For instance, almost the entire media system (television and print) has been developed as a delivery system for marketers its prime function is to produce audiences for sale to advertisers.
So central is consumption to its survival and growth that at the end of the 19th century industrial capitalism invented a unique new institution the advertising industry to ensure that the "immense accumulation of commodities" are converted back into a money form.
It’s remarkable how the majority of the target audience (depending what advertisement it is ) do not realise how they are persuaded or how their attention is grabbed by just using linguistic devices such as puns, rhymes, pictures and so forth.
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I was a child of television. Whatever appeared on the color screen of our fake burled wood cabinet TV was a miraculous transmission from a better world. My devotion to television is the only way I can account for the disillusion I suffered at the hands of Packard’s book. Packard had tried to warn Americans of a new mutation in advertising. Powerful admen were working to tap the irrational in the consumer mind, using the applied psychology and sociology supported by the government during World War II. As more goods came to supermarket shelves, advertisers decided they were no longer selling just products, but malleable brand “personalities.” Decades later, I knew the results. Of course Coke was the red wholesomeness of tradition and majority taste, and Pepsi was the younger, blue, less popular choice of a rebellious new generation! My 14-year-old self was sure of it.
But above a certain level of poverty and comfort, material things stop giving us the kind of satisfaction that the magical world of advertising insists they can deliver.
These conclusion point to one of the great ironies of the market system.
In that sense the main competition for marketers is not simply other brands in their product type, but all the other advertisers who are competing for the attention of an increasingly cynical audience which is doing all it can to avoid ads.
call for rockets to deliver mile-wide mylar billboards to compete with the sun and the moon for the attention of the earth's population.
With advertising messages on everything from fruit on supermarket shelves, to urinals, and to literally the space beneath our feet (Bamboo lingerie conducted a spray-paint pavement campaign in Manhattan telling consumers that "from here it looks likes you could use some new underwear"), it should not be surprising that many commentators now identify the realm of culture as simply an adjunct to the system of production and consumption.
Indeed so overwhelming has the commercial colonization of our culture become that it has created its own problems for marketers who now worry about how to ensure that their individual message stands out from the "clutter" and the "noise" of this busy environment.
Advertising is like a fantasy factory, taking our desire for human social contact and reconceiving it, reconceptualizing it, connecting it with the world of commodities and then translating into a form that can be communicated.
This essay discusses the particular values or meanings that advertising associates with the global, the ideas that challenges those particular meanings.
The consumer is persuaded that ownership will enable them to inherit this style transforming their lives into perfect, happy reflections of the people featured in advertisements.
(Ehrenreich 1990 p.47)
In that sense, advertising systematically relegates discussion of key societal issues to the peripheries of the culture and talks in powerful ways instead of individual desire, fantasy, pleasure and comfort.
Based on statistics from Fast Food F.A.C.T.S., “In 2012, fast food restaurants spent $4.6 billion in total on all advertising.” Aside from the immense budget fast food industry spends on advertisements, the importance is the effects of the advertisements....
The End of the World as We Know It
The consumer vision that is pushed by advertising and which is conquering the world is based fundamentally, as I argued before, on a notion of economic growth.