This Essay Discusses How Advertisement Effects People's Lives

1330 words - 5 pages

As Americans we are exposed to advertisements everyday. People are pressured from every direction by advertisements which exploit their deepest fears, attractions, needs, and desires, shaping their behaviors, goals, and thoughts. They are led into believing false information and promises that are mostly never kept, all for the simple reason of selling the product and making profit. We see advertisements everywhere--in magazines and newspapers, on the radio, on TV, online, in the mail, even over the phone. These advertisements use the basic ideas of either providing an elite status with the possession of the product, or giving a sense of belonging to a group or community. Since the recent military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan, another ever present idea has been made prominent and that is using patriotism to evoke people's desires. Americans are persuaded into buying unnecessary items everyday; however, we need to realize that no matter what advertisements say we should purchase items for their usefulness, not to fill voids in our lives, so we can help eliminate the problem we face today of being a materialistic society.The patriotic theme affecting people's hearts, minds and senses, is commonly used to manipulate them into buying things. Since everyone has love for their country, using it to sell products is a brilliant idea, but I believe this is a bad practice. It makes people believe they are not ideal Americans, nor are they similar to the people around them if they do not buy that product. The Palmolive advertisement, in Seeing and Writing 2, is a key example, it appeals to the wives of the men at war in World War II (417). On the top of this advertisement there are three medals which contain picture of three different men in their uniforms and the words "For Him" appear next to each picture. In the lower part of the advertisement there is a woman looking up at these medals and above her head are the words, "I pledge myself to guard every bit of Beauty that he cherishes in me", and finally in the background there are several faces of women also looking towards the medals. This advertisement is basically communicating to the wives the idea of guarding their beauty, by using this soap, just like their husbands are guarding their country. The ironic fact is that soap cannot make someone beautiful, nor do people lose their beauty if they do not use the correct brand of soap. This advertisement is connecting a heroic and patriotic act to one used for mere beauty, in order to sell the soap.The Palmolive advertisement was run in 1943, but a more current advertisement which uses similar attributes is Chevrolet and its slogan for its recent line of cars, "An American Revolution." This slogan is always placed on a blue sky background and the writing is in bold white letters, except for the "E" in "Revolution", this letter is written in red ink. So when you come across this slogan, not only does the slogan sound patriotic to you, it also appears to...

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