Benz you're gonna buy if all goes well is a trap? It's a legitimate question, not meant as a personal attack.

It's always interesting when somebody reads this blog for the purpose of disagreeing with it. Maybe check the one Alone had about crowdsourcing the superego?

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Fair enough, I was kind of ... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 9:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by bbrodriguez: | Reply

Fair enough, I was kind of acting like a 2-year old on my first comment. But it's good to know somebody understood.

Hey, I just crowdsourced my own damn superego! Damnit, Alone!

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Longtime listener, first ti... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 9:30 PM | Posted by Richard: | Reply

Longtime listener, first time caller. You're arguing from false premises. As pointed out in another comment, $10,000 won't buy you a Patek. The watch in the first ad is a 5960R--that's about $70,000 new. Those women's watches are all easily over $30,000.

A new Rolex starts at around $7,500-8,000--that's the watch for the aspirational 14%. But anyone spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on watches (no one with a $70,000 watch has only one watch) is doing a cost/benefit analysis against a vacation or kitchen renovation.

And if you think they don't have resale value, I've got a Patek Supercomplication to sell you for a cool $11 million.

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I have a well-made, fake PP... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 9:38 PM | Posted by George: | Reply

I have a well-made, fake PP watch from China a friend gave me. It looks genuine to non-horologists.

As of recently, I can easily afford a real one. I did not start wearing the fake one until could afford the real thing; I guess since then it became plausible I would actually have one.

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Since so much rides on the ... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 9:50 PM | Posted by Jim: | Reply

Since so much rides on the presence or absence of a wedding ring, note that the mother in the second PP mother/daughter ad is not wearing one.

Interpretation is left as an exercise for the author.

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It's a nice theory but I ju... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 10:08 PM | Posted by Xianhang Zhang: | Reply

It's a nice theory but I just flipped through my most recent edition of The Economist and I couldn't find a single Patek Phillipe ad. I haven't been paying attention but I don't think PP's been advertising in the Economist for at least a year now. There were a couple I remember from a few years back but nothing more recent.

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This is my favorite blog an... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 10:08 PM | Posted by Erik: | Reply

This is my favorite blog and The Economist is my favorite magazine. I wonder if there is significant overlap in the two audiences.

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Ironically, the obituary fo... (Below threshold)

November 28, 2011 10:12 PM | Posted by Xianhang Zhang: | Reply

Ironically, the obituary for this week's Economist is for George Daniels, master watchmaker who quit Patek Philippe after 4 years. Maybe that explains the lack of PP ads in this issue.

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I'm sorry if you're offende... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 12:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Machiavelli: | Reply

I'm sorry if you're offended, but, frankly, I was just responding in kind to the astonishingly insulting and patronizing talk about the post going right over my head, and talk about drinking myself to sleep and divorce lawyers. "Dumbass" is really quite a moderate response to that.

Let me take this moment to also note that, in response to bbrodriguez's further remark ("It's always interesting when somebody reads this blog for the purpose of disagreeing with it."), I actually agree with about 75% of what's posted on this blog. I read it because there are often very interesting and insightful ideas to be found.

It's disturbingly cult-like to react with derision to the slightest hint of disagreement by suggesting that the one who is disagreeing was obviously too stupid to understand the point. Further evidence of the cultish automatic dismissal of all dissent is that my original comment was interpreted in the most uncharitable manner possible. If you read it, not only did I not say "this identity stuff is wrong" (I happen to think it's not completely wrong, but only incomplete insofar as it misses the Hansonian signaling explanation -- although I DO think that signaling is a better explanation in general, one that's more likely to be true of more people than the identity thing), but I CERTAINLY didn't say "that's only the stupid other people who behave like that. bbrodriguez read both of those claims into the original comment out of what I, if I favored pathologizing explanations of people's behavior like so many commenters here do, might interpret as some kind of tribal identity-defense in the face of a threat to the groupthink represented by complete agreement with every word of every post here.

As for reasons to interpret this as status-signaling rather than this aspirational/identity thing, I offer a) occam's razor, plus b) the interpretive principle of charity (cf. Donald Davidson). We do better, when trying to understand the behavior of others, to default to explanations that a) track well-understood and universally accepted motivations without appealing to confusing black-box psychological phenomena, and b) treat others, to the extent possible, as rational and on an epistemic par with ourselves.

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So the fashion today for ri... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:06 AM | Posted by Andrea Harris: | Reply

So the fashion today for rich, thin women is to wear ugly, chunky watches? Okay.

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Argh. I hit it too soon -- ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Andrea Harris's comment, by Andrea Harris: | Reply

Argh. I hit it too soon -- I should have said "So the fashion today is for rich, thin women is to wear ugly, chunky watches?"

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And -- hell, I give up. I h... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:08 AM | Posted, in reply to Andrea Harris's comment, by Andrea Harris: | Reply

And -- hell, I give up. I haven't touched liquor in months, so I have to blame the 1%.

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filled with awesomeness. th... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:43 AM | Posted by randy: | Reply

filled with awesomeness. thanks!

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You just outdo yourself. Th... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:46 AM | Posted by Marcus: | Reply

You just outdo yourself. Thanks, that was awesome. It's a dark view, but insightful, I can't help but agree.

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Great Post TLP, this is one... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:48 AM | Posted by Time and Space are nothing: | Reply

Great Post TLP, this is one of your best posts along the lines of your more older longer deconstruction posts - which had been missing for a while. And please ignore the calls for brevity or the critical comments from the pseudo-sophisticates. They do not have the intelligence and the innate drive that some people have to be a part/remain in the top quintile/decile (validation for narcissism?) - and hence they cannot empathise or understand this post. For others, like the best of your posts, reading this post induced catharsis.

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Women have been working in ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:54 AM | Posted by longwinded: | Reply

Women have been working in retail forever--those were some of the first jobs that ladies were allowed into. The salesgirl at Bebe's is the direct descendant of the girl who worked at the Macy's counter, and they weren't supposed to make enough to live on in the 19th century either.

Anyway, what kind of pantyhose are you talking about? The kind of pantyhose that your can buy at Target or Walmart, the ones that are supposed to match the wearer's skin tone or to give the impression of a tan on fair-skinned women. These pantyhose are associated with older women who are no longer sexually desirable and who aren't making a lot of money (if they had more money, they'd associate with the kind of people who know not to wear pantyhose). They really are thoroughly desexualized by now, at least among the younger generation.

Then there are seamed stockings, fishnets, pantyhose with patterns woven in, and non-skin-toned hose, some of which are appropriate workwear and also are designed to accentuate the legs in an obvious fashion. These pantyhose are supposed to be "retro" sexy. A woman wears these because she wants her legs to be admired, by other women (how stylish!) and possibly by men. They also are more costly than the other type of pantyhose.

Which kind of pantyhose are coming back? The former, or the latter? Because the former will be a tough sell. I wish I was just a pantyhose fetishist but I will probably end up wearing whatever kind is popular in a few years, as long as it is portrayed as sexy enough. Then I can come back here and know that it was all prophesied.

