The media are influential in the construction of reality for all of us living in this new world of information technology. It is from our engagements with the media how we perceive what the rest of the world is like. The media are the major means by which we construct an understanding of the lives, values and beliefs of other individuals. Advertising is one of the most ever-present manifestations of popular culture, and yet it has seldom been examined as a form of popular culture in its own right. This essay will examine how advertising companies manipulate us, as a consumer.
At the White House one day in 1992, then President George Bush impulsively took charge of a visiting group of schoolchildren and took them on a lengthy tour of the interior. When the children finally exited, reporters immediately gathered around them and quizzed the youngsters about their special tour, and its singular guide.
"He kept going and going and going," responded 11-year-old Lonnie Thomas, and then finding himself in the middle of an advertising slogan, he finished with- "just like an Energizer bunny" (Rosenthal, 1992, p.140.)
The Energizer bunny; are there any people left who do not carry in their minds a picture of the pink rabbit, marching everlastingly to the beat of its own bass drum? Through a mammoth and successful advertising campaign that began in 1989, the Eveready Battery Company and its advertising agencies, have managed to insert an unforgettable image of the icon into the consciousness of millions of people all over the world.
Sensing a general awareness of the Energizer bunny, young Lonnie could be assured that his characterization would be readily communicated not only to those correspondents immediately visible to him but, through them, to the...