American Psycho (second half)–Group 4

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:  Dan, Michael

Home Décor: Haley, Will

Video/Stereo/Home and personal technology:  Alex L., Joey, Jacob

Cutlery/Tools: Rachel, Gordon

Men’s Clothing:  Alex M., Henry

5 thoughts on “American Psycho (second half)–Group 4

  1. Jacob Morton

    Above is one of the most famous ads in commercial history. This was the first commercial I thought of–even before I saw my category contained personal technology. There is the shared decade of course–both the commercial and novel are set in the 80s–but the lasting appeal of this ad seems right up Bateman’s alley. The cinematic dynamism of its aesthetic and camerawork gives off an air of groundbreaking intensity. Bateman would talk at great length over how revolutionary it is that a commercial incorporated such filmic strategies; he’d be performatively unpretentious (and thusly still pretentious) about speaking intellectually about a television advertisement. The literary homage is also just sophisticated/academic enough for him to pat himself on the back for recognizing. The style of the sledgehammer-throwing hero is also reminiscent of the colorful flamboyance of 1980s pop culture, also seen in music groups of the era like Huey Lewis and the News. Obviously the aggression/violence in the commercial bears some thematic relevance–as well as the fact that it is a commercial for one of the most revolutionary, lucrative technological innovations of the century.

  2. Rachel Horowitz-Benoit

    While looking for advertisements for tools that would speak strongly to Patrick Bateman, I’ve come to the conclusion that every commercial/advertisement featuring a tool would be extremely distasteful to him. The one I’ll highlight is this clip from DeWalt tools, which showcases many construction workers raving about their brand:

    In both this advertisement for tools and all the others I can think of, there’s a celebration of a certain kind of working-class masculinity as well as a valorization of physical labor. I think this construction of masculinity would both be threatening and pathetic to Bateman. While he values his physical form and exercises often, there’s a performativity in it that even he seems to be aware of; he is not exercising to BE strong but to LOOK strong. He exerts his strength mainly over women and other people that are weaker than him. Furthermore, he is deeply classist, and I can’t see him being attracted to an aesthetic that favors physical labor. His own masculinity is extremely metrosexual, which usually Bateman is comfortable with, but I think this alternate presentation of masculinity would challenge his conception of himself.

  3. Alexander Merrill

    While looking through men’s fashion ads, I found this one. It stood out to me I think because of the man’s face, which I feel conveys contempt. I thought that Bateman might have a look like this on his face when he sees a homeless man in an alley, or some other thing else he might deem repulsive. After making this connection, I almost felt like this would be the perfect ad to appeal to Bateman in his older age, or that he might even see this ad during the phase of his life in the novel and look up to the man as what he strives be be like as an old man. The outfit is minimalistic and semi-professional, made by an Italian brand, and the ad itself is very clean and simple. I could see Bateman drooling over the ad similar to a good business card, and I think that the clothing itself fits right up his alley. Furthermore, I think that the representation of a fit, groomed, old man would appeal to a desire to continue to live a socialite lifestyle well into his old age. Overall, I’m not entirely sure if Bateman would buy these clothes, however I do think that he would greatly appreciate and respect this advertisement.

  4. Gordon Lewis

    “Victorinox ultra sharp chef’s knives make quick work of slicing and dicing…” so begins an advertisement I heard many times over each time I listened to this particular podcast when I went on runs last fall. I tried to find the exact soundbite, but failed.

    Instead, here’s a link to the website: (

    Reading the rest of “American Psycho” and learning about how Patrick’s murderous rampages know no bounds, I remembered hearing this ad countless times and thought, what better product would there be for a sadistic maniac who enjoys cutting and carving up his victims? Even the description on the webpage seems to call out to Patrick: “For cutlery that breaks the mold and truly knows no limits: look no further.” Moreover, for someone who loves the images surrounding brands, I also feel like Patrick could not resist the fact that Victorinox are also the makers of the Swiss Army Knife, a well-respected and famously useful and reliable tool.

  5. Henry Mooers

    Scroll until you see number 18, which should be an advertisement for men’s underwear. I chose this image for a number of reasons. The first one is that the Man in the advertisement clearly is very physically fit. I believe that fitness and physical beauty is something that Bateman’s character deeply values. Seth Godin has written several books on the topic of marketing and advertisements. He once wrote how a good advertisement 1. establishes clearly the target audience 2. Within that target audience, creates a feeling of desire to fit in with the people / activities occurring in the ad. The premise of this is that a good ad will be one that the consumer will identify with, and in doing so will make that consumer want to align themselves with the brand in question.

    I think this ads another layer of analysis to this ad. We are presented with a physically fit man, reading a book in his chair. He clearly values both bodily fitness, and also intellectual pursuits. This sort of seems like the self that Bateman is trying to cultivate in the novel; an individual with a mastery over mind and body.

    I also feel like there is a bit of arrogance required to read a book in one’s underwear as such, which Bateman would also resonate with. Overall, I think the visual depiction of the man would hook in Bateman and cause him to buy the underwear.

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