Some more thoughts on The Joneses


The Joneses is a film that is about a different type of family.  This family is not the traditional type of family.  The family of Steve and Kate and their teenaged children, Mick and Jenn, are actually employees of a company that has several companies that make consumer products as their clients.  The goal of the Jones family is to pretend to be a real family while using the products made by their company’s clients, in hopes that their neighbors will then buy the products that they use in an attempt to “keep up with the Joneses.”

The situational definition of the film is about how the Joneses are advertising products without the knowledge of their neighbors.  Within this factor, there are many potential and actual ethical issues in the film.  First and foremost, the Joneses are simply actors who are modeling products for their family.  Presumably they don’t particularly necessarily care, one way or another, about the products they use, and according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, this is unethical in that they are essentially presenting testimonials about the products, but the testimonials and the opinions that they express are not necessarily the ones that they particularly hold.

Moving on, through making an analysis the film is very heavily focused on the ethical issues of pretending to be family, when in reality one is simply involved with advertising the products of their company’s clients, but in a natural (or rather artificial under the guise of natural) environment.  The Joneses move into a wealthy suburb, and they form relationships with their neighbors.  An ethical issue with that is that if the ruse is exposed, the neighbors will feel hurt at the deception, and they might refuse to buy any of the products as a matter of principle, and so that they are not reminded of the deception that hurt them so very much.  Not to mention the fact, that they will have to go elsewhere to promote their company’s clients’ products.  The entire ordeal violates the code of ethics of the American Association of Advertising Agencies due to the fact that as said above, the Joneses use products and talk about how great they are when in reality, they probably do not necessarily have any type of genuine affinity, if any feelings at all, for the everyday consumer products that they use; if the ruse is exposed, that calls into question the value and quality of the products, and after all, if it is all an act, that this family uses products just to help promote them for their company’s clients, and that they may or may not care for the products, why should the consumer buy them at all.

With regard to my decision, my conclusion is that pretending to be family for the sake of advertising products under the guise of using these products in one’s everyday life is very unethical.  Besides the fact that is  generally wrong to be deceptive, there is also the matter of the company’s corporate values, and the credibility of the products being modeled, being viewed negatively.



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