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Donald Trump is so old Amer... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:57 AM | Posted by Plutocracy: | Reply

Donald Trump is so old American capitalism.

New American capitalism is to get bailed out by your friends in Washington.

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Wouldn't it be great if you... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 3:48 AM | Posted, in reply to George's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Wouldn't it be great if you mix them together with real ones and ask them to identify the fake ones when they believe fake is real, or the real one is fake?

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"I offer a) occam's razor, ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 4:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by Ramachandra: | Reply

"I offer a) occam's razor, plus b) the interpretive principle of charity (cf. Donald Davidson). We do better, when trying to understand the behavior of others, to default to explanations that a) track well-understood and universally accepted motivations without appealing to confusing black-box psychological phenomena, and b) treat others, to the extent possible, as rational and on an epistemic par with ourselves. "

How would you apply this (woolly-headed) principle of charity to a Nazi, a member of the Taliban, a member of the Flat-Earth society, a member of the Christian Science group, and a KKK member?

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also note the tagline under... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 7:11 AM | Posted by B: | Reply

also note the tagline under the logo: "Begin your own tradition". There IS no tradition!

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If you're writing from Chin... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 7:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Xianhang Zhang's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

If you're writing from China, the ads have probably been censored out: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-03/21/content_12199764.htm (Hope you can access that link, pal. Otherwise, consider the point proven.)
You might also enjoy http://partialobjects.com/2011/10/convergent-evolution/
The Economist openly changes its content for different markets (e.g. they often have different covers for different continents, omit certain maps to avoid publication bans, or bend in the face of lese-majeste laws).

And Alone, thank you for explaining your persistent aversion to panty-hose. Some of us might still harbour suspicions about what your mother/2nd grade teacher might have done with/while wearing panty-hose, but at least the rationalization is out of the bag. :)

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Nonsense, but entertaining ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 8:47 AM | Posted by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

Nonsense, but entertaining nonsense.

Anyone who beleives our military is staffed with "the bottom 29%" has obviously never served and has no idea of the educational requirements for enlistment. You'd be shocked at the math and writing skills required to be successful as an infantryman, much less an artillery forward observer.

When you start with a bullshit assumption, you get bullshit conclusions. Like the corollary of the above: that the top percentile can be blamed for our $15T debt. Wrong. Politicians are responsible for our debt. If the useless eaters in our country didn't have the right to vote, there would be no national debt, because it wouldn't be necessary to buy them off.

Further, Alone references 9 1/2 Weeks and talks about Kim Basinger's LEGS?! Leg men are weird, so I think we can safely disregard this entire post.

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"high class Americans who p... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 9:07 AM | Posted by Papandreou: | Reply

"high class Americans who pass on... the Greek Prime Ministry."

On behalf of all of Greece, thank you thank you thank you for saying this.

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I don't think he meant bott... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 9:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Pandreou: | Reply

I don't think he meant bottom 29% of intellect, he meant bottom 29% in income. Neither is he blaming the top 15% for the debt, he is saying they will be responsible for paying it off through taxes. Your reading comprehension suggests we can safely disregard your entire comment.

What were you looking at other than Kim Basinger's legs? Just curious.

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Who the fuck it Patek Phill... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 9:33 AM | Posted by Rookie: | Reply

Who the fuck it Patek Phillipe and why the hell should I give a shit about his watches? Dammit, why do I read TLP before sleeping, this needs less tiredness.

Advertising's BS is a real downer.

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Too early, have to go to my... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 9:52 AM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

Too early, have to go to my job. Just 22 more years until I can get myself a Patek

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Also, Patek is probably the... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 9:55 AM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

Also, Patek is probably the only brand that WILL hold it's value.

And it's more like 5-10x what you quoted :)

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I have a question:... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:01 AM | Posted by Liz: | Reply

I have a question:

Who exactly are the aspirational 14% trying to impress?

Are they genuinely hoping to buy into the 1%, or impress those people? Are they trying to get more distance between themselves and the bottom 86%? Or are they trying to impress the others in their 14% bracket?

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Machiavelli, I did not know... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:29 AM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by Gene Callahan: | Reply

Machiavelli, I did not know that economism could be used as a shield against self-knowledge, but now I see it can. Interesting. (Because, you know, not only do you want that car as a self-image thing, that's also why you want to "get laid."

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they're trying to impress t... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Liz's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

they're trying to impress themselves, nothing more, with the mistaken assumption that by impressing themselves, others will also be impressed, including the 1% they're hoping to emulate, the other 14%ers to prove they belong, and the 86%ers, aka the envious droves... and yes, i am prone to run-on sentences, all in defiance of my elementary school english teacher who used to hit me with a yard stick for grammatical errors.

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They are trying to show how... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Liz's comment, by dgs: | Reply

They are trying to show how much better they are than the ones in the lower brackets.

And they are spending their money that could have gotten them to 1% with some luck to do just that, making the 1% laugh all the way to the yacht.

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"I know you probably figure... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:56 AM | Posted by someone: | Reply

"I know you probably figure this ad isn't for you because you're not a railroad baron or a Rothschild, but ask yourself a question: have you seen this ad? Then it's for you. Time to learn why they know you better than you know yourself."

You are being irrational, as usual. It makes no sense to claim that the ad must be for me just because I happened to unexpectedly see it on your front page. It's completely illogical.

"The target demo is not the 1%; the target demo is the Aspirational 14%."

Well I'm not part of the Aspirational 14%, or even the middle class. So tell me again how this ad is for me?

I don't even like analog watches for fuck's sake. My watch is a Casio G-Shock; it's solar powered, it automatically syncs itself with transmitters sending a time signal, it's resistant to water, mud and shock, and has all the usual digital watch functions. Why would I want some overpriced analog piece of shit that doesn't have any of those features?

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"You are being irrational, ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 10:59 AM | Posted by Gene Callahan: | Reply

"You are being irrational, as usual. It makes no sense to claim that the ad must be for me just because I happened to unexpectedly see it on your front page. It's completely illogical."

No, you're being an idiot. Obviously what is meant is, "Have you seen this ad *in one of the outlets in which it runs*?" Clearly, everyone reading the post sees the ad, so clearly the question wasn't meant to be "Do you see it right here on this page?" As all non-idiots realized.

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it is for you because now t... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:27 AM | Posted, in reply to someone's comment, by ed: | Reply

it is for you because now that youve seen the ad, you know a PP watch is very expensive so when you see a top .1%-er wearing one, you will be able to react with the proper amount of class respect and envy.

For the wealthy man, a watch is the perfect tool to communicate to the proles that I am someone formidable to be reckoned with, a nonchalant flashing of the watch allows me to cut the red rope line at fashion week after parties and get me service from the bartender whereas your casio wearing wrist wouldnt get a bartenders attention if you were holding a firecracker.

