Influence of Advertising on Culture and Society

Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

Modern advertising is an important part of society that includes not only a marketing function, but also social and cultural ones. Advertisement influences culture and society through such essential concepts as age, social status, gender, etc. that shapes negative stereotypes in social mindset as it provides people with the set of images that control their lifestyle.

 

Cause and Effect Essay Body Paragraphs

It is important to state the main functions of advertising nowadays in order to understand its influence on the community. Its primary function is to inform about product characteristics and promote it. However, gradually advertising attains a social role. It is transforming from an informative function to proposal and then to undetectable suggestion. Finally, its role is to control consumption, i.e. to form style and ideology of use. Initially, the main idea of commercial advertising was buy a product. Further, advertisers started to use a more effective principle, i.e. love a product.

It means that the thing is not just to be bought but also to be related to the category of favorites to be purchased constantly. At last, advertising appeals directly to a consumer saying include this product into attractive lifestyle. Currently, advertising actually promotes two structures. These are lifestyle in the form of typical situations and goods that match this image.

The main task of advertising is to be a translator between the psychological intentions as well as attractive and understandable language to promote a certain product. Affecting on the consumer memory and thinking, advertisers do not only make people buy their goods, but also create new needs, composing a subjective world of a person. The purpose of advertising is to form the potential motivation to purchase the advertised product. In order to achieve a greater effect, this ad process often refers not to one but several levels of hierarchy of needs within its audience. In the today's world, advertising appeals to the primary necessities of people.

Social ad plays a secondary role. Goods and services exist to satisfy human needs. The requirements do not exist by themselves. They are linked to the subject that can satisfy them. Moreover, the need is often recognized only when there is a matter of its satisfaction. As it is noticed, housewives did not need vacuum cleaners before they went on sale. Many people had to be persuaded that it was worth paying for that or this product, which could save their free time and energy. People buy products to satisfy many needs, including psychological ones. In order to create these necessities advertisers appeal to the familiar concepts that influence on the audience without any analysis.

Social status is one of the main issues through which advertising influences society. The individual position in a community is measured now not by achievements and not by the things that the person has but by the goods consumed. Such attitude to consumption is explained by human motives, among which a motif of prestige and assimilation dominates. In an effort to seem better and follow those ones who lead an enviable lifestyle, people try to reach something unreal or virtual. As a result, the system of virtual values that have no relation to reality is being created. The demonstrative use of goods openly declares that some stereotypes are formed in the human mind.

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For example, if someone is the owner of the car Mercedes, he probably considers himself to be in a higher social level. It should be noted that the advertising affects the relationship of individual and group stereotypes within the development of some new spheres of human life. Therefore, now the goods that a person consumes and such ones surrounding the personal space are the criteria matching with the community. People in the post-industrial society are the products of their consumption. An individual buys goods not only to use them for their purpose, but to realize oneself as an important person and make other ones think this way.

In turn, the society shaped by advertising leads to cultural deviation when the person begins to feel like an outcast. In order to minimize the psychological and socio-cultural discomfort, the individual is forced to follow the basis of norms and values of social life strategy trying to be like the heroes of commercials.

Therefore, advertising creates an inadequate social status and personal identity, causing a dependent form of consumption. Thus, people with the low income and marginalized population are starting to identify themselves as an elite class with inadequate consumer demands and ambitions. The commercially oriented system of values, led throughout society, triggers the formation of inferiority complex in those groups, which cannot use the advertised product for financial reasons. It is especially true of young people and adolescents. Their mind is not mature enough to reject an advertising message.

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As a result of promoting goods and services and a one-sided propaganda of lifestyle, the cult of money is formed. It leads people to the desire of having more money. Although the propaganda of wealthy lifestyle means nothing bad in general, it involves negative moments. It means that the process of achieving prosperity and the related work remain behind the scene. It gives an impression that the presence of wealth is only a matter of desire.

