‘The Wolf Motives/Los motivos del lobo’ is a fiction video that focuses on the more or less covert control strategies erected around young people. Through a visual style that references both the wildlife documentary and advertising language at its most insistent, the video examines the market interests that lie behind the incentives launched by brands and corporations through social networks and specialist channels.
Young people are a target public for this kind of initiative in their role as prospective users or buyers, where they command a compelling market share. This alienating capitalist dynamic suppresses individuality and impedes any self-development outside the system, simultaneously eroding freedoms and connecting with the overprotection practiced by governments who promote the “culture of fear” and mistrust of “the other.”
In many instances, capturing young people’s attention means accepting the inevitable dose of transgression that comes with the development of their personalities at this culminating stage of socialization. Identification with subversive aesthetics and conducts; the use of alcohol and drugs and the exaltation of a casual, reductionist notion of sexual relationships are regarded as a lesser evil once they have been diagnosed, codified and repackaged as consumer habits.
If the notion of status is supremely important at this time of life – being recognized for who you are and the ideas you defend – it is brands that provide the means to exhibit which groups you belong to and which you shun. It is no surprise then that brands play such a major role in young people’s lives, helping them construct the identity and image they present to their friends.
Brand attributes have different levels of significance depending on the market. In some countries, they serve to express a person’s individuality and distinguish them from the rest. In others, the opposite is true, with brands being used to signal membership of a particular group.
In the absence of other referents and of solid, attractive values, these same corporations have made it their job to analyze and channel young people’s emotions concerning their demand for “self-realization,” mindful always of their priority status as consumers and users.