“One may build a compelling case that American culture is beyond redemption, money mad, hedonistic, superficial, and rushing heedlessly down a railroad track called Progress. Tocqueville and other observers of the young republic described America in these terms in the early 1800's, decades before the development of national advertising. To blame advertising now for these most basic tendencies in American history is to miss the point....The people who have created modern advertising are not hidden persuaders pushing our buttons in the service of some malevolent purpose. They are just producing an especially visible manifestation good and bad , of the American Way of life.” Stephen Fox
Advertising has been called a “cultural threat”, in the way that ads pushes us to want material things and away from social relationship/norms. Culture is defined as the totality of learned, socially, transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behavior. Over $250 billion is spending every year on advertising in the U.S. A Study showed that since the 80’s advertising seen by the average teen on an everyday basis has tripled. Advertising targets teens by creating interest and motivation. Advertising decisions are based on questions like who is the targeted consumer, what do they want or need to hear to be convinced to buy the product or service, when do we advertise, why are we advertising, and where does the advertisement need to be placed for maximum reach and exposure? Ads today, tell us that the only way to happiness is through the purchasing of commodities. But the question teens need to ask them selves is “does happiness come from material things?” Most survey taken on this topic have found that teens who said they were happiest had less “thing” than others. These teens valued more social thing such as relationships, relaxation, and leisure time. Advertising enters in to people’s emotions, these ads usually try to...
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