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Influence of Media & Advertising in Our View of Life

29 April 2009 19 Comments
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Growth of the Information Age

The proliferation of the Internet and the ease of sharing information online has greatly enhanced the power of media and advertising. It shapes are attitudes, behaviors and our values in regards to how we view everything and everyone. Everyone speaks about how media affects our society but the power of advertising also comes from the ideas and messages that get portrayed as an underlying reality in media.

Advertising Providing Solutions to our Deepest Longings

Luxury Acura Advertisement Lifestyle

Luxury Acura Advertisement Lifestyle

Everyday we are exposed to a particular lifestyle portrayed in movies, tv shows, billboards and commercials. We see people dressed a certain way, living life “to the fullest” – in a particular way. Unfortunately, these characters are created to sell products or raise ratings. Often what is portrayed may not be aligned with reality and yet we may feel that…

  • We long to have the kind of life they live.
  • We wish our lives were just as exciting.
  • We wish we had such close relationships and friends.
  • We wish we would run into that kind of luck we see on TV.
  • We wish we can live just as recklessly, perhaps promiscuously without consequences.
  • We wish we could be as happy as the people we see.
  • We wish to look the way they look, have the body shape as they do.


Media has a way of creating a longing for things we don’t have, whether or not they are realistic or not.

  • Unfortunately our lives don’t wrap up cleanly in 30 minutes.
  • Unfortunately there is consequences to our actions.
  • Unfortunately reckless actions lead to pain, suffering and life long regret.
  • Unfortunately reality says our life probably will not or maybe will never pan out the way we see on TV.
  • Unfortunately we do have limits in ability, skills, and even physical appearance.
  • Unfortunately the way a particular product brings completely happiness and satisfaction as seen on the joyous beautiful actors having fun is not true to reality.

Eating a stick of gum isn’t going to make you feel like your diving off a waterful. Getting that sleek sports car and driving down a remote coastline is only going to make you happy for so long before you search for the next best thing. Even getting that beautiful girlfriend doesn’t equate to guarenteed happiness.

Mainstream media and advertising often leaves us unsatisfied with the cards we are dealt. Rather than being content with reality, we desire for that which we do not have. Advertising strongly abuses these emotional feelings to get us to buy a product or use a service, but simply watching a particular lifestyle in a TV program can also bring about these feelings.

Advertising is not Evil, but it’s Influence can be

All media and advertising is not necessarily deceptive. When advertising highlights a benefit of a product or service and matches them with your needs it is beneficial to society. It plays an important role in helping our economy function. It is a tool for economic growth and way to inform the public. It helps increase competition, make productions efficient, lowering prices, creating jobs and improving overall livelihood.

Marlboro Man Smoking Advertisement

Marlboro Man Smoking Advertisement

Where media and advertising fail is when the goal of revenue overcomes our sense of ethics or morality. There was a time when tv shows, movies and advertising alike held a high moral standard in what kind of message they portrayed and what kind of images they would display before the public. Targeting children over products they don’t need? Showing questionably dressed women dancing for products that has nothing to do with women or dancing during the Superbowl when families are watching the game together? Such a company would be blackballed, but now it’s all part of the advertising game. It is the norm.

So what can be done?

Advertisers and producers can assert positive influence on this unfortunate trend in our society. First by taking a stand to a higher moral standard. But also advertisers can choose to only support all that which demonstrates aesthetic and moral quality. A company can simply refuse to have their ads linked with violent or sexually explicit programs while only supporting clean programming. As a consumer one can have the stance to only support watching clean movies, tv shows, and buying products that use questionable advertising tactics. If revenue is what drives companies to do what they do, be sure not to encourage them even if it means skipping out on that movie you are dying to see!

When advertisements deliberate seek to deceive by the underlying images they present, it really asserts the wrong kind of influence to our society especially to children and teenagers.

It isn’t easy but we can all do our part. If only we could form a critical mass of highly committed individuals that can act together in this way we could assert a much stronger influence. This is one of the many future hopes of Clean Cut Media.

Comments
  • Chad Carroll September 20, 2009 at

    I stumbled across your website while gathering research for an upcoming speech assignment for a college course. My topic is how advertising and pop-culture intertwind. I know there is a great benefit economically and socially that advertising could bring to the table if delivered ethically.
    I’m not only going to inform my listeners about the interworkings of advertising and the mass-media’s influence on pop-culture but also try to win them over with the thinking that advertising is not just a “necessary evil”, but a vital component of our capitalistic culture, and God given freedoms.
    I’m planning on using alot of the message you’ve printed above as one of my main ideas. It’s exactly how I feel, and what I needed to say. It’s great to know I’m not alone with my ideals. Well done “Clean Cut Media”. I’ll be logging on in the future for sure.

    Happy trails for now,

    Chad

  • [...] stumbled upon a good insight from Clean Cut Media into how advertisers are now increasingly portraying lifestyle to promote their brands. This of [...]

  • olga June 3, 2010 at

    I’m doing a research about communicative strategies in food advertisement. Please, write your opinion about:
    WHAT LINGUISTIC ELEMENTS IN THE PRINTED ADV TEXT MAY INFLUENCE ON YOUR CHOICE OF BUYING THE PRODUCTS:
    - simple words
    -phrases
    -sentences
    - full description of the product
    -idioms
    -general idea
    -general appearance of the text
    Thank you for your answers.

  • Ysabel de la Rosa February 7, 2011 at

    Greetings. Just found your blog. It’s great! And such a service in the media jungle that has grown up around us. I have just linked to it on my blog’s latest post. http://ysabeldelarosa.blogspot.com
    Best wishes,
    Ysabel de la Rosa

  • Brittany Harris July 26, 2012 at

    Hey i just stumbled across your article while doing a research project for a college course. Im writing my paper on advertisings influence on society and I think your article would be a great reference, but I could not figure out how to cite it correctly, any chance you could help? Author name, etc? Thanks in advance! :)

  • Jessica November 10, 2012 at

    I woud like to use this article as part of my research paper can you please send me the work cited info in MLA form. This is a well written article.

  • Sheri December 1, 2012 at

    I-like Brittany came across your site when researching internet for a paper on the influence of advertising upon society-would love to reference your article-can you proivide this to me?

  • Jennifer C February 26, 2013 at

    This is an interesting post, and helpful for some of my students researching advertising, however I have had to spend time editing it myself because there are many grammar and spelling mistakes. This is not to be mean, but just be careful when posting, because these kinds of mistakes can ward people away from using your text!

  • abdul sadiq March 30, 2013 at

    its well precise written. I want to use it as my university research project. kindly send me the work cited In APA format. also give suggestions thanks.

    • cleancutmedia April 5, 2013 at

      Hey Abdul, I sent over the author name. Hope that helps!

  • Barry Sui April 5, 2013 at

    Hay! I would love to use this article for my research task as it is most suitable for my research in advertising influences, please could you help me cite this article though? That would be most helpful! Thanks :)

    • cleancutmedia April 5, 2013 at

      Hey Barry,

      No problem man. Just emailed you the Author Name.
      Just reference our clean cut media article URL.

      thanks!

  • Tina November 28, 2013 at

    Hi. I found your article while doing research for a college paper. Can you please help me with how to cite this article in APA Style? This is a great article! Thanks!

  • violetta December 5, 2013 at

    hey cleancutmedia,
    I just found this article and its really relevant to my topic and I would like to cite this article in my essay.
    Can I get the author!s name as well<
    Thanks in advance

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