The American Paradox

Topics: Social class, Advertising, Sociology Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: October 25, 2008
In today’s mass media, it is quiet common for advertisers to assimilate class into their commercials. These advertisements portray a certain level of elegance because of the sophisticated choice to use classical background music and thick European accents. On the contrary, other advertisers take the common-folk approach by structure these commercials around the western concept. Both of these advertising tactics supports an American paradox. As argued in Jack Solomon’s “Master of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising”, the contradiction lies in the desire to strive above the crowd and the quest for social equality.

The American dream glamorizes the fantasy of equality where each American citizen experience the characteristics associated with the American culture. In other words, it is every American right to pursue and obtain the great offers of this country such as the white picket fence, the sport cars and the beautiful house. While Americans idolizes the concept of equality, they are secretly striving to become greater than the rest of the population. The American dream represents the desire to achieve the highest level of social hierarchy that no other ordinary citizen can accomplish. Advertisers use this American dream paradox as an advantage; advertisements are created to manipulate the satisfaction encouraged by the American dream. That is, advertisers exploit the desires of social success and the material rewards that come along with it (Solomon, 410). On the contrary, advertisements focus on a larger scale of audience must attract them in a different manner. The American population is in a constant search for identification; therefore, the advertisements are “according transforms products into signs of belonging, utilizing such common icon” (Solomon 412). Most importantly, the goal of these commercials is to project the great American culture in which every American citizen can identify with.

A recent Chanel Number 5 perfume commercial, for...
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