There is a Visa commercial, part of the “Life Takes Visa” campaign, that essentially goes like this:

A woman is having a bad day (because it’s raining, and then the heel breaks off her shoe. By the way, how often do heels really break off shoes? Does that happen in real life? Now, if they had shown the strap of a sandal that came loose because the glue dissolved in the rain, I’d be right there with them.)

But, no worries—her life suddenly turns into a musical, and she gets a pedicure, a new outfit, and pampering all around, and all this is due to Visa.

Retail therapy, of course, is nothing new—but there seems to me to be a significant difference between a message like “credit can buy you happiness when it’s a nasty rainy annoying day” and “credit can buy you the happiness that comes from being in touch with your roots and your family history,” to use an example from the early days (so long ago!) of MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign. I’m not sure I’ve seen ads that promote this so overtly before.

See also: my post Consumerism Can Raise Our Children