Here’s an ad I saw recently in a magazine:

The man in the image purportedly is David Stewart, “Malt Master” of Balvenie Distillery (their caps). He’s described as having “over 45 years of experiencing handcrafting the finest malt whiskies”; that is, he is a skilled craftsman and, as such, is by most definitions a member of the working class.

So why is he dressed in an expensive-looking suit like a member of the professional middle class might wear? While I’m sure Balvenie takes care that anything in the distillery that comes into contact with their whiskey is sterile and free of dirt and grit, the rest of the factory floor is…a factory floor. I rather doubt Mr. Stewart actually wears such a suit while he’s working…except perhaps when tourists are scheduled to come through.

But the middle-class and wealthy audience, potential consumers of The Balvenie (the superfluous article adding that je ne sais quoi of sophistication), are unlikely to accept expertise in the image of a man dressed practically for work—even highly skilled, discerning, even aesthetically demanding work—on a factory floor. No, they cannot accept that such a man could really have expertise in their discriminating connoisseurship of expensive single-malt whiskey.

So slap a suit on him. Everyone knows a man in a suit and tie always knows more than a man dressed in work clothing (except, of course, about things that the upper middle class is uncomfortable actually doing for themselves…such as fixing their car, landscaping their yards, etc.).


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Filed under fashion, politricks, thinky

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