The Joneses

  • Would you categorize the way the Jones family lives as personal selling? Why or why not?
    • I had never heard of this movie before our weekly assignment—I loved watching it!  The movie portrays some great examples of personal selling, which is what the Jones family does essentially in their new town by highlighting the great features of the various products they are repping.  “Whoever dies with the most toys wins” ethos, but the family has undeniable appeal and extreme charisma, charm, sex appeal, whatever and is extremely effective in immediately getting to work selling products face to face with neighbors, classmates, country club cronies, etc.
  • What similarities do you see between the sales tactics the Jones family employs and the marketing tactics of some of your favorite brands? Give an example.
    • I think the personal selling approach is—when done tastefully—a very powerful way to move products.  To be honest, now that I am thinking about it,  I have bought products because of a charismatic personality demonstrating the benefits and hard to define “style” of a certain surfboard.  The surfer was a hard charging Aussie who surfs huge, rough surf with a relaxed, devil may care attidude and I ended up being attrached to a perfectly sized board that was a Hypto Krpyto over other brands because of Craig Anderson surf videos using this board off Rockaway Beach, NYC.
  • Based on what you read in the course materials and what you observed in this movie, do you think the way products are marketed in this movie is ethical?
    • I think the way products are marketing in this movie are ethical—that is, not illegal and not overly “wrong” or “improper”…but the way they are sold is perhaps…immoral?  This kind of completely hidden agenda personal sales strategy feels doomed in the long run because it leaves folks feeling manipulated.  If they wouldn’t be comfortable about doing what they are doing in the open, then I think it is ultimately not an effective long term sales strategy even if it’s not “unethical” or illegal.
  • How would you feel if you were friends with someone in the Jones family before you found out their secret? What about afterward?
    • I think this would be a game-changing revelation; on the one hand, it wouldn’t really change everything because I was presumably drawn to the charisma and personality of one of the Jones family members and wanted to emulate their lifestyle—that would be my choice, even if I was being influenced, and the influence was basically on an unconscious level.  On the other hand, to know that the relationship was completely “fake” and based on pushing product, would hollow out any affection and I would not be able to be friends with them anymore.  I think it would be a good opportunity to do some self-analysis and honestly think about how and what the relationship was based upon though – I mean, while the family members do seem very interesting, the values they promote and the morally bankrupt way in which they promote them in the community are not conducive to healthy friendships.


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