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Advertising and the consumer society - Essay Example

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Advertising and the Consumer Society Name Institution Date Advertising and the Consumer Society Reaction to the article “Confessions of an Ad Man and Five Reasons Why Advertising is Good for us” Introduction Advertisements are a common facet…
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Advertising and the consumer society
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Download file to see previous pages According to the writer whose pseudonym is ‘sandramp’, advertising actually plays a very important role in modern society. Thesis Statement: Even though there are ways in which advertisements have actually been beneficial to viewers, their role in modern society has become more unhelpful with the emergence of consumerism as a global trend. Advertising has given rise to hedonistic consumerism which is detrimental to the productivity of entire communities. The Emergence of Consumerist Trends due to Capitalism In capitalism in the 21st century, production is no longer the main objective. Capitalism is now focused on the exploitation of consumers all over the world. Through advertising, capitalism now aims to manipulate the impulses of gullible consumers from markets all over the world. According to Fromm and Garton (2013), in 2012 alone, approximately $557 billion was used in global advertising operations. Instead of functioning as a tool that helps modern citizens to make informed decisions when selecting the products that they wish to purchase, advertisements are now used as a tool of deception by multinational corporations to coerce people into purchasing products that they do not require. Advertisements are used to promote luxurious lifestyles which are unnecessary through celebrity endorsements and subliminal messages. Advertising cannot be said to be an innocuous practice. Advertising actually has the ability to commodify its listening viewers. Moreover, it can only do this if its audience allows it to (O’Shaughnessy and O’Shaughnessy, 2007). According to Kellner, American media actively determines how people view even their roles as men or women in the society. This is because Americans spend a lot of time watching various programs. This means that these individuals also form ideas around the notion of the powerless or powerful members of society based on what they see on television (Pomerance & Sakeris, 2011). According to Kellner, one way through which advertisements were used to create the ideal representation of American masculinity was through the popular Camel Cigarette advertisements depicted in the Rolling Stone Magazine. Naturally, every impressionable boy would want to look like or in some fashion resemble this supposed upholder of American maleness (Mathur, 2013). For American women, the popular Sixties movie star, Marilyn Monroe was for a long time the ideal of American womanhood. She had a perfect figure and lived for the men in her life. Many times advertisements that had her photograph in magazines always included the caption that “blondes always have more fun” (Pomerance & Sakeris, 2011). According to Kellner, this would trigger the obsession that women of different ethnicities all over the world have developed with donning blond tresses (Pomerance & Sakeris, 2011). Advertising and its Impact on a Consumerist Society The function of consumption ought to be aimed at the realization of healthy physical, as well as psychological development in the human population (Sandramp, 2010). However, currently, the healthy consumption of goods has degenerated into an unhealthy type of consumerism that is mainly hedonistic in character. Advertisements, in encouraging consumerism among populations, seek to emphasize that consumers will achieve self-fulfillment as well as more development by purchasing additional products. In selling such hedonistic ideals to the masses, entire populations are bred to be hard core consumers who develop unhealthy individualistic viewpoints. In the past, the encouragement to live such a lifestyle was mainly aimed at the few very wealthy individuals in each society. Moreover, the rise of advertising has allowed for this ideology to be aimed at all populations ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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