The main idea is that we want the watch to be discreet, but not discreet enough where the people we want envy from dont know how much we spent. thats where the ads come in.

the ads are not for PP customers. PP customers already know about PP. The ads are to tell everyone else how much to envy PP customers.

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I wonder how many people bu... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:32 AM | Posted by longwinded: | Reply

I wonder how many people buy this type of thing using inherited money--well, obviously a great many of them, but how many people splurge using money they wouldn't have had if a relative hadn't recently bit the dust. It seems like the most likely way to come into the cash necessary for a Patek Phillippe watch if you're not regularly pulling in that kind of money.

Hence the "for the next generation" spiel, so you don't feel guilty about using Dad's money for a watch before he's cold in the grave. Your own kid can sell it someday!

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If it's too long for you, d... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by VV: | Reply

If it's too long for you, don't read it all.

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"No, you're being an idiot.... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by someone: | Reply

"No, you're being an idiot. Obviously what is meant is, "Have you seen this ad *in one of the outlets in which it runs*?" Clearly, everyone reading the post sees the ad, so clearly the question wasn't meant to be "Do you see it right here on this page?" As all non-idiots realized."

Seeing the ad doesn't mean it's for you any more than getting rickrolled means Never Gonna Give You Up is for you. TLP's claim is irrational and you're the idiot for not realizing that.

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I don't think he meant b... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:38 AM | Posted, in reply to Pandreou's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

I don't think he meant bottom 29% of intellect, he meant bottom 29% in income. Neither is he blaming the top 15% for the debt, he is saying they will be responsible for paying it off through taxes. Your reading comprehension suggests we can safely disregard your entire comment.

YOU think. He doesn't say, but you're okay with ignoring the context of the class warfare language, i.e. 1%, Aspirational 14%, 0.5%, etc. You're also okay with ignoring the fact that income level is a common proxy for education level. So, yes, let's go with what YOU think.

Alternatively, you could stuff your haughty attitude up your ass, Professor.

What were you looking at other than Kim Basinger's legs? Just curious.

Her tits, hyper-genius. Is this your first day on this planet? It's male humor. I know that's beneath your notice, since your massive intellect is engaged with much weightier matters, but the pop culture analysis Alone does is appealing to us protruding supraorbital ridge types, because he's a consumer of it as well.

That's why he can make insightful, and more importantly, funny comments about these subjects without coming off as a pompous ass. Unlike you.

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I don't think he meant b... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:41 AM | Posted, in reply to Pandreou's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

I don't think he meant bottom 29% of intellect, he meant bottom 29% in income. Neither is he blaming the top 15% for the debt, he is saying they will be responsible for paying it off through taxes. Your reading comprehension suggests we can safely disregard your entire comment.

YOU think. He doesn't say, but you're okay with ignoring the context of the class warfare language, i.e. 1%, Aspirational 14%, 0.5%, etc. You're also okay with ignoring the fact that income level is a common proxy for education level. So, yes, let's go with what YOU think.

Alternatively, you could stuff your haughty attitude up your ass, Professor.

What were you looking at other than Kim Basinger's legs? Just curious.

Her tits, hyper-genius. Is this your first day on this planet? It's male humor. I know that's beneath your notice, since your massive intellect is engaged with much weightier matters, but the pop culture analysis Alone does is appealing to us protruding supraorbital ridge types, because he's a consumer of it as well.

That's why he can make insightful, and more importantly, funny comments about these subjects without coming off as a pompous ass. Unlike you.

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You misread the sentence yo... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:41 AM | Posted, in reply to someone's comment, by Gene Callahan: | Reply

You misread the sentence you quoted, and were obnoxious in your misreading to boot. When I point that out, you change the subject.

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Belligerent, stupid, anti-i... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Gene Callahan: | Reply

Belligerent, stupid, anti-intellectual, desperately insecure about your masculinity: You are a real credit to the military, Empire of Jeff!

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I'll take your word on the ... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:48 AM | Posted, in reply to ed's comment, by Perry : | Reply

I'll take your word on the pricing. You raise a number of thoughts, thank you.

I wonder to what extent a post like this is meant to demonstrate the narcissistic element Lonely wants us to recognize. If we have the 1% and the 14%, what about the other 85%? We're still in the mix someplace. Personally, I haven't worn a watch in two-plus decades, so the idea of collecting a dozen or more watches is a new one on me. I guess it's no different from cars or houses in terms of consumerism.

The question I have of Lonely or whoever might know, is is he presenting these interpretations as a reflection of conscious thought on the part of the ad creators? Is he saying that those copywriters and idea people are nuanced to the extent that they are consciously creating the brand for the next generation, for the 28-year-old who wants to be rich at 40, and they correlate that with the ongoing American investment in higher education? And consider the Trump children as part of the post-modern meritocracy wannabes?

Do they talk like this on Madison Avenue?

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Another voice here asking y... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:50 AM | Posted by Bill Storm: | Reply

Another voice here asking you continue with your extended-form writing and not think all your readers want brevity and shallow snark. Your writing and development of ideas is refreshing, and I enjoy taking the journey with your thinking. I'm a new reader, an educator, and very much value being led outside my box by careful analysis of the insanity of my culture.

I found myself in line behind Brooke Shields in a video store a few years back, and despite her mostly successful effort to remain anonymous, her jeans/t-shirt/ponytail has given me much food for thought. The ads with which she makes her living sell a life to which she doesn't seem to aspire to any degree at all. She lives outside the marketing creation, and her distance has calmed my life-long cognitive dissonance ever since.

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So what you're saying is th... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:53 AM | Posted by JohnJ: | Reply

So what you're saying is that these ads target narcissists?

Re: stockings. The idea that people are subject to mass hypnosis through ad campaigns is utterly loony. (For crying out loud, ad campaigns compete against each other. There are ads out there with the opposite message, but they don't do as well because they're not as appealing to people who are already thinking and feeling a certain way. Advertisements don't rule the world; they reflect the world. Didn't you used to point this out a lot?) The more likely explanation is that women didn't want to give up their stockings, for either physical or, more likely, emotional comfort.

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they're trying to impres... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 11:58 AM | Posted by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

they're trying to impress themselves, nothing more, with the mistaken assumption that by impressing themselves, others will also be impressed, including the 1% they're hoping to emulate, the other 14%ers to prove they belong, and the 86%ers, aka the envious droves...

Or maybe they're just doing what pleases them and what YOU think about it doesn't factor into their thinking at all.

The wealth envy in the comments section here is ridiculous. A Patek Phillipe is a vulgar, needless luxury, right? Tell me - how many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you really need more than one? What about belts? Purses? Aren't those all needless luxuries?

Suggesting we all dress in utilitarian beige unitards is too extreme for you?

Okay, so tell me why YOU get to draw the line at what is proper or moral or necessary to own or aspire to own.

Plenty of people here willing to pronounce judgment on the motives of strangers based solely on income. Wonder why that is?

