Merchants of Cool-Movie Review Name Institution The Merchants of Cool: Movie Review The Merchant of Cool is a documentary film produced by Rachel Dretzin and Barak Goodman. The program basically interviews media executives, marketers, and cultural/media critics and discusses the symbiotic connection between today’s teens and media, as each look for the other for identity…
This is indeed a very conservative approach. Quite often, the product being promoted is not in the best interest of the children or the society at large, but Merchants of Cool indicates, “in order to remain cool, you have to keep ahead of the curve” (Sine, 2008, p. 85). The Merchants of Cool portrays both media and corporations negatively. This is so because it reveals a disturbing scenario, depicting how many corporations see teenagers, not as persons with real life, issues and problems, but as talking and walking dollar signs and as possible marketers of their products. There are many other tormenting issues in the movie if not somewhat unreasonable ideas. For example, the idea that individuals are made to look trendy are just ‘plants’ by corporations to influence peers to have a sensation that they should buy something for them to look like the person is extremely disturbing. This is because they can be found anywhere. This aspect does not perpetuate a sense of unity among the youth who should feel with each other rather a very strong sense of jealousy and suspicion. It is undoubtedly evident from the documentary film that it is attempting to portray corporations and media negatively so as to reveal the truths (Sine, 2008). However, the most disturbing question that one may ask is, “How truthful is this?” Just like the anthropologists, the cool hunters search for teenage cultures and employ the early teen trendsetters to design new products and develop new marketing strategies, to hook the teenagers (Sine, 2008). These teenage cultural studies are seen through interviews held with some marking gurus drawn from big corporations, and MTV. The first encounter is with Todd Cunningham of MTV who narrates how MTV engages in research so as to be able to understand teens, including their sources of Gold studies and Ethnography. The other is Sharon Lee and Dee Dee Gordon, the co-founders of Look-Look, which is a research corporation that specializes in youth culture. They outline how their company is searching out teen trendsetters searching for what is cool, how the corporations use the information they gather and challenges in their guest. Sine (2008) notes that increasingly, the merchants of cool find new stealth technique to persuade and encircle the teenagers. He notes that they use acquaintances, friends, buzz, sleepovers, and at times youth groups to show example of the latest glam fashions, technologies and cosmetics. It is then that they pay cool teenagers to persuade their friends to become cool insiders by buying the cool products. The documentary reveals that marketers at times resort to using rebellion and anarchy to sell their products. By watching the ad, one can clearly notice that the merchants of cool not only market the opportunity to be an insider, but they also communicate that the youths can find their sense of self-worth, identity, life purpose and spirituality by living in the fictional stories that the company storytellers of cool create for them (Sine, 2008). The movie also depicts the popular media culture of trying to use issues that they feel the audience like most to sell their agenda. For instance, marketers know very well that “sex sells.” ...
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