The impact of advertising is a matter of continuous debate. For and against claims about advertisement have been made in different contexts. Cigarette manufacturers have been claiming that cigarette advertising does not encourage smoking and their eventually successful opponents just the opposite. Children under the age of four may be unable to distinguish advertising from other television programs, as the faculty to judge a message develops on attaining adolescence. There is, however, no doubt that Advertisement-loaded media do influence our daily lives.
Marshall McLuhan, media thinker and philosopher of the electronic age, in his Understanding Media observes: “The continuous pressure is to create ads more and more in the image of audience motives and desires. The product matters less as the audience participation increases.”
An observant netizen has culled a few nuggets from the currently popular television advertisements that tellingly illustrate McLuhan’s point: Before going to propose to a girl
Believe in the best—BPL.
Proposing to a girl
Vicks ki goli lo kich kich door karo—Vicks.
For writing a love letter
Likho script apna apna—Rotomac.
If you love someone
Go get it—Visa power.
Not satisfied with your date
Yeh dil mangey more—Pepsi.
Have many girl friends
The Complete Man—Raymonds.
Having many boyfriends
Yeh hai hamara suraksha chakra—Colgate.
Advertising promotes consumerism and encourages mass production. Some advertising campaigns inadvertently or even intentionally propagate sexism, racism, and ageism. Is the advertisement industry creating or merely reflecting cultural trends? Advertising often reinforces stereotypes as it banks on recognizable “types” for telling stories in a single image or 30-second time frame.
The public perception of advertising is getting increasingly negative. It is accused of dishing out half-truths and hoodwinking the consumer to benefit the advertiser or...