How Does Advertising Affect Society

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Have major corporations and businesses manipulated the average American consumer? Even though advertising and marketing create positive awareness for products and help economic growth, advertising is definitely geared to manipulate the consumer. Modern commercial advertising strips many cultural customs of all purpose except to sell and make profit. This creates a consumer culture, culture is based on material objects and the process of purchasing them. America has a long and complicated history with commercial advertising and marketing, one which has created a materialistic obsession with both brand name products and purchasing. Companies have cheapened holidays and turned them into nothing more than a marketing vehicle to sell their products. …show more content…
Consumer culture is a form of capitalism where the economy is focused selling of consumer products and spending of consumer money. It is not an economic system, but the psychological effect of buying and spending on a society (Chatfield). Advertising and marketing plays a great deal in the fostering of the American consumer culture. Advertisements emphasize the happiness brought by material things, convincing consumer that their life could be improved by the shown product. Effectively embedding the product into a person 's lifestyle creates a reliance, which ensures good business. Businesses can also appeal to the customer and entrench themselves into society through charity and social events, creating a positive reputation and a normalcy in social life. All these methods combined create consumer culture. This is an inherently bad thing for our society. One example is the reliance on consumer products causes people to overspend. With the recent economic hardship and financial collapse, people can’t always afford to spend frivolously. However, when the consumer becomes psychologically dependent on that product, such as the latest fashions, they will often prioritize it over more important financial necessities. They will often resort to spending more than what they have, amassing horrible debt. Another example is greed and materialism. A vicious cycle is created, where the consumer has to attain the latest or most fashionable product. New sporty cars, flashy shoes, and cutting edge technology are all examples of products that are commonly obsessed over in today 's. Advertising focuses on the products as a necessity to keep up appearance and display wealth instead of necessity or utility. Instead of working to provide for their family, a consumer would instead work for their expensive car or phone payment. This greed places material possession above survival, family, and intellectual capability. All of this

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