The patterns of world economic development, statistics, daily news of the media, and widespread drug consumption lead to the thought of a giant transnational corporation that controls the production and consumption of drugs around the world.
The corporation has subjects and a widely spread ideology. It declare itself in parliaments. To protect its interests, the modern army, the navy and the air fleet operate. In fact – it is a virtual state.
Its shadow kills the highest officials and the diabolical Gothic of its dirty syringes pierces the modern cultural and historical space. It hangs with a dangerous mass over mankind. We look through it without noticing. We obey its laws unaware. Its manifestations are familiar and have long been used. Conditionally, let’s call it Corporation “D” (Drug).
Drugs – are the perfect product, tightly tangling in the consumer’s throat. Most of those who have tried become regular customers. Physiological dependence can occur immediately (heroin), after a couple of weeks (opium), or a year later (cannabis), depending on what the consumer begins.
According to official data, there are 70 million drug addicted around the world. Drugs are profitable product with characteristics that any manufacturer of any product can dream of. Euphoria, originally arising from consumption, quickly turns into a vital need and guarantees a new purchase. 1 kilo of heroin costs over $100 000. The cost of 1 ton of raw materials after processing into cocaine increases to 12,400%. Nothing in the world gives such a huge profit. The consequences of drug are impotence, personality decay, dementia, genetic changes leading to themonstriparity, organ dysfunction and death by the age of 30.
Like any business, the drug industry is striving for an infinite increase of sales and profits. Therefore, like any product in the modern world, drugs require the construction of a special advertising and marketing strategy.
The visible part of invisible
The catastrophic spread of drug addiction among young people is explained by the openness of borders, the lack of spirituality of society and even perturbations in the sun. Meanwhile, a small study by media immediately reveals the well-known for experts “four P”. It’s a components of marketing that ensure the maximum sales:
Product + Price + Place + Promotion
Product – heroin, cocaine, hemp, LSD etc.
Price – low than world price and is available to the consumer
Place – according to the press and law enforcement – discos, bars, clubs, cafes, educational institutions, retail, etc.
Promotion – advertising by art and in the media.
Hence the logical conclusion: the sales volume, that is, the epidemy of drug addiction is a consequence of the embodiment of the scientific strategy of marketing and advertising of drugs as a product.
Let’s check our discovery and identify other components of D (drug) -marketing. The strategy of distribution and sale of any goods (including drugs) is built according to all the rules of university science. As the solid American encyclopedia of advertising explains: “Information and knowledge of behavioral sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology etc.) are combined with the skill and creativity of communicative arts (literature, press, drama, theater, graphics, photo etc.) with the aim of motivating, modifying or reinforcing feelings, beliefs, opinions or behaviors of customers.
According to official data, the main consumers of drugs are teenagers and young people aged 12-25. Consequently, this is the target audience chosen by Corporation “D” for the distribution of drugs.
The pragmatic killing of adolescents for extracting practical benefits, after some time, will take a worthy place among a number of such phenomena of world history as cannibalism, slavery, concentration camps with the production of mattresses made of hair and shades of human skin. The choice of the children’s target audience is inexpressibly immoral, however, from the point of view of marketing strategy, it is impeccable.
Based on the information about the grouping of consumers around the most frequented places for recreation, study, entertainment, we will determine the target market based on the attitude of consumers to the demanded services. As you know, the market is a potential buyer, united by a common interest, need or desire and having the opportunity to pay for a purchase.
The services of discos, clubs, products of rock-executors have their target market and their customers are youth 12-25 years old. These consumers are grouped around the places of entertainment, they visit discos, clubs, bars, cafes, rock concerts (segmentation according to behaviorist signs).
At the same time, this is the drug market and the target market for their sale is defined in terms of consumption of entertainment services.
It is tightly connected with the pop music market, and accompanies the consumption of these services everywhere. The volume of drug sales largely depends on the advertisement of place (place of sale), i.e., promotion and the number of services of discos, clubs, rock bands. As we shall see later,
Corporation “D” invests huge money in the entertainment industry and its promotion in order to get much greater benefits from the sale of drugs.
