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A Critique On The Impact Of Advertising In Our Society

1017 words - 4 pages

A critique on the impact of advertising in our society. Consider visuals and verbal or written language. (1000 words)The impact of advertising on our society is a fiercely debated topic, and has been ever since the conception of advertising in its most basic form. There are negative and positive social and economic impacts upon society from advertising in its various forms. For instance, advertising promoting public welfare has a positive social impact upon society, whereas advertising portraying women as sex objects has negative social impacts. There are also positive economic impacts on society such as providing funding for the media and stimulating an active, competitive economy.There are a number of proven ways to persuade the consumer that he or she needs the product being advertised. These methods of persuasion, instead of concentrating on the actual product, usually concentrate on the benefits that will be brought to the consumer. These benefits may include the hope of more money and better jobs, popularity and personal prestige, praise from others, more comfort, social advancement, improved appearance, or better health. For example, an automobile advertisement, as well as mentioning the mechanical attributes of the car, would most likely focus on the excitement, prestige and social advancement it may bring the buyer. This social advancement is very often sexual, or involving attraction of the other sex- so the car advertisement may also mention the glamorous women/men that the consumer will attract with his/her fancy car.Advertising has been blamed for a great variety of negative social impacts. One of the major criticisms received by advertising is that it forces people to buy things they don't really need, often by projecting negative emotions such as fear, anxiety or guilt upon the consumer. It is claimed that advertising plays with our basic human emotions and takes advantage of them, using them as merely another technique to sell goods or services. Advertising also encourages people to buy products by making them think that purchasing and consuming are the major activities of their lives. It is said to also evoke fears of inferiority upon the consumer by depicting the 'normal' person as young, attractive, wealthy and successful. This may encourage a person to act on his or her desire for success and, for instance, go out and purchase that particular brand of make-up or deodorant hoping to emulate the seeming success of the person depicted in the advertisement.In opposition, advertisers state that the public is intelligent enough to, and quite capable of, making up its own mind and will definitely not buy anything they don't want or need. People are not inclined to be swayed by false claims that they need a particular product, and will usually be very discriminating in what they take as being true, when it comes to advertising. In fact, advertisers would say that there are many positive social impacts on our society from advertising....

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