American Psycho (Second Half)–Group 1

Find an ad that would appeal to Patrick Bateman and post a link to it.  Base on the advertisement, why  would Bateman buy  or scorn the product?  Don’t just say that he’d like it because it’s a luxury or reject it because it isn’t one.  Be more specific and analytical about how the ad works, the nature of luxury presented, the kinds of people we see, how the ad is filmed or photographed.  What, specifically, would make Bateman fall in love with the product? 

You don’t have to write a lot, but we’re definitely going to spend some time in class looking at these, so be prepared to say why you chose the ad you did and what you think is effective about it.   The ads can come from any time period.

Here are product categories for individuals.  Don’t work in pairs.  Find your own example.

Self-Care/Beauty Products:  Madison, Tim

Home Décor: Paolo, KK

Video/Stereo/Home and personal technology:  Carl, Cole

Cutlery/Tools: Liz, Michael

Men’s Clothing:  Annabella, Andreya

4 thoughts on “American Psycho (Second Half)–Group 1

  1. Thomas Dillon

    As I was scrolling through countless advertisements of stereo systems for home and personal technology, I stumbled upon this one portraying the Sonos Wireless hifi system ad and immediately thought not only of Patrick Bateman, but also of the interior design and architecture of his apartment. Bateman’s apartment as depicted in the book seems spotless, high-class, clean, and virtually like a white, voidless setting. The setting of the Sonos commercial parallels Bateman’s apartment, from my perspective. Furthermore, the advertisement demonstrates how the Sonos wireless hifi system has the ability to play songs/music in various locations throughout the apartment. I believe that this would appeal to Bateman because he can play Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, and Whitney Houston for his guests (victims) wherever and however he so wishes, simply with a touch of the button on his phone. On the other hand, Bateman can use the surround sound system for his pornographic ventures, while also using music to set the mood for sexual encounters. The versatility of this product, combined with the advertisement’s smooth, clear affinity for classical music and opulent living habits would catch Patrick Bateman’s attention.

  2. Paolo Gonnelli

    While looking for some brands of home decor I immediately bumped into this Italian furniture company. I think that regardless of the ad in particular, Bateman would be quite interested in the brand if anything because of the social value it could hold. He definitely care about appearances and how to constantly increase his status through what he owns or wears. I would imagine he has glorified, Eurocentric idealization for these products and would be immediately attracted to it. In this ad, there are elements that would captivate him that are not necessarily connected to home decor: we have a woman dressed very elegantly, trying on different shoes (Louis Vuitton, another symbol of wealth and status) drawing on paper while surrounding by modern looking pieces of furniture. I think Bateman would be attracted to all the connections that brand is making: to buy this brand means to be talented, to be elegant, sophisticated. All aspects that would definitely resonate with him as he is so concerned with superficial, materialistic and external values. There is also some violence, the woman tearing apart the drawing, that would in a way appeal to his inner murderous instincts, even more so as the subject/model is a woman. The music also ties it all together, creating a tense atmosphere and a sense of waiting for something to happen. At the very end, we see this woman laying on the chaise longe, the product that is actually getting advertised. What would most appeal to Bateman is again the connection between the woman, and everything she represents, and the product itself. Moreover, she would appear to him as vulnerable, once again awakening his violent, sexual instincts. The final look she gives to the camera appears as an invitation, and I could very easily see Bateman falling for such a tease.

  3. Timothy DeLorenzo

    I think that this advertisement would get Bateman’s attention, anger him, and reinforce his interest in living in material objects.

    The advertisement is for a men’s soap brand. It has the same feeling as a lot of new Direct-to-consumer products that are marketing to millennials. It’s cringy and trying to be irreverent, and it softens its attack on the viewers masculinity with an environmentally health conscious edge. The opening line is “Listen up, the soap you shower with is shit.” This would anger Bateman, and definitely get his attention. Looking on he would try to see if the soap was better than the one he uses, similar to the time that he became jealous when comparing business cards. Though he would never allow himself to really show that he doesn’t feel he is using the best product.
    The next line is notable for the way it makes the viewer question how their manhood is connected to the soap that they use. “They’re still using the bar their Mommy bought for her little man. Is that what you want? To smell like Mamma’s little man.” I’m not sure how much Bateman would allow his masculinity to be attacked, but this connection between the strength of someones identity and the products that they use would be familiar to Bateman. Perhaps he would laugh at the “little man” in the shower for not having the soaps and manhood that he has. There is another part where the speaker says that the soap is for, “Men who use their hands, men who build things, men who open the pickle jar on the first try, men who catch foul balls without spilling their beer.” This advertisement does try to do away with the prestige and appeal that Bateman would be familiar with, but it does so in a way that values an authentic, straight shooting voice. Perhaps this is the Millennial reversal of the world of material surfaces to one where authentic experience defines a persons identity. Bateman would be affected by the section of the add that appeals to the nourishment and health of his skin.

  4. Madison Brito

    Glossier, a relatively young and ‘skin care first’ beauty brand, is not a company I would characterize as promoting opulence or luxury. In fact, their products are often revered for their ability to give you a more natural look, but I think Bateman would and wouldn’t relate to this brand and particularly this ad for a lot of reasons. They created this faux movie trailer based off reviews for their mascara, showing women luxuriating in a bathtub wearing diamond earrings, wistfully staring out their rainy window in a hollywood-esque picture, to screaming in their car or crying in a therapy session, all in 30 seconds; I think Bateman would find himself in all of these vignettes. On the surface, yes, he would like the former more beautiful scenes, perhaps even escaping to the bathtub or movie-like visions of the clip in his mind. He would love the idea of a ‘perfect’ mascara, even if it is not a product he’d use himself, transforming the appearances of already attractive young girls. Instagram ads for the trailer are captioned: “A feast for the eyes” and “All she ever wanted was a mascara that wouldn’t run.” It perfectly captures the idea that a singular product could provide a lifelong desired fulfillment. In fact, one of the reasons cited on their Instagram for creating the trailer is that the reviews for the product were just so ‘cinematic-worthy,’ as if implying users themselves literally reported life-changing effects from a beauty product that made their eyelashes an eighth of an inch longer. Bateman would, and does, succumb to much of this thinking, and perhaps he would even think creating a whole movie trailer in the mascara’s honor is only right. He would also likely enjoy sexually objectifying the women, although I don’t think he would be a fan of the diversity represented in the video.
    On the flipside, I think this clip would disturb him; he would see imperfect people donning this perfect product, see how it doesn’t fulfill them, how they love it all the more because it withstands screaming fits in the car and therapy sessions, as the trailer specifically notes. I think he would actually relate to this woman in the car and the woman who says “I’m good, I’m good, I’m sooo good” (as you can tell her in voice, she’s not actually good). But he wouldn’t respond well to it; he wants his ads to be an escape, not point out to him his emptiness that not even consumerism can fix. One of the major reasons the mascara seems to be marketed as so perfect is because it withstands real, daily, unpleasant life. So, he would probably love the dramatics and grandeur of the video implying that your life will be like both an anime movie and black & white film and teen flick with all their respective excitements and fulfillment, but I think the rest would resonate with him a little too personally. It is not streamlined, not homogeneous, a little too confused and fantastical in a way that would go against what he actually wants ads to provide, what he avoids although cannot seem to in his own life. So ultimately, he would probably hate it.

Leave a Reply