Is A Shift To Less Consumption Causing An Identity Crisis In Marketing Organizations?

We are increasingly suffering from consumption fatigue, but brands and designers have yet to acknowledge the fact, says David Carlson of The David Report.

Carlson says only the future will tell if the climate of anti-consumerism is genuine or if we are only on a pause between mad bouts of bag-filling.

Consumption in itself has become a lifestyle – we go shopping to pass the time, and feel disappointed when the hunt proves futile. Buying for the sake of buying can as easily promote feelings of remorse as pleasure. Vicky Robin’s studies in her book ’Your Money or Your Love’ describe a Fulfillment Curve and shows how shopping only makes us happy to a certain degree – then the kick quickly wears off.

I like what Carlson is saying about new priorities, but let me ask you, do you ever pause during your day and ask, “Why would someone want this product that I’m so busy promoting?” I don’t believe that type of questioning has made its way to Adlandia just yet. But maybe I’m mistaken, so please leave a comment here that helps to educate me and our readers as to your company’s awareness of, and strategies around, a shift to conscious consumption.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Its actually the reason I left the comfort of working on whiz-bang campaigns for products that were essentially fluff to instead open my own shop ( just helping Nonprofits do awesome shit with their marketing and fundraising. From folks I’ve talked to in the ad industry, I think it depends a lot on their level of seniority and of course tons of other factors like upbringing, location, types of projects, types of clients, and so on (look at Bogusky as a good example). Most old fish tend to reflect on what they’ve been doing and the impact it has really had on bettering their lives and society, especially post 9/11.