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Anti-intellectual? <p... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 12:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by Empire of Jeff: | Reply

Anti-intellectual?

Oh, my! He dropped the A-bomb! Seriously, get over yourself.

And FYI, I have several medal citations that read "SGT ********'s actions reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army." But YOUR opinion is so much more valid.

And yes, the lovely wife, four healthy children and robust sex life are prime indicators of my "desperation about my masculinity." But YOUR opinion is so much more valuable.

Don't you think you're being a crybaby? "I don't like that guy, he told me to fuck off; therefore he has pathologies XYZ and I'm going to tell him so, post-haste! Neener-neener!"

And you question MY masculinity? Pfft.

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You have one of those blogs... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 12:32 PM | Posted by Oelsen: | Reply

You have one of those blogs, that once read through and followed, changes the world view of the reader rather quickly. Exactly why nobody wants to chat with me. I can't stand this faux smalltalk full of elephant dung anymore... sigh.

Your blog is more thorough than e.g. socimages or other fem-lib-blogs. Somehow, you have intellectual x-ray glasses. Where can I buy some of them?

Those who buy a Rolex for 10k$ are stupid anyway. I knew a guy that smuggled watches all around Europe and he bought them for almost nothing. No, those were originals. The margins are turning you pink. Anyway, there are other watches: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richemont Hm, lemme see: IWC, Chartier, Vacheron Constantin... oh, f**, they know that once you are hooked up to a "cheap" 2k$-Watch, then you will buy a 20k or 200k watch if you have the money. And all the nice ducates go to the same equity holder in Geneva.

Fun fact: around here, 2000 dollars are only 1800 Swiss Francs, which is on average a third of a months salary in finance. Expats in finance earn about 30kSfr (and more, much more) in Switzerland. Maybe its for bankers in London and along the Goldküste, and not for the rich CEO in silicon valley.

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I have lived in LA and work... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:07 PM | Posted by how weird: | Reply

I have lived in LA and worked in the film industry my whole life. These people have crazy money and are mostly lucky. Very few ever put this kind of stuff on. Most have humility as they have feelings/empathy for those not as lucky. Hence the outfits are jeans and t shirts and tennis shoes. Also a cap and sunglasses so you don’t have to do your hair.
The folks who buy into this stuff are shallow, have new money, are incredibly ugly or are trying to make more money.
No one secure takes this stuff seriously. Frankly, rich people like creative and unique things- at least the ones who are artists. The rest are just weirdo’s, suits, and stick up the ass perverts-money chasers with no sense of art, kindness, and humility are not rich. They are poor. A cool person is secure and it shows. No one secure likes to be around insecure people- no matter the amount of money they have. Famous people do not like to be around fans either- it’s uncomfortable. It is nicer to be around people who take pride in their job, have stories to tell. People with a personality.
Just in case you wanted to buy a watch. And sense this kind of idiocy for idiots is being discussed.

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Not sure if it's completely... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Xianhang Zhang's comment, by Bardak: | Reply

Not sure if it's completely relevant to your comments, but do you remember when The Economist used to post ads for Scientology in the 1990s?

It was a complete mindbender for me.

What would Alone have made of that?

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Do you, by any chance, play... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:24 PM | Posted, in reply to bbrodriguez's comment, by umodbro?: | Reply

Do you, by any chance, play baseball?

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<a href="http://thirdtierre... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:28 PM | Posted by Nando: | Reply

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

And if you go to the wrong school, i.e. the bottom 90 percent of them, then you will likely be branded a loser the rest of your days.

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Agreed; Economist & TLP are... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 1:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Erik's comment, by HypoChris: | Reply

Agreed; Economist & TLP are also my favourites.
Both clearly well written (wish I could write that well)
Both provide a certain accessible "middlebrow" intellectual stimulation - an appearance of depth, but is it real??
Both written anonymously (no byline).

I'm no media expert, but I wonder what the demo of Alone's audience is... He probably could sell us readers to some pretty prestigious advertisers? Maybe he already has... Now I've got that image of a fancy watch planted in my subconscious, who knows what consequences that will bring in 5 to 10 years.

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"Or maybe they're just d... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Or maybe they're just doing what pleases them and what YOU think about it doesn't factor into their thinking at all."

probably not, and i don't particularly care if it factors in to their thinking either.


The wealth envy in the comments section here is ridiculous.

not really... i've seen much worse.


A Patek Phillipe is a vulgar, needless luxury, right?

no, i don't think so anyway. i rather enjoy watches and own several, just not at PP.


Tell me - how many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you really need more than one? What about belts? Purses? Aren't those all needless luxuries?

this comment is just too asinine to respond to. of course i own several pairs of shoes, dozens and several belts, but no man purse, sorry.


Suggesting we all dress in utilitarian beige unitards is too extreme for you?

yes


Okay, so tell me why YOU get to draw the line at what is proper or moral or necessary to own or aspire to own.

because this is the internet and i'm anonymous, so i can say whatever i feel at the moment. additionally, i'm not a troll nor looking to incite debate, thus merely stated my opinion, which you are free to agree with or disagree with, it really is not important to me which option you select.


Plenty of people here willing to pronounce judgment on the motives of strangers based solely on income. Wonder why that is?

again, because we can; however, i haven't pronounced any judgements based on income, nor have i noted any particularly harsh judgements based solely on income, i've merely made observations and expressed an opinion.

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This is the post I read you... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 2:33 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is the post I read you more openly talk about the (IMO) main topic of the blog.

I still disagree with you, but, great post.

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With the recession still go... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 3:49 PM | Posted by Somebody: | Reply

With the recession still going strong, people seem to be starting to obsess more and more over high end luxury items. Years ago everyone was excited about how cheap everything was becoming ($1000 large plasma TVs, $2000 cars and so on). People seem to be valuing a high price more. Are the Illuminati conditioning us for future inflation?

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Seriously, Nando: let it go... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 3:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Nando's comment, by Liz: | Reply

Seriously, Nando: let it go. Just stop.

No one cares. You do this in every post and it's annoying.

I can't even imagine you get much from this. How many readers do you get from trolling this site, anyway?

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Same here, TLP is my crack,... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 5:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Erik's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Same here, TLP is my crack, The Economist my smack.

I recently left the pharma industry for a small-sized business where, although I don`t have any benefits, I get the Economist for free.

Anyone else think the pantyhose with patterns woven in (it feels like they pop-out of nowhere during the past few months) are awesome?

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""No, you're being an idiot... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 6:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

""No, you're being an idiot. Obviously what is meant is, "Have you seen this ad *in one of the outlets in which it runs*?" Clearly, everyone reading the post sees the ad, so clearly the question wasn't meant to be "Do you see it right here on this page?" As all non-idiots realized. ""

I don't think even seeing the ad in the outlet in which it was run guarantees it's for you. I think that's a hyperbolic statement that TLP uses from time to time to drive home the point that often an ad's target is not clear from first glace. To say it's literally true is ridiculous on a couple of levels.

