America's Modern Alterego on TV

America's Modern Alterego on TV

Regina Yunghans
Apr 11, 2011

This is something that's always puzzled me: The Maxima Sport television ad pictured above exemplifies the phenomenon of mainstream ads featuring modern living. While the great majority of Americans live in quite traditionally-styled homes, the advertisements pitched to us every day show us living in contemporary houses:

Why is it that we identify with such modern living in television spots but not in actual life? The home in the Nissan Maxima commercial looks like it could have been designed by Charles Eames, yet those purchasing the Maxima most likely live in relatively conventional suburban spec houses.

Has anyone else noticed this pattern of idolizing contemporary designs while not actually living in them? Why don't we put our money where our admirations lie? I don't think it's only about money: I believe contemporary style is attainable even with a reasonable price tag. What's your theory?

Images: Nissan ad via YouTube

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