The Effects Of Advertising: Information Or Manipulation?

1959 Words 8 Pages
It can be seen at every turn; there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no matter how steely and impenetrable a mind may be, it still manages to gain access to the deepest of desires and most vulnerable of beliefs. Advertising pervades the lives of anyone exposed to it, bending moral and emotional principles at the will of the marketer. Advertising controls consumer decisions without concern for the actual consumer, leaving behind empty, exploited shells of people with open wallets. Traditional methods of advertising negatively influence consumer decisions because they encourage materialism, promote unhealthy habits, and exploit human emotions for monetary gain. Advertisements are intended to create artificial needs among a target group …show more content…
“Advertising tells you what you need. Before advertisers told us to, who worried about dandruff? Who was embarrassed by teeth that weren’t blinding white, toilets that didn’t smell fresh, or water spots on drinking glasses?” (Day). Nancy Day, an author who focuses on the effects of advertising in her book Advertising: Information or Manipulation?, highlights specific instances of occasions in which advertisements directly “told” consumers what they needed, promoting the idea of consumption regardless of actual necessity. Psychological strategies are often used in advertising to create a desire that was not present until an artificial need was fabricated by the …show more content…
“Advertising corrupts relationships and then offers us products, both as solace and as substitutes for the intimate human connection we all long for and need” (Kilbourne 64). First, advertising exploits emotions to sell a product; then, it continues to “fulfill” a consumer’s emotional need after said consumer has placed higher value on material objects than human relationships. Advertisers advocate the substitution of products for human connections in the lives of consumers by encouraging the consumption of material goods, rather than placing emphasis on the emotional experiences gained from interpersonal relationships. Through the convincing tactics utilized in advertising, consumers abandon an identity based in human relationships and emotional experiences for products that promise to provide the same contentment. “The consumer culture encourages us not only to buy more but to seek our identity and fulfillment through what we buy” (Kilbourne 64). When those needs are left unfulfilled by products that do not live up to lofty expectations, instead of returning to human interaction for emotional satisfaction, consumers instead delve deeper into the void of materialism, forever seeking the product that will supply the feelings and emotions they so

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