I was going to delurk at one of the many, many blogs I lurk at, in order to leave a comment on this post, but decided to make it over here instead, since really I’m building on his point, more than responding.

GayProf says:

What does bother me, though, are the ways that these advertisers create a vision of identity based on conspicuous consumption. These two ad campaigns depend on crass desires to feel superior to your fellow humans.

This bothers me too. But what bothers me more, is when advertisers promise that conspicuous consumption can relieve you of the need to bring up your children. Your child talks too much on the cellphone? Well, you could teach her about self-discipline and the value of money and her role as a member of the family—or, you could just buy more minutes on the cellplan. Your toddler thinks it’s fun to jump up and down on a Hershey’s liquid chocolate bottle in the middle of your totally white living room? Well, you could teach him not to be wantonly destructive—or you could just buy furniture with some magic scotchguard-equivalent, so that it doesn’t matter.