One small issue that I have with some of these articles (and don't get me wrong, TLP is one of my favourite blogs) is that unless they're not totally missing the mark, marketing agencies and the executives who approve their decisions are depicted as having some supernatural type understanding of human psychology. Even though I understand some of the best psychology graduates work not as therapists or academics, but for MegaCorps, I think TLP gives them too much credit, and by extension himself, since he's showing he's smart enough to have figured this out.

Someone else wondered what TLP would have made of the Scientology ad. Really? How about they are trying to increase their membership?

p.s. Why do we keep calling TLP he? Doesn't this article suggest he's a she?

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"Machiavelli, I did not kno... (Below threshold)

November 29, 2011 6:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Machiavelli, I did not know that economism could be used as a shield against self-knowledge, but now I see it can. Interesting. (Because, you know, not only do you want that car as a self-image thing, that's also why you want to "get laid.""

Can't it be both? I think if I had to choose between seeing myself as a lady's man while being celibate and seeing myself as an average guy but getting laid like a rock star, I'd choose the latter. Obviously, there's no way to know for sure.

Serious question, are you a psychologist? Or do you see one regularly? You sound really dogmatic.

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"You misread the sentence y... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 1:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by someone: | Reply

"You misread the sentence you quoted, and were obnoxious in your misreading to boot. When I point that out, you change the subject."

I didn't misread anything or change the subject. You're delusional.

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"Mr. Davis can't trust hims... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 1:06 AM | Posted by Sfon: | Reply

"Mr. Davis can't trust himself around you if you're naked," says the Human Resources department for a 50 year old mustachioed small business owner, "so if you don't mind we'd like you to cover up with this sexy lingerie. Thanks, you're a doll, now he can get some work done. He's going to need you to work late tonight. No, he'll drive you home after."

Are they actually being told this, or might women have their own reasons? If society was more comfortable with men valuing beauty in their own bodies, would they be doing something similar or not?

Women are oversexualised because both men and women are allowed to value the female body. Male energy is unnaturally super-focused on obsessing over the female image. A conspiracy with the only connection between men and women as hidden strings is a messy explanation that goes out of its way to sideline the male element as only a source of trouble.

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Doc, remember that Norwegia... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 4:06 AM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

Doc, remember that Norwegian guy who killed a whole bunch of people some months ago? The court appointed shrinks think he's a total nut, a schizophrenic.

Do you really think so? I don't.

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I can't decide if I enjoy r... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 6:35 AM | Posted by Rose: | Reply

I can't decide if I enjoy reading the actual article or the comments more.

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More like these please. </p... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 10:42 AM | Posted by Cannon: | Reply

More like these please.

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And he - as do most members... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 11:39 AM | Posted, in reply to Gene Callahan's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

And he - as do most members of the armed forces - wears masculine utilitarian beige unitards.

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Who needs a watch? Everyone... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 11:41 AM | Posted by MFT: | Reply

Who needs a watch? Everyones cell phone has the time- and it's right on time.
Watches and wedding rings are the only man jewlry allowed. Ear rings, necklaces, rings, eeek.
So, I guess super rich people need watches? There I go being prgmatic-crazy time!

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I inherited a Patek from my... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 12:40 PM | Posted by Walter Sobchak: | Reply

I inherited a Patek from my father. It had been given to my grandfather about 60 years ago by his law partner, and inscribed. I want to leave it to my son as a memory of his grandfather, and his great grandfather.

I don't usually wear a watch, but I took out the Patek last year to wear to my mother's funeral. But, it didn't work.

Next time I went to New York, I took the Patek to the Factory repair office in Rock center (1 not 30). They had to send it to Switzerland because it is so old. After 6 weeks or so they sent me an estimate. Reading the estimate was quite interesting.

A new similar Patek would be about $25,000. The repair estimate for what is basically a cleaning and refurbishing, was a very substantial fraction of that amount. After I picked up my jaw, I agreed to the estimate.

My conclusion is that you don't really own a Patek, the factory owns you.

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The people making these ads... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 1:21 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The people making these ads are Lex Luthor level evil geniuses.

I think the idea of the watch taking the place of real gifts is dead on. I know I would much rather have courage, masculinity, and driving skills. I only know where to get one of those at the moment.

Why is everyone focusing on the price of the watch? So much more is being said in the article.

The line "Let's get married and make sure neither of us are happy." Was that experienced or observed?

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So are you going to collect... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 1:45 PM | Posted by JonO: | Reply

So are you going to collect your posts into a book? The Mechanical Bride II, perhaps? Seems like this is the legacy you're maintaining for us!

To the other commenters, I would argue that advertising isn't affecting anyone the way you say it is: "all advertising advertises advertising."

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"to the more dangerous impl... (Below threshold)

November 30, 2011 11:45 PM | Posted by Sfon: | Reply

"to the more dangerous implicit, not explicit, masculine control of the sex"
You mean where women cannot show their ankles? No, of course not. You mean the masculine control that scares fathers and husbands. If only you could throw a sheet on her when she is out in public, keeping all that masculine control off her.

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A Patek Phillipe i... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 1:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

A Patek Phillipe is a vulgar, needless luxury, right? Tell me - how many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you really need more than one? What about belts? Purses? Aren't those all needless luxuries?

Almost everybody owns something that they don't really need.
It's not a question of why they bought the thing, it's a question of why they bought the brand.
The answer is advertising, hence TLP's frequent analysis of them.

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tell me why YOU ge... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 1:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Empire of Jeff's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

tell me why YOU get to draw the line at what is proper or moral or necessary to own or aspire to own.

Nobody is talking about what is 'proper', and it says more about you than anything when you're offended by an analysis of what drives people to purchase luxury items.

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Robin Hansen of overcomingb... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 10:49 AM | Posted by Felan: | Reply

Robin Hansen of overcomingbias.com has the view that much of human interaction is about signaling. His blogs on this tend to span a greater range of human history than TLP and don't necessitate a pathology.

I think TLP's analysis is a bit one dimensional. It's not the legacy thing, it's the aspirational thing. I suspect it's at a minimum both of those, plus the signal of wealth that Empire of Jeff mentions, and possibly more signals on top of that. Because one thing is true doesn't mean the others aren't as well.

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Slight technical correction... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 1:32 PM | Posted by Mephisto: | Reply

Slight technical correction, if I may, Alone. Feudalism is a very specific term, and it really doesn't apply to what you're saying here. What you mean is European aristocracy, the 14% are aspiring to emulate.

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Great one! One of your be... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 2:01 PM | Posted by stiffbreeze: | Reply

Great one! One of your best posts in a long time. I prefer your long posts here to your brief ones at partial objects.

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I know these ads, but from ... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 8:52 PM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

I know these ads, but from the New Yorker. Would the deconstruction have been different if it were in the context of a different periodical?

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I was wondering that myself... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2011 10:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Erik's comment, by drunicus: | Reply

I was wondering that myself.

