Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Advertising is designed to foster a desire to purchase goods and services, yet it is much deeper than, that advertising is a system of effective manipulation that twists the mentalities of those subjected to it. It shapes people’s views of the world and warps their connections to each other. Therefore, advertising not only shapes their personal values but also distorts them until their principles no longer come from within them. Thus, in my opinion, advertising, unless deeply rooted in high ethical standards, destroys any concept of community, common morality or deep bonding.
An article A Brand by Any Other Name, by Douglas Rushkoff was about kids and their obsession with brands. Kids and teens, men and women, are all obsessed with choosing a brand of clothing, shoes or anything that represents them. This leads to negative effects in our culture and society. I don’t understand, why people think, that a brand name can define them, and reflect images about themselves to other people. An example would be that buying a pair of Adidas means you’re an athlete. Kids today are more easily targeted because they have not yet developed a sense of who they are. Pressures in school affect them more than at any other age. Kids are easily influenced into which brands are cool and in. Now days Advertisers do this by displaying ads that have a hidden joke or message. Those people, who understand the joke, feel cooler therefore believing the brand is cool. Advertisers will even make pointless ads to try and
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convince people that the ads have a hidden meaning that make the viewers want to understand, then therefore buy the product. Everyone is affected by advertisements regardless of what one believes, thinks or says. It is evident in the way a person dresses, and where one shops. As Douglas Rushkoff says, “The more they interact with brands, the more they brand themselves”.
What I’ve seen and noticed, that advertisements thrust products and services at consumers that they deem necessary in order to be loved, beautiful, happy, and fulfilled. Without these necessities, we feel judged, out casted and criticized. These possessions, however, make us self-loathing. Subsequently, we lose our sense of significance and find it hard to accept love and friendship from the people surrounding us. People begin to evade meaningful relationships and commitments choosing instead to fill the personal hollowness with a display of power they attain from their material possessions. The society we live in reduces us to things, it diminishes our personal relations and portrays connections as transactions, only advisable if there is something to gain. Advertising may be one of the most important marketing tools available to corporate sector today but it is certainly not the most ethical one. The reason advertising has come under attack from various sections of the society and our culture is because of the images it projects and the way they ultimately affect all of us. If we analyze advertising campaigns and techniques, we would notice that advertising is intricately connected with the principle of consumption. Consumers would buy anything that advertisements say is good for them including culture and values. In much the same way as a consumer would be forced to buy a product, media today is being used to effectively transform cultural values and sell images that are often misleading. Associate a good looking guy with a cigarette and you send a message to the public smoking is
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the in thing. Even though we all know smoking is injurious to health, we would still be tempted to give it a try based on the images that advertisements project. Advertising affects our perceptions and values so much that what we have in the shape of culture today is simply advertisement induced version of culture that lacks authenticity and gives rise images which are anything but genuine. Advertisements no longer give us a chance to develop our authentic self, rather all of us try to be like one of the persons we see in advertisements.
However advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with substantial daily doses of advertising in multiple media. This is an analytical approach to advertising’s effects on the culture and society. Consumer minds can be changed, opinions molded. Attitudes towards a brand are not set in stone after one commercial or even one purchase. Indeed, shaping attitudes often takes a considerable amount of time. Many commercials aim to entertain. Some consumers and many advertisers object to this soft sell approach, believing an ad should convince consumers, not amuse them, you wouldn’t buy a
product that the company doesn’t take seriously. At times some ads completely lack product information, and the only product reference can be strange with no reasonable association with the rest of the ads.
Obviously advertising is a useful thing to the businesses that use it, and that’s all of them if they expect to have any customers. It’s a means of informing choice, and it’s vital to new entrants in any market. When it comes to society however, and the big picture effects of advertising in general, it’s not pretty. The conclusion is that advertising promotes values that are
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directly opposed to human wellbeing, environmental sustainability and a fair society. It tough to be considered a detrimental influence, and regulated accordingly. All media and advertising is not necessarily deceptive. When advertising highlights a benefit of a product or service and matches them with your needs it is beneficial to society. It plays an important role in helping our economy function. It is a tool for economic growth and way to inform the public. It helps increase competition, make productions efficient, lowering prices, creating jobs and improving overall livelihood. But people need to understand, that advertisement brings positive and also negative effects in our lives. Advertisements and Media are too powerful, we can’t stop them, they play a huge role in our world, but they slowly bring and carry and effect, that is affecting, and will continue to affect the progress of life in this nation and around the world.

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