Tuesday, December 9, 2008

1. How does consumerism play a role in "Thank You for Smoking" ?

I find it interesting that anyone reading the book is a potential consumer for the Tobacco Industry. Even though the entire theme of the book is critical and cynical about the business, I have to wonder how many smokers decided to quit the habit after they read the book. OR...did any non-smoking reader tried it just to see what it was like? Smoking, like any other legal habit, has the best marketing scheme out there because they can take the stance that any press is good press. It's why spin doctors exist. Nothing is 100% proven in regards to health and smoking and it has a badass appeal that "makes you look cool" or "keep you thin" or "feels good with a beer."

2. What does the statement "Tobacco takes care of it's own", mean to you? How does that theme play into the underlying theme of the book?

Growing up in a tobacco town.....this statement rang true every time. The whole foundation of Duke University started on tobacco money.......LOTS OF IT. I think the best part of the statement is the irony in it. Tobacco will take care of those in The Industry - those dudes have to stick together, but in the end, if you've given over to the smoky dark side of sucking on the cancer sticks......you'll "be taken care of."

3. Product placement is key in most films, books, etc. Think about all the different products you have seen in the last three movies. What were they? Did they reflect the views and trends of current societal standards?

After reading this book, I've started to notice product placement more and more. It reminds me of the scene in Wayne's World where they are touting Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Pringles and making fun of it. What amazed me with the book was the intricacies and the details that they get into for that kind of crap. What a waste of a lot of people's money and time. Remember back in the day, when TV shows used have the non-branded stuff that just said "Cereal" on the box or "Soda" on the can? Some marketing genius realized hey......we can make more money THIS way. And it works........humans can be such sheep.