A major campaign is promoting the notion that higher consumption can help to overcome the recession—and many Slovaks are buying it. Developed by the Club of Slovak Advertising Agencies, the Art Directors Club, the Association of Media Agencies and others, “Fighters Against the Recession” is a non-commercial campaign aimed at spurring the Slovakian economy.
Appearing on the Web, social media networks (like Facebook), and TV, as well as print, the ads feature ordinary people buying goods from different product categories. The message: consumption (not production) is driving the economy.
Not everyone is embracing this idea. Four agencies have in fact seceded from the Club of Slovak Advertising Agencies in protest. They argue that the campaign encourages redundant and uncontrolled consumption—precisely the source of the current economic crisis. They consider the campaign reckless and dangerous.
After more than a year of the economic recession, what connotation does “consumption” have? There has been considerable talk about shifts from “I” and consumer-oriented culture to “we” and family-oriented society. Has this change somehow been reversed? What lesson will we—consumers and companies alike—take from the recession?