Monday, October 7, 2013

Enable Acceptable Aggression

USA Today warns us that the distinctive toy store sound for the months ahead won’t be Christmas music. Nah, we get that every year. This time around, breaking routine will be the resonance of breaking wind.
  • Horri-Ballz from Vivid Imaginations emit the sound of farts when you toss them. 
  • The Prank Star Fart Piano from Skyrocket Toys enhances the rude noises with tonal quality from the diatonic scale. 
  • The Despicable Me 2 Fart Blaster adds a specially-designed banana odor to the fart noise, which is itself accentuated by a megaphone. 
     The target demographic here is boys more than girls, and one rationale for the marketability is kids’ desire to test the limits. I see another rationale as boys’ desire to express aggression paired with adults’ desire that this aggression be expressed in socially acceptable ways. Balls that fart when you throw them toward a friend or a wall. A megaphone which throws the sound itself. Pianos disgorging a boy’s visceral reactions to piano lessons. Polite society may not consider these as genteel, but will accept them.
     Consumers beyond childhood will also buy tools for the socially acceptable expression of aggression. Serving teens and young adults, there’s paint ball equipment. For adults with enough income, there are muscle cars. For those who can’t afford the muscle cars, there are bumper stickers.
     Researchers at Colorado State University found that drivers of cars with bumper stickers are more likely to honk, tailgate, cut off other vehicles, and express other aggressive behaviors than are drivers of cars without bumper stickers. Unexpectedly, this held true whether the sentiment on the bumper sticker was about aggression or acceptance. “My Kid Is an Honor Student” as well as “My Kid Can Beat Up Your Honor Student.” “Visualize World Peace” as well as “Don’t Mess With Texas.”
     Moreover, the “bumper sticker aggression” showed up with window decals and personalized license plates. Consumers were using the personalizing of their cars to justify the expression of aggression in socially acceptable ways.
     Acceptable doesn’t necessarily mean safe, however. The Colorado researchers say that aggressive driving causes up to two out of three auto accidents involving physical injury.
     Therefore, you might want to choose a different approach: Sell items which ease aggression. University of Kentucky researchers don’t recommend that retailers peddle drugs, but did find that taking 1,000 mg of acetaminophen daily for three weeks measurably reduced aggressive thoughts and actions.

Click below for more: 
Drop a Pill When Acting Like One?

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