Week H Assignment – The Joneses

Masayuki Kirsch – Marketing Homework H

Would you categorize the way the Jones family lives as personal selling? Why or why not?

Technically I would not categorize how the Jones family lives as a personal selling. I claim this because though they do not directly sell a product, they sell a lifestyle. Furthermore, the literal definition of personal selling is “Direct, personal communication between sellers and buyers or potential buyers.” As seen in the movie, there is no direct selling; instead, it is quite the opposite, having them hint at the benefit of purchasing the product. So essentially, the family is indirectly marketing a product. If the Jones family lives were personal selling, then the face-to-face selling would be much more apparent and their intents.

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.

Brands like my favorites create a narrative around their product and industry. To give more clarification, Nike would associate itself with athletes who are loved (Good reputation) by the public. This has been evident recently, as companies have disbanded their relationship with Kanye West and Kyrie Irving to maintain their brand image. Like how the family fully goes to preserve their image and the products. Other instances can be seen with celebrities who are paid to wear certain products subtly without emphasizing them, not making it seem like an advertisement. This perfectly aligns with a quote in the movie “You are here to sell a lifestyle. If people want you, they will want what you got.” Companies intend to ingrain their products into a particular way of life, where it becomes normalized or the standard to acquire such products.

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?

The way the Joneses marketed their products was unethical due to the manipulation involved and its effects on the family and the community. This can even be seen in the end, as the lying gets to the protagonist and completely breaks him apart. Lying is unethical, and the family’s strategy involves lying to the fullest extent. Their marketing method created an unhealthy living standard for people, and we can see this play out through the family’s neighbor’s death.

How would you feel if you were friends with someone in the Jones family before you found out their secret? What about afterward?

I would be disgusted and disappointed if I discovered their secret because the friendship is inauthentic and fabricated. Everyone associated with the family has been seen to have gone through some trauma, as their intent to sell and normalize certain products can drastically affect my life. I would question other things as well. What else is fabricated? What else is attempting to replicate the same thing the family has done? It would cause some phycological damage to myself.

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