Katelyn R – “Hauling”

Posted: January 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

In class, we were introduced to the concept of hauling and this was my first time hearing what they were and why they have become so popular. Hauling videos typically are dominated by female teenagers/young adults and they allow them to show off their purchases, good deals and material items to the Internet community. My first thoughts when learning about hauling was ‘who would want to watch this?’ and ‘who has the desire to make one of these?’ but it turns out there is a significantly large community behind this concept. In the Business Insider article (http://www.businessinsider.com/marketers-that-think-hauling-is-what-trucks-do-should-read-this-2013-4), it states that people typically showcase their material possessions because they want to show them off, gain attention and some even do it as a profession nowadays. This notion relates to commodity fetishism because the haulers are becoming obsessed with material possessions and they are becoming a part of them, and not just an extension of themselves. In the article by Holt and Schor, they illustrate how we are in a consumer society and it is becoming the ‘air we breathe.’ Hauling videos enforce that ideology due to their materialistic nature and frequency.

In my opinion, they seem like a waste of time and I feel that I do not gain anything from them. As we learned in class, it promotes the idea that your self-worth is measured by what you own. For advertisers and producers, they are extremely beneficial for their brand. Producers can gather information and feedback from the haulers in order to improve their products  in the future to appeal to the appropriate target audience. For advertisers, the haulers are promoting their products very cost-efficiently (usually no cost at all) and the promotion is commonly positive from the hauling videos. The haulers are giving their honest opinion about the products, which gives them high credibility and allows advertisers to use that honesty to their advantage. 

An interesting topic that Nathan brought up, that I hadn’t considered before, was that the haulers are actually gaining life skills when doing these videos. He mentioned that they are learning how to edit and record videos well, they are improving their social skills and learning about the field of marketing, advertising, and material production. As much as I don’t fully understand and critique the notion behind the hauling videos, there are benefits to them in ways I didn’t expect.    

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