Lines of force
The same magnificent encyclopedia of American advertising tells us about the main aspiration of advertising and marketing, which consists in finding the right people and combining them with the right product. What are the lines of force carried by millions of young people, and adolescents to death, inevitably combining with drugs?
Table 1. The Stimulus-Reaction Theory
(On the “Modern Advertising” by W. Beauvais, K. Arens, pp. 160)
Table 2. The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
(On the Personality Theories L. Hjell, D. Ziegler, pp. 488 and “Fundamentals of Management” M. Meskon, M. Albert, F. Hedouri, pp. 359)
According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the motivation of visitors of a discos, youth clubs and rock concerts suggests a combination of physiological (sexual life) and social (friendship and affection, sense of community) needs for a group of teenagers aged 12-19, and needs for sexuality and self-actualization for the group of young people aged 20-25 years.
The stimulus-reaction theory explains the promotion mechanism. The advertisement (incentive) triggers the need (physiological, social) or the desire of a buyer, which creates an incentive for reaction (the purchasing of goods, services).
Sexual incentives – are an indispensable part of the media, promoting “alternative” rock performers and their concerts, youth fashion, discos, subcultural trends, festivals and gatherings. Sex permeates in objects, signs and topics that have fallen into its field, turning them into Conditional incentives. Methodical translation of Conditional incentives through communication channels leads to Generalization (intensification of impact).
Let’s turn to the press, which publishes advertisements for day and night clubs, discos, rock concerts, and other entertainment places for young people. As a rule, these publications are characterized by erotic illustrations and texts of a sexual nature (Playboy, Yes !, Cool etc.)
Sex-propaganda is an unconditional incentive, causing a need for a sexual life. Places of entertainment, fashion, rock music in conjunction with an unconditional incentive (sex) become conditional incentive.
These are the lines of force that guide the right people (youth, teenagers) to the right places (discos, cafes, clubs, etc.).
We did not make a reservation, mentioning the ideology. When researching information through different channels entering to the target audience aged 12-25, an iron pattern is found:
All channels of communication provide for the youth audience of 12-25 years old the same set of ideological topics:
- Sex-propaganda. Discrediting sex as an act of personal sexual love and propaganda of sex deviations as entertainment: Fast Love, paraphilia (perversion), homosexuality, multiple, impersonal teenage sexual experiences.
- Youth fashion. Propaganda of a shocking fashion with elements of various subcultures and branding, “fashion for a disco”, violating the generally accepted clothing codes, unisex.
- Deviance and crime. Destruction of taboos and generally accepted codes of conduct (public sexual intercourse, obscene language, etc.). Propaganda of the Christian commandments on the contrary: “Do not honor your father,” “Fornicate”, “Kill”, “Create your own idol”, etc.
- D – mythology. Extremes, “crazyness”; hidden propaganda of drugs under the guise of comprehending mysticism, supernatural sensations, devilry; astrology, horrors, aliens, UFOs.
- Rock stars and rock music. Advertising stars, information about their fees, fans, descriptions of success, wealth, love adventures. Reports of deviant acts (crimes, drug addiction), as an integral part of their lives.
- Places for entertainment. Advertising of clubs, rock concerts, discos, mass festivals and other various “parties”.
The ideological shade of topics connected with the Unconditional sexual incentive is obvious. This is the ideology of violation of social norms, the ideology of falling out of society, the ideology of crime.
Party – Team – Group
To successfully enter into adulthood (socialization), the adolescent must establish himself in the role of an adult, in choosing a profession and education with the support of significant other people (ego-identification). If the conditions of life in the family are unfavorable, an identity crisis arises – a feeling of uselessness, a painful emotional breakdown, the inability to continue education. “A teenager … is passionately looking for those people and ideas that he could believe,” says Erickson (71, 139). The propaganda of mass culture, the heroes of the crowd, has a huge influence on the development of the ego-identity of the teenager. He imitates the behavior and manner of dressing those who most often flicker on screens and pages.
