Phrases can be very powerful, and this makes them useful in the marketing of consumer goods. “Just do it” is a well-known phrase in modern society and, within the context of consumerism, it encourages people to make rash decisions and purchase goods, for example a car or a watch.
Owning material possessions and putting on a display of wealth and success is a popular ambition, particularly among western society. The phrase “just do it” supports this ideal. The song American Dream, by Casting Crowns tells the story of a man who wants to achieve the dream. He wants to achieve wealth and success in order to give his family a better life (Elyrics). However, very soon it becomes clear that although he is earning more money, his family’s relationships are suffering as a result. The song goes on to discuss the man regretting what he has done to his family, and claiming that he would rather live in poverty and be happy than be wealthy and have no family. The song is an example of how the American Dream focuses on the superficial aspects of life, such as material wealth and an enviable image, and how badly this can affect the important parts of life, such as relationships.
Phrases like “just do it” are powerful and, when used strategically, can encourage people to spend money they don’t really have. I think that the world is beginning the recognise, more and more, that striving for the American Dream isn’t always healthy. Arguably, wealth and material possessions mean nothing if there are no important people to share them with. Unimportant things like money and fast cars cannot ever compare to the happiness of having family and friends.
Elyrics. “American Dream Lyrics.” 2012. Web. 17 April 2013. http://www.elyrics.net/read/c/casting-crowns-lyrics/american-dream-lyrics.html