The Influence of Advertising on Culture
In the world we live in today, advertising plays an important role in the communications world especially in this duration of instantaneous communication. Advertising plays a significant part in influencing the culture and it is done by moulding and creating a new perspective for the consumers and the viewers too. As advertising continues to become more intrusive into most aspects of our day to day lives and events, it only leads to the increase of the advertising industry on the existing consumers. The purpose of this paper is to show how advertisements have influenced the culture of various people in today’s world.
Advertising is one of the most important tools in marketing and a paid form of important communication that is designed to follow the consumer. The three basic functions of an advert are informing the consumers of the product’s most important features and benefits, location of the sale and information. Unfortunately, the messages in the advertisements today are becoming more controversial which has led to critics to speak out with ferocity out against the adverts.
Nowadays, advertisements have gone to the extent of invading, telephones, emails, highways and even up to somebody’s doorstep. In areas where an advertisement is present, it has become more invasive. Television viewers nowadays see up to an hour dedicated to adverts only during a single night during primetime broadcasts. Advertisements critics are now operating in a scenario where some of them are labelling the ‘Fragmentation of America’. It is a period where social, economic and technological advancements are influencing Americans to highlight their diversity rather than to accept and care for their similarities.
In a lot of cases, the importance on the differences is considered the most important change in cultures and moral values that the modern day advertisements has at least spawned over the years. The advertising industry is targeting the differences that exist among people and having pride in such differences rather than the similarities human beings share. Adverts have reduced people’s culture to worldly dreams and hopes instead in morals that will make someone grow and have been valued since the beginning of time. The manners in which adverts intrude people’s private lives have created strong footholds, and this is affecting the cultural principles.
The main goal of having advertisements is to persuade consumers that their lives will become better if they start using the advertised merchandise. Advertisers will always keep reminding people that they have flaws but in a soft way and that we are supposed to be better. The message at the end of the day makes people feel that that they need to increase the levels of beauty or intelligence or body size through employing of the advertised products. For example, in the ‘Boost your hair!’ advert, it is definitely targeting the lady who has less hair on her head to get the product to be able to have her head full of hair again. The advertisement targets the lady’s self-esteem and ends up making the lady feel her hair is not good enough. The advertiser’s major expectation is that when the consumer goes to do their shopping, they will bear in mind the lady with long beautiful hair and this will prompt the consumer to buy their product. The advertisers are certain the targeted audience will have some feelings towards the advertisements, and the consumers will result to buying the product. In this case, the advertisement has been used to convince the buyers into conclusions without engaging their rational part of their minds. The technique has successfully worked to completely eradicate one important human characteristic, which is the human capability to reason and use our intelligence (Berger, 2001).
Over the years, advertising began invading our lives through the radio, internet, newspapers, television clothes and many places. In other cases, one cannot even make use of a toilet without failing to see one or two print adverts in front of one’s face. One useful technique that has been common been employed is gaining of trust. A lot of companies engage in social work and donate several items to help the needy in the community to demonstrate they have sympathy and are trustworthy. For example, Development Bank in Southern Africa printed adverts that they have made available technical support in their soccer tournaments. The bank provided transport for the public, security and accommodation in the training facilities. The various donations and support from the bank during this soccer event was used as a show of display to potential customers present that the bank is principled and is worth the public’s trust. On a daily basis, corporations are trying to mould our actions and thoughts into success and better results.
Even without realising it, there is a huge competition within the advertising industry to get the consumers attention. Most advertisements have turned out to be so unbearable; a lot of groups have started taking action against them as they have ended up interfering with their everyday lives. This has brought about the realization that the effects the advertising industry is creating and having on the customs.
Advertisers are just not fighting to gain people’s attention and make people being mediocre, but also trying so hard to bring out the differences rather than encouraging the fact that being unlike is a good thing. A lot of adverts out there clearly display the mere fact that if a person uses a specific product, that person is different and essentially better because that person possess something others do not have. Microsoft introduced their new Zune player in the players market. Their adverts focused on the aspects that for one to step out of the multitude and be unique, the person has to go for something unique which meant having their new Zune player. The strategy here being used was intended to bypass the audience rational thinking and focus on the product’s beauty. Other players such as the iPod are similar in functionality, but Microsoft decided to tell the audience that to be unique and add more value to themselves and others was to use the Zune player.
Many people get scared when they have to realize how much advertising has made them leave their culture and tried to adopt the western culture that is being displayed in a lot of the adverts we see nowadays. A lot of people are now tired and sick of such advertisements and also the countless number of products being shown to them every time on television and in an annoying fashion. Many people are scared to oppose such adverts, but so long as people continue existing in a materialistic customer market that is directed by the advertisements people see. Advertising shall always be out of control while reveal people's cultural values while shaping the values to benefit the corporations and industries with the products being advertised (Bogart, 1995).
The Fragmenting of the Unites States of America clearly shows the effects experienced and seen from advertising. In a lot of these cases, the advertisers have compelled people to acknowledge the ideology that people should value material things more than the moral objects of friendship and trust. As we look into the future, there seems to be a tough war among people who cherish their culture and morals and corporate companies that want to instil the ideas that their products are the most aspect of life.
In conclusion, it can be said that adverts are focused more on getting more products sold at the end of the day without considering the morals and values of the consumers. They end up archiving this by exploring the cultural differences and thus can be concluded that the values of individuality and uniqueness are more prominent in the adverts.
Berger, W. (2001). Advertising today. London: Phaidon.
Bogart, L. (1995). Commercial culture: The media system and the public interest. New York: Oxford University Press.