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That's the heart of the ... (Below threshold)

December 2, 2011 9:06 AM | Posted, in reply to Andrew's comment, by Alone: | Reply

That's the heart of the issue. It doesn't matter where else it appears, it matters that it appears in The Economist. There's probably a fair amount of demo overlap between TNY and TE anyway, so the question would stand: why do those readers want this?

It would be a bad sign if those ads appeared in Time. What would it say if they appeared, say, only in TNY and not in TE?

Re: feudalism (from Mephisto, above)-- I get this a lot. As it is meant in the post, corporations/wealthy individuals/lords (you call it the aristocracy) control the capital, and everyone else is either a slave/serf, or, at best, a vassal (that's you.) Importantly, not only can people never rise to the level of lord-- e.g. The Apprentice-- but they can be called to fight for their lords. Fight is what you see all around you: people who sacrifice their own self-interest to defend their "lord" (e.g. a Walmart employee who campaigns against unionization)

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"There's probably a fair am... (Below threshold)

December 2, 2011 11:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Alone's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"There's probably a fair amount of demo overlap between TNY and TE anyway, so the question would stand: why do those readers want this? "

I don’t know, Alone. I think asking and answering that question can lead to some interesting and insightful analysis, but it also makes a lot of assumptions.

Who said the readers want this? The ad is not placed there for their benefit, rather for the benefit of the ad agency and its client. I think most TE readers would buy a version of the magazine without ads if it were available and none would by a version without articles, only ads.

Second, just because an ad is in an outlet doesn’t mean it’s for every reader, or even most readers. Couldn’t it be the case that only a very small percentage of TE readers will ever actually purchase a PP watch? And only a slightly larger percentage will actually care? I work in an office where people most people could afford a watch costing several thousand dollars but I think if anyone came in with one he would be seen as either tryhard or frivolous. We also have clients who come in dressed to the nines and clients who come in with jeans and a tee shirt. Sure, we care about how big their account is, but as far as I can tell I don’t think any of my colleagues or even the secretary cares if he’s wearing a Rolex, PP, or just uses his cell phone.

And I’m borrowing this from a previous poster, but aren’t you giving Madison Ave too much credit? Maybe I’m misreading you, but it seems you think they know much more about you than you do. Maybe their strategies are hit and miss to some extent. Maybe it’s enough just to show that the watch is worn by attractive, wealthy, exclusive/classy people so that people associate that with the brand, and use that association to bolster either their self or public image. Or maybe they just want people to know the watch is expensive so when they’re looking to buy an expensive watch, they’ll consider PP.

PS. I am curious if you have a theory about why so many psych facilities advertise in TNY.

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Reading Russian newspaper y... (Below threshold)

December 2, 2011 5:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Alone's comment, by DGS: | Reply

Reading Russian newspaper yesterday, I'd say it is almost like Economist for Russia (Ogonek)

On the back - Raymond Weil "unpredictability is wonderful"


we're still minor ova dere.

what I laughed at is badly designed graphics of men holding mini cars or glowing sepia earth's as bank ads. Approach is not nearly as mind fucking as Madison Ave

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Your point of wealthy contr... (Below threshold)

December 3, 2011 2:26 AM | Posted, in reply to Alone's comment, by hom: | Reply

Your point of wealthy controlling the rest is fine, but it's old. And right now is by far the best time to make money - shit, you are doing on the internet right now!

The point is, sure there is someone out there with a lot of money, but their controls are still negligible - taxes, interest rates, etc

Money can be made any number of ways now, taxed of tax free.. and when you get to a few million you can be somebody in your own little pond.. that power is now something.

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A mature widow, who did thr... (Below threshold)

December 3, 2011 10:11 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

A mature widow, who did three years in Iraq at 100,000.00 a year making ID cards, gave me her week old copy of the Economist because she said I was the only person at our 12 step recovery meeting that knew who Christine Lagared was. Is she trying to seduce me? As a reformed psychopath I know not to take advantage. But it is strange now when I see and smell the prey to not react and stalk them and take whatever I can get. You probably don't believe that I am a true psychopath. We will see.

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<a href="http://en.wikipedi... (Below threshold)

December 5, 2011 6:16 PM | Posted by Amelia: | Reply

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Distinction

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TLP, what do you make of th... (Below threshold)

December 7, 2011 4:36 PM | Posted by Lauren: | Reply

TLP, what do you make of the mainstream media's coverage (or lack of) of Ron Paul?

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First: it's obvious you s... (Below threshold)

December 9, 2011 11:16 PM | Posted by BHE: | Reply

First: it's obvious you subscribe to the Economist and the Atlantic (possibly also Foreign Affairs?), or at least your office does, based on how much you reference them. Fine by me, but I'd love to see you tear into the likes of Vanity Fair and the Nation among others. Basically hoping you can expand your reading a bit. Correct me if I'm wrong about this.

Second: I had been of the opinion that a large reason women wore pantyhose was because they had stubbly, hairy legs a lot of the time and throwing on a pair of hose was an easier fix than shaving every damned day. And the advent of cheap waxing and more than that, laser hair removal, put a serious dent in the market. Is it really coming back? Is it possible that the convenience of hose has been remembered? I'm a man so I have no idea what I'm talking about here.

Finally, I have a simple question that relates to the main themes of your blog. I've been reading and agreeing with you for a while now but it just occurred to me: do people *really* make decisions about the things they buy based on how those decisions brand them? Like how when I was in 9th grade I decided I wanted to be cool like my friend in 11th grade so I copied everything he did and wore even though I wasn't sure about it? And how I wore a beret for a while a year later? Are you saying that this is what not just some but *most* people do well into adulthood? That they have no idea who they really are but instead just constantly reinvent themselves via branding into some image for others?

I guess for the first time it doesn't just make sense in a way, but the full force of it just hit me. I hope you're wrong.

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I think that really everyon... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2011 12:20 AM | Posted, in reply to BHE's comment, by Rookie: | Reply

I think that really everyone does it, not just narcissists, not just some people, everyone. It's a natural human process, to reaffirm and broadcase your identity, or desired identity. It's a way of telling people in shorthand who you are and what kinds of things you're interested in and do, your views, beliefs and general outlook. It also probably helps you check your direction in life, your goals and bounce them off the rest of humanity to see if they're wortwhile or whacky. However, like any human drive, activity or personality trait, when it's overemphasised and done to often, it becomes unhealthy. This is just the same as expressing anger, talking about the shit things in your life to people around you, flirting with people, resisting or complying with others, any move on the chessboard of human social interaction: a little is healthy where appropriate, too much is unhealthy.

I think that broadcasting yourself in small ways is a good thing, and lets you check your direction and helps you bring unrealised ambitions into realisation. There is however a gap between what is broadcast to others and the true reality of who you are, and if that is too wide, you can't bridge the gap and change yourself in a small and concrete way. If you consistently broadcast an unrealistic image of yoruself then the effort of doing that all day will detract from your ability to actually achieve REAL goals, and you'll be in a worse situation, and probably rely more on image control as a solution, worsening your situation.

