Couch Potato Essay

1404 words - 6 pages

Sipping on a Coke that was left on the table the night before, I turn on the television and the latest installment of the Jerry Springer Show is on. A commercial break promptly follows after a few red necks stop brawling. An advertisement about Everest College comes on and begins to make me feel like anyone not getting a college education is wasting their life. Similar to this certain situation, advertisements are meant to stir a reaction and subconsciously tell viewers things about society. In this Everest College commercial, the ad was subconsciously making me believe that all of society was in school at that moment or already had their degree. Advertisements do not just sell a product. They are intended to sell viewers on how the rest of society behaves every day. While analyzing Everest College’s commercial, it is apparent that the ad sells how society negatively views minorities and degreeless adults because advertisements reflect what society believes is normal.
Showing different behaviors and ideas behind a product, advertisements sell viewers what is considered normal in society. In almost every public and private setting there are advertisements. In college classrooms there are ads along the walls. Driving home from school, I see billboards of awkward posing women in beer ads and television show premieres. In homes, people watch television and there are commercial breaks every five to ten minutes. Even in the most unexpected places, people will more than likely be able to find advertisements. Restrooms occasionally have advertisements posted above toilets or along the walls. As advertisements intrude into every aspect, they make statements about what society thinks is normal.
Using small or even obvious details, advertisements portray normalcy which causes psychological effects on people. People may or may not know the psychological effects of advertisements. At first glance, an advertisement may appear to be just about selling a product. However, when analyzed to the smallest detail, ads clearly demonstrate the subconscious beliefs people have about society. According to Dr. Timothy J. Kasser, a professor of psychology, advertisements manipulate the values of people (Hays). His psychological studies were conducted in the late 1990’s and primarily focused on advertisements’ effects on children. One of his conclusions from his studies demonstrated that some ads sell the ideas rather than just a product. Some might argue that this study is outdated. However, advertisements have become increasingly more sophisticated and have become more effective in selling people ideas of normalcy. Dr. Kasser’s study found that different advertisements at that time were teaching children that anyone can buy happiness with money and material goods. Dr. Kasser’s psychological observations of people are contrary to what these ads were telling children (Hays). In my personal observation, I have noticed that people who try to fulfill...

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