Manipulation In Advertising

1278 Words 5 Pages
The United States is a great country but it poses a great importance on consumerism. Our sense of social standing and belonging comes from what we consume and have in our possession. Even with the job market and economy going through the lowest point in U.S history people were still trying to achieve the “good life” instead of just trying to provide the necessities. The advertising industry knew that they could not just sell products to people, especially in this economic downturn; they had to sell “happiness”. It is upsetting how consumers think they can achieve this level of happiness by obtaining product after product. Marketing to people who really had no extra income to be buying extra pleasures was difficult for the advertising industry …show more content…
“The audience is participating in their own manipulation because these goods are the roots of the consumer’s social life and cultural significance” (Jhally, 2011, p. 201). Obviously the advertising industry has a main goal to make money so they will do anything to achieve that goal, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t have to agree to be manipulated by them. Our culture is designed to think that happiness lies at the end of a purchase when in reality that for the most part that high will soon fade as will the happiness it brought you. To continue, with the speed and fragmentation of advertisements nowadays they have to grab our attention quickly. This is why sexual figures are used because it grabs our attention, and because it is visually pleasurable; it keeps our attention for the duration of the advertisements. Sex sells because it is enjoyable to look at and keeps the gaze on it for the thirty or so seconds of the advertisement. Conclusively, the way consumers get their social status and cultural significance from acquiring products is disappointing. People finding their significance in physical objects is occurring because these products are so closely linked and symbolize what people desire such as; family, friends, love, and the “good …show more content…
Why has no one ever tried to change this cultural norm if they are fearful that it is getting out of hand? This is because people do not want to be the odd ones out, people still compare themselves and “find their sense of social standing and belonging with products” (Schor, 2011, p. 205). The public has also always been told that to fix economic problems you need to redistribute the wealth by consuming more and getting that income back into peoples’ hands. This idea of redistributing the wealth might not be the best idea because it causes an unequal distribution of wealth, which has been getting worse and worse each year by nearly getting rid of the middle class and just having upper and lower. Realizing that consuming more will not fix the economy is the first part, but people also need to understand that it is the quality of your life that matters not the quantity of the commodities you

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