The experiment at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (V.P. Morozov, 1997) showed a positive relationship between the preference for rock music and the low educational qualification, absence of hearing. Thus, a teenager who has little or no ability to choose, unreservedly perceives fashion and music imposed by the media.
The style of a rock star violates the generally accepted clothing codes. An outrageous hairstyle, makeup, stamps (tattoos, piercings, etc.), means separation from society. The main function of this form in drug marketing is to strengthen the inferiority of adolescents who imitates, to cause shock, rejection, ridicule, to separate groups of young people from society.
Thus, the opposition “We” and “They” artificially created, where the children – “Generation X”, “Generation P.”, are counterposed to the fathers – “To another generation”, i.e., to society.
Social discomfort and desire to find support cause teenagers to form groups. Street parties or a courtyard company become their main support.
Members of the group experience illusions of invulnerability and unanimity, have ready collective self-justification and believe in their own infallibility. In exchange for recognition, approval and accession to the powerful “We” (group) against the hostile “They” (society), the teenager assimilates group stereotypes of perception, learns to exert pressure on the dissenters, patiently ignores his disagreement and censors facts, together with other members, who disproving the values of the group.
Such a group is an ideally coherent socio-psychological mechanism ready to use drugs. A little antisocial mythological lubricant and it will work in the right direction.
The courtyard company is a society whose values the teenager unconditionally shares. What are these values? Mythology is the group which imprinted on the walls of a neighboring entrance. This is a section of the mass consciousness of a teenage audience. Next to their own figures, drawings of sexual organs, symbols of football teams.
As a rule, they are located side by side and there are reasons for that. Short-term television hypnosis of the best songs about coffee is insignificant in comparison with the powerful suggestion of music videos that daily broadcast D-mythology on television and radio from a home tape recorder, a computer and fashionable street headphones. In discos and rock concerts, hypnotic suggestion repeatedly increases , because of the strength of sound and the effect of the crowd.
D-mythology as the peak of aspiration (the highest personal expediency) offers: exciting sex with drugs; spiritual improvement through drug use; outstanding physical achievements (increase in strength, endurance, etc.) through the use of drugs; the rise of status by imitation of celebrities using drugs, etc.
D-ideology rejects the basic laws and norms of society, overthrows thousands of years taboos, casts doubt and discredits basic life values and life itself as the highest value. Its goal is to counteract the teenager to society, to encourage deviance, to launch the mechanism “The Vicious Circle of Depressive Mood – Negative Thinking,” to free the way for the penetration of the mythology of drugs into the consciousness.
The studies of American psychologists have shown that the delinquent actions of teenagers sharply decreases their self estimation. After violation of rules follows condemnation which causes more decreased self-estimation.
For 90% of adolescents drug use begins in a group professing deviant ideology. This is a mean of communication and a group identification together with the jargons and symbols.
Marketing of drugs is based on the creation of an artificial deviant group and D-ideology and D-mythology permeation in it.
Rock bands that broadcast D-mythology have several functions that carry out the marketing of drugs.
1. The rock star as an object of ego-identification of teenager
Behavior. Stars of the “alternative” are literally competing in demonstrating obscene behavior. In interviews they often spread about addiction to drugs (sometimes imaginary) and their abnormal sexuality. Also they consider as normal to publicly urinate, strip the genitals, masturbate, perform sexual acts or defecate. Thus, the teenager creates a lasting impression that such behavior is the way to the millionth fees and glory of the super-star.
2. The rock star as the source of the mythology of the product (drugs)
Texts. Poetization of the product, a description of narcotic intoxication as flight, association with vivid sensual sexuality, “travel”, etc. Text-protest, like any mention in the media, is also advertising. A potential consumer has a sense of norm, the routine of drug use. It is the repetition of advertising that achieves confidence.
The texts discredit the main competitors of drugs – basic human values: beauty, love, trust, family, children, creativity, work, life, happiness, etc. A separate article is the texts that broadcast anguish, horror, complaints. As a rule, they are equipped with a refrain, with prolonged repetition and constant listening, which can lead to real suicide.