The problem of impact of advertising still has not been studied to the end. It has not completely proved the differences in the impact of commercials within various age groups. The issue of relationship between children and advertising remains controversial. In the process of socialization a younger generation acquires a set of concepts and ideas, social needs and qualities that reflect the peculiarities of family and social environment. Promotion strongly influences the child’s psyche appealing to emotions. The main function of advertising is to prepare children for their main vital profession to be eligible customers. Because of their age peculiarities it makes the greatest impact, i.e. psychological influence (the effects on the emotional sphere of personality) and imitation (appropriation seen behaviors) suggestion.

For example, the well-known game Pokemon engages children and controls their interests. Introducing the type of entertainment that needs collecting cards to get the desired one teach the younger generation how to buy things that they even need or want. Children have to purchase the whole collection of cards that includes only one necessary for them. This game is widely recognized as advertising that aims at absorbing the attention of little ones (Rushkoff 105).

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Thus, in terms of psychological protection of children due to their age difference, they are not able to withstand the impact of advertising using their own settings and views. When they become older they develop a kind of defense mechanism protecting them from the harmful influence of ads. Marketers think that the age of 15-24 years is the most difficult period for providing the influence on customers (Rushkoff 105). It is characterized by a more critical understanding of promotion. That is why advertisers are constantly developing some new techniques that will appeal to other age groups. For example, two famous and competing brands as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola should be analyzed. The first one promotes its product as a drink for the whole family and as a beverage for celebrating some holidays. Pepsi is promoted under the slogan, “Take everything from life!”

In this case, we are faced with two very different archetypes aimed at different age groups that are ideal for each of these two drinks. Pepsi has become a popular beverage for young people. It has combined archetypes Finder and Hero. It is for those people, who are always ready for something new and aspiring to succeed in everything. The basic principle of life of these persons is getting a maximum pleasure. It is worth remembering a few commercials of Pepsi to understand how true marketers have found a way to attract the attention of young people. Meanwhile, Coca is designed for those ones whose archetypes are child, family, and other. These ones appeal to the older audience. These types of main characters include the concepts of warm relationships within the family and feeling a good holiday. That is why, before each Christmas the ad with a catchy melody Holiday is coming always appears. These two commercials are the bright examples of involving the concept of age into the content of promotion.

Except age and social status concepts, advertising often affects the consciousness of people through the use of gender stereotypes. Men are associated with such traits as stability, professionalism, prestige, and security; while women are represented as a sexual object, being the close and dependent beings burdened with household chores. That is why for promotion of any kind of financial products the images of males are usually used. When the ads about products used in a household process appear they should involve a female image. These ads shape the stereotypes about men’s and women’s responsibilities in society reinforcing a gender stereotype. Another strong commercial device is sex as most people want to become attractive. Therefore, the use of goods represented by attractive men and women in different roles cause a high popularity of a product. For example, Calvin Klein and Victoria Secrete use the images with the sexual content and obtain the desired fame (O’Neill 130).

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Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

The reason why an advertisement has such a strong impact on society and its culture can be different. O’Neill claims that it happens due to the lack of public intelligence. The most popular way of spending the free time in modern families is watching TV without analyzing the accepted information (O’Neill 132). Another reason of such impact is a great variety of different marketing techniques using the principles of gender, age, and social status appealing to the social opinion. At the same time, most of people are unaware of these techniques. That is why the audience undergoes the advertising influence.

The usage of such devices related to age, social status, and gender has a strong impact on the particular public and forms some definite stereotypes. In an attempt to correspond to the beautiful advertising world, individuals shape their lives and habits trying to get the desired product. Including the stereotypes being interesting for different age groups in promotion forces them to buy the necessary product related to their status. Using gender images commercials shape the stereotypes that make people reinforce the gender problem and identify themselves with the images showed in ads. In fact, advertising is the reflection of the community’s needs. At the same time, it creates new necessities that influence the culture and general public.

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