Patek Phillipe's watches are offering a branding shortcut: instead of becoming fabulously wealthy and raising a happy family with a legacy of good memories and a boat (which would require a shitload of work on both counts), just wear the watch, because that's the kind of watch that a fabulously wealthy dynasty maker "like the kinda guy I want to be" would wear. Meantime you're down 10 grand and further away from being fabulously wealthy and spending all your time telling your son about your watch or fantasising about how your boss saw the watch and didn't say, but the look in his eyes shows you he 'knows' what kind of guy you are. So your kid is bored shitless and not getting proper paternal care, you work less hard and have less money. Bargain.

But yeah, I think we all do this. I recently made the decision to go back to uni and as soon as I did I was telling people about it. I kind of sat up and noticed, and wondered why I was so keen to spread the word on something that is still uncertain... I think I was checking the idea with the people around me, but I can't escape the fact that I was, to a certain extent at least, broadcasting an image.

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Sometimes, through happenst... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2011 1:36 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

Sometimes, through happenstance, I will end up at in the company of someone who is legitimately a Rich Person and me with my jean short cutoffs with a hole in the crotch and ironic bingo t-shirt I found in an alley will be thinking "I could definitely beat this guy up, at least" and I find that it relaxes me + makes me a better conversationalist.

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If you're actively reading ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2011 11:38 PM | Posted by bluegreenred: | Reply

If you're actively reading TLP, are you a psychiatrist/psychiatry student or are you someone aspirational to being one?

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*raises hand*Psych... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2011 9:32 AM | Posted, in reply to bluegreenred's comment, by Rookie: | Reply

*raises hand*

Psychologist...

Does that count?

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Alone. WTF!!!?? where have ... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2011 9:16 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone. WTF!!!?? where have you been?

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Alone. WTF!!!?? where have ... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2011 9:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone. WTF!!!?? where have you been?

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I miss you.... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2011 11:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I miss you.

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I'm getting two prompts to ... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2011 4:24 PM | Posted by Guest: | Reply

I'm getting two prompts to install "meld.js" whenever I access this page, your ads are fucked.

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Yo TLP, your societal analy... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2011 12:33 AM | Posted by Geild: | Reply

Yo TLP, your societal analysis articles are cool... but what happened to all of your psychiatry/healthcare/PHARMACOLOGY articles? I have to admit, your pharmacology/neuroscience are what drew me to your blog in the first place.

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A bit long for a blog post ... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2011 10:15 PM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

A bit long for a blog post in my opinion, but I prefer the other articles. Starting to get tired of the psychology in advertising stuff.

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I read the Economist and I ... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2012 5:40 PM | Posted by kosh: | Reply

I read the Economist and I approve this message.

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This article is the wristwa... (Below threshold)

January 12, 2012 5:08 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This article is the wristwatch equivalent of penis envy. I'm impressed by the analytical heuristics that TLP has used to present this article, I've read all the posts, and I think that everyone has a good point: Buy what you can afford to buy. However, I think that paying more for a watch than your friends and colleagues can reasonably afford is hubris/plain foolish. Buying a designer watch just to be envied by peers and strangers is a good and valid reason. Walter Sobchak's comment reveals the truth: if he had been part of the 1%, he would have worn the watch every single day, and would have known to get it to a dealership for cleaning and lubrication once every two years. The dealer would have been a family friend, and service costs would have approached zero. George is on the right track, with his fake PP watch: he understands the value of the brand, but is not willing to risk and investment in it. And last, I would love to meet Oelsen's friend.

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Hmm, i used to say a good p... (Below threshold)

February 25, 2012 12:50 PM | Posted by Aaron A. Anderson: | Reply

Hmm, i used to say a good presentation is one where afterwards you feel like having studied the wrong field. Works also for this blog.

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Let's get married and ma... (Below threshold)

April 12, 2012 4:14 AM | Posted by Ror: | Reply

Let's get married and make sure neither of us are ever happy. No, no, moving closer to your parents doesn't sound like a bad idea."

Nice. Besides faking it and doing good things for her, how do you genuinely feel like you trust this person and love them, because that is the main issue, correct - you not being vulnerable enough to accept another blow to your weak heart?

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I hope you're right, TLP, b... (Below threshold)

April 30, 2012 12:51 AM | Posted by Jane Gray: | Reply

I hope you're right, TLP, but it strikes me as overly optimistic. I think we'll continue our egalitarian folly until the entire system collapses, which will take another generation.

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Indeed a great post, Apart ... (Below threshold)

June 8, 2012 10:17 AM | Posted by MARIE BRANNON: | Reply

Indeed a great post, Apart from this I would like to share about Jason Halek. I really got inspired by him when I read about him in business magazine. Jason Halek was only 10 years old when he started his career now he is successful entrepreneur & owns several oil and gas production companies. Even he is a great personality as he understands his responsibility towards the society particularly about children that’s why he established Halek Charities & nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to various humanitarian causes. I really got inspired by him.

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The ultra rich bred buy int... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2012 11:47 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The ultra rich bred buy into PP watches - they like them - hand crafted and all. The purchase pays for the ad that I see in my aspirational magazine WATCHTIME.

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if you contribute to societ... (Below threshold)

July 21, 2012 7:37 AM | Posted by richster: | Reply

if you contribute to society i.e. make something or some system which helps people/makes their lives better and i mean real value not false value. cigarettes are false value for example. alcohol too.

so if you make something that has real value to lots of people, you make a lot of money. as long as you go with the right people.

don't be a loser complaining. there's nothing properly bad about spending a lot of money on something. it then allows you to show people you value them by wearing it, and maybe one day giving it to them.

my family's net worth is around 3 million dollars. not a whole lot, but we get each other nice things on occasion, because they're nice, they make life better.

also, do you have any idea how difficult is is to actually make a watch like patek phillip or gerald genta? if you had an idea of the time and effort it takes to design and implement things like this you'd realise that what people like this are offering is genuine humanistic love. time, effort, communication. do you think things like this just get stamped out in a factory somewhere? they don't. but even if they did, do you know how much time and effort it takes to get a factory like that running properly and keep it running properly?

no, you don't. because you spend your time running a blog, criticizing the lifestyles of the people who made your the computer you run your blog from, along with your couch, your car, your kitchen appliances,and who brought your dinner to whichever supermarket you bought it at, and printed the money you used to pay for it.

wake up. you're biting the hand that feeds and you're obviously smart enough not to have to do that.

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do yourself a favor and go ... (Below threshold)

July 21, 2012 7:41 AM | Posted by richster: | Reply

do yourself a favor and go steal as many books from thepiratebay.se as you can. textbooks i mean. engineering, chemistry, medicine, anatomy, construction, programming. everything you can get before the FBI shuts it down (probably somewhere close to the end of 2012)

and instead of writing this blog, read those books. i used to blog too. kindof like yours.

good luck.

oh and get yourself a good printer and a syringe to fill it with ink. most of the printers have a way for you to bypass the automatic ink level monitoring, which is good because then you can just refill the cartridge yourself and print huge amounts of pages for very cheap.

