The Joneses

Until I started this class I never really realized how much of marketing has become a way of life. I was largely dismissive of social media and categorized it as a tool for the idle. But it has become evident that it is a very important form of advertising and a tool for success. Personal selling has been an eye opener. Had I not seen the movie as a part of this course, I still wouldn’t have gotten it. Personal selling means that the seller is interacting with the potential buyer in order to sell their goods. It started at the very beginning of the movie when the “son” asked the jogger to take the photo of them and the guy, impressed with the gadget promised to get one for his grandson. Their entire lifestyle was one big promotion. They utilized various tools to get the job done. There were presentations, the daughter did that at school starting with the scarf and conversations where they tried, and succeeded, to sway their new community members. There were demonstrations and both Mr. and Mrs. Jones did field sales, hers being very effective when her neighbors stopped to admire her exercise outfit and very soon they were all dressed similarly. They also initiated consultative and reference selling. Mr. Jones’ target market was the country club members where he started with the golf clubs. He was even able to implement multilevel marketing when he got the trainer involved in the selling of the golf clubs. Everyone wanted to be like them, so yes, they were personal selling in every aspect of their lives.

Personal selling works better when products or services are on the costly side. My purchasing power is more on the cheaper or economical side. My favorite brands run to the side of mass marketing, like Macy’s and New York and Co. When you shop on line, whatever the product purchased, they continue sending emails of similar brands. These companies and the Joneses’ ensure there is the follow up element in order to retain their customer base. If I go to a car shop, they perform the service then six months or a year later, send you a reminder that your car is ready for the same service.

Ethics has become a fascinating subject for me and I think that in some instances, there is no clear demarcation with regards to it. The Jones have been selling a lifestyle. They moved into an affluent neighborhood and everything they wore and did was a sales tactic. What was clearly unethical was that they were pretending to be a family when they were in fact just a sales team. From the time they drove into the community the thought was they were “going to make a killing”. However, they were working for a company and operating under their guidelines. They were like the Avon company, but the customers were unaware they were customers. They were operating under the concept that people always want what others have. They can argue their neighbor’s suicide wasn’t their fault because they never coerced him into buying the stuff.  It was working, but technically it wasn’t right.

I am not a person who thinks that having a lot of stuff, fancy or otherwise, is important. The Jones’ would not have been able to profit off of me. What would have bothered me after finding out their secret was that the family line was a lie and that they were just attempting to use me as a means to an end.


2 thoughts on “The Joneses

  1. Rechal Kajla

    I like how you mentioned how each character in the movie conducted personal marketing, and I agree how the Joneses never lost sight of their goal of making everyone envious of their lifestyle leading to the death of their neighbor.

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