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Tickle Me Elmo

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If we believe that the laws of supply and demand always hold, why is it that the "popular" gifts for the holidays always sell out early?

Doesn't the quantity supplied always equal the quantity demanded?

a. Pick an item that is for sale
b. Describe the market
c. Does quantity supplied equal quantity demanded most of the time? If not, what could cause the discrepancy? Is it government interference?
d. Is it that producers were too short-sighted and didn't estimate expected demand accordingly?

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Solution Preview

Tickle me Elmo is a children's toy that became the "must have" toy for the christmas season of 1996. The market for it was one of high demand and not enough supply. The toy was adorable. A large number of parents wanted to show their kids how much they love them with gifts, and that is best shown if they can show up with "the gift" that everyone covets. Why wasn't there enough supply? Well, one of the reasons might be that the producers didn't know that ...

Solution Summary

Tickle me Elmo is expressed as a marketing example.

$2.19
See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Briefly describe the roles that the print media have played in the development of American popular culture.
Identify at least three trends propagated by the print media. Evaluate the impact of these trends on your views or attitudes concerning the following topics:
Consumerism
Work
Social responsibility
Happiness
The human body
Justice, law, and order

Popular Culture and Print Media Paper

Briefly describe the roles that the print media have played in the development of American popular culture.
Identify at least three trends propagated by the print media. Evaluate the impact of these trends on your views or attitudes concerning the following topics:

Print media has been around in American since pre-Revolutionary times. One of the key individuals who contributed to popular culture in America, Benjamin Franklin, was a journalist who wrote satire, editorials, scientific articles and everything in between. Since the time of Franklin to the present, there have been many popular culture shifts and changes. In modern times, the print media has been influential in promoting three very specific trends in American popular culture.

These are: insecurity, objectification of the human body and the preference for symbolism over substance.

Consumerism

We all seem to want what we don't have. Ever since the days when rural people would thumb through the Sears and Roebuck catalog and dream about buying an ice box, pre-made clothes or a washing machine, print media has played a huge role in consumerism. If you look at the ads in these early catalogs you will find the seeds of insecurity, objectification of the human body as well as symbolism over substance.

Insecurity is bred from the belief that in some way I am inferior to others. At least in American society, status is equated with possessions. "I own things therefore I am" could be said to be the American version of Descartes' "I think therefore I am." The problem is, if others have cooler stuff than I do, I become inferior to them. Therefore I must buy cooler stuff to inflate my status.

Symbolism over substance can also be seen in the crazy things we spend money on simply because the print media tells us we need it. Do you remember beanie babies or Tickle me Elmo. About ten years ago there were fights in department stores over these children's toys. The people fighting were not children they were adults. Some people were selling these items on EBay for over $100 each when the retail value was only about $2.99 each.

Viewing the human body as an object can also be seen through consumerism. When print media began running photos the evolution of the human body as a selling tool kicked into high gear. The human body or parts of it have been used to sell nearly every consumer item imaginable. From car tires to butter and life insurance to beer, images of people are used to sell things.

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