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I am more than sorry for ev... (Below threshold)

July 25, 2012 11:30 PM | Posted by Ela: | Reply

I am more than sorry for ever doubting you. I should have know you possess true powers when you accepted my case. I am now a believer of what you do and that there are powers we normal humans can not understand. Thank you for bringing my husband back to me. if you desire help contact this real spell caster on Templeofloveandmoney@gmail.com

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keep your articles as long ... (Below threshold)

December 7, 2012 2:07 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

keep your articles as long as you desire - the physics of thought need space and time to opperate. People who dont want to think, and rather be told, can follow people on twitter

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You can't really be that st... (Below threshold)

December 21, 2012 4:29 AM | Posted, in reply to someone's comment, by Tre: | Reply

You can't really be that stupid. I'm calling you out as a troll. If you see an ad, it's likely because you're in the target market the advertiser is trying to reach, because you were in a situation that led you to the place where the ad was posted. That's what TLP was referring to.

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Brilliant, entertaining and... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2013 1:49 PM | Posted by voirdire: | Reply

Brilliant, entertaining and thought provoking. You have a special insight.

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Pantyhose still serve the s... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2013 10:00 PM | Posted, in reply to longwinded's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Pantyhose still serve the same purpose the author describes. Men remain more distracted by a nice set of legs in hose than even nicer legs without. If, as a woman, you want to be taken more seriously at work, then ditch the nylon. If you want to be popular with men, then don't.

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You missed something import... (Below threshold)

January 5, 2013 7:20 PM | Posted by Strigidae: | Reply

You missed something important in the copy of the final ad series examples. In 1999 PP introduced a watch called the "Twenty-4," the one being worn in those 24 hour ads (or 24-ct gold Italian ad; the word play around "24" wasn't just temporal).

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You seem to have a warped d... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:46 PM | Posted by roy: | Reply

You seem to have a warped definition of the 1% in this article, which is strange because you address the warped perception of them in other articles. The 1% are not all white elites who go to boarding school and own yachts, a lot of them are new money and a lot of them in the lower $250-500k range are doctors, engineers, even farmers who live a lot like the "Aspirational 14%" as you call them, just with more money.

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please read any book by Ste... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 5:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

please read any book by Steven Pinker.

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For laymen, that is what it... (Below threshold)

February 18, 2013 6:28 AM | Posted, in reply to DreadSovreign's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

For laymen, that is what it is. A female Anthony Hopkins seducing young Jodie Fosters through a glass wwall, and she doesn't even need a cannibalism gimmick to fascinate us. :D

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If you want to know what an... (Below threshold)

June 10, 2013 9:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Machiavelli's comment, by razaul123: | Reply

If you want to know what an aspirational image for a "ladies'" luxury watch targeted to actual ladies looks like, i.e. what women who will buy this watch want to think of themselves, you have to roll back the chronometer to 2003, back when the biggest crises facing the world were stem cells and Muslims.luxury watch brands i i best watch brands i luxury watch

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It may not be appropriate t... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2013 11:24 AM | Posted, in reply to razaul123's comment, by razaul karim: | Reply

It may not be appropriate to wear with more casual outfits that were a dress watch. They will get exactly what you are looking for in the Rolex Datejust sure to stay in style for years to come and are looking for a designer watch.luxury watch brands

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I'm not sure of the relevan... (Below threshold)

October 29, 2013 1:15 PM | Posted by xnfec: | Reply

I'm not sure of the relevance of this but there is a secondary market in Patek Philippe watches. It is in the far east where they are used as bribes. You want to bribe someone, you give them a second hand PP watch as a small gift. They take it back to the secondhand dealer and get the cash.

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Hello everybody, my names i... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2013 7:02 AM | Posted by Davis Cindy: | Reply

Hello everybody, my names is Cindy Davis Am from Canada i want to give thanks and honor to Dr.ATILA for the great work he did for me, he brought my lover within 24 hours which i never taught it will ever come through in my life, but this great man Dr. ATILA proved to me that powers can do wonders, i got his contact from a friend in the USA who he helped, this friend of mine told me that this man is great but i felt as hmm are you sure? cause i hardly believe those kind of things,so she told me not to worry that when i contact him, that she is guaranteeing me 100% that my lover will come back that if it does not work that she will be the one to give me back my money, to show her sincerity to me, she gave me her car that if it does not work that and she did not pay me the money that i spent that she i should collect her car and she gave me all the documents, i was so so surprised she was very serious about it so that was how i contacted him and i told him what i want he just told me that everything will be done within 24 hours so with the assurance my friend gave me i was having confident, so in the next 24 hours that he told me i just heard a knock on my door i never knew it was mark, so that was how i opened the door the first thing he did was to go on his knees, he started begging me to forgive him that he is very sorry for everything, i was really surprised and was also happy, so that was how i forgive him and now we are living together happily than ever before, and am using the media to invite my friends on my wedding which will coming up on 30/10/2013, am very happy thanks be to Lucy who gave me his contact and honor be onto Great DR. ATILA who helped a lot, if you need his help or you want to thank him for me you can contact him through atilahealinghome@yahoo.com or cell number +2348169457829

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"I know you probably figure... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2014 4:09 PM | Posted by Mikhail Ramendik: | Reply

"I know you probably figure this ad isn't for you because you're not a railroad baron or a Rothschild, but ask yourself a question: have you seen this ad? Then it's for you."

Yeah. *Now* I have seen it.

That was a clever one. If I did not see your other article where you criticize a woman for writing to a newspaper for free, I might not have caught it.

I'm not asking how much they paid you, that would be rude, but it would be nice to know whether the idea for the Patek Philippe promotion on your website was theirs or yours :)

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>but if you imagine a magaz... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2014 6:50 PM | Posted by Facho: | Reply

>but if you imagine a magazine's ads as the unconscious fantasies, the dreams, of the readers, then the wish fulfillment they depict is not riches or bitches but a return to the old feudal order.

Enter neoreaction...

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Ridiculous article. First o... (Below threshold)

July 4, 2014 1:18 PM | Posted by Brian: | Reply

Ridiculous article. First of all, you're not the aspirational 14% if you're out buying $50,000 watches. You ARE the 1%. Second, if you needed to stand out, you go the way of an enormous rose gold Hublot or solid gold Rolex, NOT a Patek. A Patek is more for the cogniscenti who can afford and appreciate fine craftsmanship. Sounds like it's written from the perspective of someone who just doesn't understand a $50,000 watch...and if you haven't been paying ANY attention to auction records, I'm not understanding where you claim there's no secondary market for them. Sounds like someone didn't do any research and based the entire article on an inaccurate perspective.

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