How Advertising Affects Our Society

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How Advertising Affects Our Society

By | April 2001
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HOW ADVERTISING AFFECTS OUR SOCIETY
Advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with substantial daily doses of advertising in multiple media. With the perpetual bombardment of marketing media, it is presumable that it will affect our individualism and society as a whole. This is an analytical approach to advertising's effects on the society.

Consumer minds' can be changed, opinions molded. Attitudes towards a brand are not set in stone after one commercial or even one purchase. Indeed, shaping attitudes often takes a considerable amount of time.

Many commercials aim to entertain. Some consumers (and many advertisers) object to this soft sell approach, believing an ad should convince consumers, not amuse them ("You wouldn't buy a product that the company doesn't take seriously!"). At times some ads completely lack product information, and the only product reference can be strange with no reasonable association with the rest of the ad. The Budweiser "Frogs" campaign made a lot of people ask, "What do frogs and lizards have to do with beer?"

The answer is "affect." The Budweiser ads made people laugh and feel good about Budweiser. Simple reciprocation would lead a consumer to thank Budweiser for the chuckles by buying their beer. A little more complicated, the consumer might want to buy a piece of the whole Budweiser image, to participate in the entertaining, "cool" Budweiser world.

Images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after exposure to the images. Men view magazine advertisements containing images of men that varied in terms of how traditionally masculine versus androgynous they were and whether the models were the same age or much older than the viewers. Men who had initially been less traditional espoused more traditional attitudes than any other group after exposure to traditionally...
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