3. The rock star as a catalyst of depression
The feeling of anguish, disgust, horror. As it has been repeatedly confirmed by scientific studies, the rhythm and musical structure of the “alternative” inhibits efficiency, plunges into depression and anguish. Such accessories of video clips like cockroaches, worms, spiders, bats, snakes, centipedes, stretching mucus cause a feeling of nausea and disgust.
Video clips that carry out the tasks of D-marketing are characterized by arrhythmic editing, oppressive music, ugly angles and interiors, flashing “flaws”, “disconnected” images, disgusting view of the performers. All these D-marketing signs are often combined with D-text. A typical example is the series of Marilyn Mansons (corpse stains of the eye sockets, pupils of the reptile, black mouth). The image transmits disgust, horror, which are the catalysts of depression. “Alternative” rock advertises drugs, promotes deviance and catalyzes depression.
The phenomena considered by us are added to the scheme of the functional cause-and-effect analysis, operating according to the laws of the operant behaviorism of B.F. Skinner.
The propaganda of sex by all means of communication (art, media, cultural and everyday space), as an unconditional incentive, causes respondent behavior – a sexual urge felt as a need for sexual life (Maslow, 39; 78).
Advertising, which closely associates sex with youth fashion, pop music, a place of rest and entertainment, turns these neutral concepts into conditional incentive (classical conditioning), i.e., possessing the same strength as the unconditional incentive. The combination of such incentive leads to generalization, i.e., to a multiple amplification of the reaction. The consumer goes to entertainment market and looking for a sexual partner.
The ideology of deviance, changing the acting variables: SEX (unconditional incentive), FASHION (conditional incentive), ROCK MUSIC (conditional incentive), PLACES OF ENTERTAINMENT (conditional incentive) allows further to manipulate the consumer behavior:
D-sex – requires attending a place (place of sale) looking for sexual entertainment.
D-fashion – (piercing, tattoos, punk comb, etc.) breaks the conventional clothing codes and causes discomfort, feelings of inferiority. It unites groups for which it serves as a means of non-verbal communication. A social and psychological opposition “We” – a group and “They” – a society is formed. The group is imbued with deviance, imposed by channels of communication. Members of the group violate generally accepted norms. There is an cohesion of thinking.
Table 3. Functional cause-and-effect analysis of the behavior of market consumers of ENTERTAINMENT
Table 4. Functional cause-and-effect analysis of the behavior of market consumers of DRUGS
D-star – being the center of verbal and visual communication, transmits the mythology of drugs, depression, deviance, elements of D-mode and becomes an object of imitation. Drug use in the identification group leads to the emergence of a vicious circle of “Depression – negative thinking – depression.” Self-esteem decreases, self-condemnation follows. Feelings of anguish, horror, disgust broadcasting by D-rock deepens the depression caused by violation of public taboos and substitution of genuine values, deprives meaning of life and performs the function of maintaining a constant demand for goods (drugs) in D-marketing.
Speaking about the marketing activities of transnational corporations, we mean a clear strategy characterized by centralized control and coordination.
The ideological and thematic monotony (6 themes) of TV and radio broadcasts, press, video and film products, computer games, etc., aimed at an audience aged 12-25, indicates the central source of coordination, control and financing.
THERE IS A GLOBAL MARKETING BEFORE US.
In different variations, in the form of mentions or occupying most of the information, these topics are components of drug marketing throughout the world. These themes begin to develop intensively in Western art with the dawn of the Sexual Revolution (early 50’s), and by the end of the second millennium, the collateral areas of the information space are being captured. Transmitted by advertising in conditional incentive, they model the behavior of more and more new drug users (on the development of D-marketing – in the second and third parts of the work). Their untouchability is declared as the achievement of Western democracy, guaranteeing basic human rights – freedom of speech and pluralism of opinions. Thus, the content of a significant part of Western culture is the marketing of drugs.
Carriers of Culture
The long-derived formula of advertising success says: in order to be successful, advertising should be a part and a creation of a national culture.
