When George Washington was a teenager, did he really, really, really want a car?
In order to want something, you probably need to know it exists. But my guess is that it surely helps if you’ve been marketed to.
One definition of happiness is wanting the things you’re likely to get (or, conversely, not wanting the unattainable). One definition of marketing is persuading the world it wants what you have, regardless of whether they can afford it or not.
We don’t hesitate to motivate employees by marketing them the benefits of being promoted, even if they all can’t possibly get this. We don’t hesitate to tease kids by marketing every conceivable unattainable Christmas gift at them, relentlessly.
Teenage girls are taught what to want by magazines and by peers. [read]