Press. The number of publications implementing D-marketing (6 topics) is huge. Some specialize in one of the themes (“Fuzz” – rock music, “Hustler” – sex propaganda). Others conduct a complex of D-marketing completely. The popular magazines have been working for decades on combining goods with the consumer all over the world: COOL GIRL, SOOL, Cosmopolitan , “YES!”, “Men’s Health”, etc.
Television, movies and video films.
As a rule, these are TV shows for teenagers, whose themes are the main elements of D-marketing: D-fashion, D-music, D-entertainment, subculture propaganda and extreme frivolous “crazy” attitude to life (D-mythology), for example: “Tower “,” From sixteen and older “,” 100% “,” Akuna Matata “, etc. American series” Friends “and other serials and films for young people. It is almost all the broadcasts of disco and rock music, the music channel MTV, “Musical Ring”, “Disc-channel”, “Two”, “About this …”, “Playboy”, etc. Movies with the plot built on admiring sexual anomalies, (“Empire of Passion”, “Emmanuel”).
The famous daily animated series “Beavis and Butt-Head” (MTV) specializing in deviance and creating clear associative links between the beautiful and the disgusting in the young spectator (Tchaikovsky – worms, infants – vomit, inventions – feces). The purpose is to discredit the higher values, to inculcate disgust for life.
Films that promote deviance, portraying criminals as charming, strong-willed, strong personalities, avenging the unfair world, the example: “Leon” (promotion of “killer” profession), “Nikita” (promotion of “sniper” profession).
Dozens of films that promote D-mythology – drugs, “expansion of consciousness”, travels and adventures with the help of substances that alter consciousness (“Medicine Man” with Sean Connery, “The X-Files”), etc.
Book market. Sex propaganda in a huge number of tabloid semi-pornographic and pornographic works, promotion of D-rock and D-stars in the form of biographies and rock encyclopedias, tens of millions of copies of Castaneda that arouse interest and move towards “expansion of consciousness” and “travel,”, the literature that provoked and accompanied the psychedelic revolution and the Hippie movement in the West: Timothy Leary, Robert Lang, mysticism, yoga, Buddhism, and so on.
Computer games. Thousands of games representing the entire spectrum of D-marketing. Deviance – cruelty, murder, hacking: Blood 1-2, Quake 1-2, Carmageddon 1-2, Postal, etc. D-mythology: Vangery 1-2, Blob Job And so forth. Sex: “Voyeur 1-2″, “Geisha”, etc.
The Internet. Sex-propaganda (porn and sexual deviation) with links to every Internet crossroads is 60% of the content of the Internet network. Direct advertising, information about the methods of manufacture and places of sale of drugs flourish here.
Cultural and every day environment. Pictures, stickers, ornaments, posters; images on everyday objects: notebooks, packages, calendars, bed linen. For example: a T-shirt with images of Beavis and Butt-Head as a modern double-headed Gorgon, sowing chilling horror or ravegam (chewing gum) under the name Acid 9 a youth friend: “Collect 13 wrappers from this chewing gum and change them from the same kiosk, to a tattoo glowing in the dark “, – printed inside the label. Children get information about sex from porn inserts to the bubble gum “Kama Sutra”, and training deviance on the picture-liner from the “Alf” gum, which recommends frightening the passer-by or punching pockets to his brother.
How did this amazing transformation took place in Christian, Western European culture, whose center up in the 14th century remained images of God, Christ, the Mother of God; In the culture, the core of which is formed by evil, and the central figures – the devil, the antichrist, the hermaphrodite?
By the middle of the twentieth century, trade in goods determined the further development of the humanities and art culture of the West countries (primarily Britain and the USA), became their hidden content, built up ideology, economics, and politics. In fact, speaking of an alternative mass culture, which in fact is, as we found out, a synonym for drug marketing, we are talking about a proposal that completely forms demand. The need to understand the origin of this amazing phenomenon makes us turn to its roots …
Based on the monograph of N.E. Markova “Cultural intervention”
Translated by Valeriy Petrov