Ad-aholics Anonymous :)

Say what you REALLY feel about the latest ad you just saw..

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hey everyone! Today I want to discuss with you some of the social, ethical and regulatory aspects of advertising. This section might be subjective to some, so if you do not agree with what I have to say, then leave and make your own blog. Just kidding- but I am warning you that these are my feelings and they may not be right or wrong- so leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

There are many pro’s and con’s to advertising. We all know that the underlying goal of advertisers is to educate their consumers. However, is advertising demeaning and deceitful, or is it liberating and artful? These are questions we can all answer differently- but I am going to give you both sides of these arguments.

Does advertising educate? Yes, in fact Anheuser-Busch has spent over a half-billion dollars in the past 20 years in campaigns and national advertising to promote responsible drinking and help prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. You can see one of those ads to the right- it reads, "Before you choose a club, choose a driver."

Can ads be demeaning and sometimes offend certain groups of people? Yes, and in one case, many women were offended by an advertisement run by Gucci. The advertisement shown at left attempts to portray a woman's place in the world- which is depicted by her at the man's feet. This subliminally shows that men are higher in the world, and have more power, and that women should remain at the bottom.

Are there any ads that you can think of that may have been controversial or unethical in your opinion?

Another question that arises is if advertising promotes materialism? Many people I've asked seem to think it does, but yet I do not think it does. Some claim that heavy advertising creates a need for materialistic items. Ads that portray products as symbols of status, happiness or even success may lead to a materialistic and superficial society. I do not agree with this and think that materialism in our culture stems from where we were brought up, and how we were brought up. Just because I see an ad for a status car such as Mercedes, does not mean that I need one to fit in. I also think that materialism is based upon how old you are. As a 21 year old, I deeply value my designer handbags (Coach, Dooney & Burke...etc.) and my jewlery, whereas my mother might value cars, jewlery, or our home more than I would. So I leave you with this- do ads really make humans materialistic? What are some of the things that you value at this stage in your life?


  • At Thu Sep 15, 01:39:00 PM, Blogger Anu Sivaraman said…

    Nice posting..I like your writing

  • At Thu Sep 15, 02:10:00 PM, Blogger k_ricker06 said…

    As an average 21 year old college student, I think that ads can make people feel as though they need to buy the newest, most expensive products before anyone else does. For instance, I've seen more soccer moms driving around in H2's than serious off-roaders. But in reality, this is exactly the type of emotion marketers want to create inside of those viewing the ad. I feel that we live in probably the most materialistic nation in the world, which stems from our country being so rich. With such high disposable incomes, we can afford to worry about whether or not we have the most expensive car or jewelry.
    I don't think that ads necessarily make humans materialistic. To put it bluntly, I think the materialism in this country is a direct result of our generation wanting it all today and not wanting to contribute whatsoever towards getting it. Naturally, all of us would like to have nice material possessions but you have to draw the line somewhere. There is no sense in walking to class and see a sophomore cruise by in his/her new BMW (which isn't uncommon at this school). The environment you were raised in has a great impact on how we act now as young adults. Some of us have grown used to the luxuries that our parents worked for decades to attain, and we want them now. As a group we need to learn the value of working towards something, rather than being handed everything.

  • At Mon Sep 19, 07:20:00 PM, Blogger nicole said…

    Jo, is that an alcoholic beverage in your friend's hand? Is that the kind of thing you want your blog promoting? Just kidding! It is very pretty.
    I enjoyed your post, very informative. I agree with you that advertising is partially beneficial and informative. Have you seen the recent Allstate car insurance commercials? I know in one they give tips on what to do if you get into a car accident.
    I think partly that ads can make a person materialistic. This can happen with young girls in middle or high school who are trying to make an impression on other girls. Also, it goes without saying that girls are usually trying to out do each other. Consumers identify partially with status advertisements, because they have stereotypes and thoughts in their head when they see people wearing/driving/having these items. For example, in your Mercedes situation, if I see someone driving a Benz, I think, they must have money and probably lead a very comfortable life. Not that it makes me want one, but I guess commercials put thoughts in our head as to who buys what things. Good job Jo!

  • At Mon Sep 19, 10:17:00 PM, Blogger Eric Corson said…

    Quite an informative post. You make some very interesting points and you back them up strongly. Going along with your questions and the points you bring up at the end, I somewhat agree with you. I don't necessarily think ads make humans materialistic, I think they are meant to appeal to those who are already materialistic. I think being "materialistic" stems from the way you were brought up and the community of which you are a part of. If you've been surrounded by materialism your entire life, then of course there's a good chance that you're bound to fit the mold. In response to your question about what do I value most in this stage of my life; I must say not many material things. I guess I'm pretty boring, but I value my family, my friends, and sports. However, the material items that I do value the most would probably have to be my Eagles jerseys. I look forward to your next posting Jo. Keep them coming.

  • At Mon Sep 26, 02:37:00 PM, Blogger popovich said…

    I think that ads definitely influence consumers' buying choices. I agree that advertisements are in large part trying to educate consumers about the positive and negative aspects of their products. While I think that it is very respectable of companies such as Anheuser-Busch to encourage consumers to drink responsibly; I almost see the message as losing some of its meaning because it is coming from a beer company.

    As for ads making people materialistic...I guess I would have to say yes. I mean we wouldn't know about new products or experience unique things without advertisements to expose us to them. Although I don't know if I'd go so far as to say advertising makes us materialistic or just that advertising shapes our tastes as to how to spend our money. I know that as a 21 year old female...things such as clothes, shoes, and accessories are important to me, but so is graduating and becoming independent of my parents (moving out, paying bills, all that grown up stuff).

  • At Mon Sep 26, 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Jenna B. said…

    Some advertisements can indeed be demeaning and offend people. I learned in one of my marketing classes that some ads deemed non-offensive and acceptable here, other cultures consider vulgar and rude. This is what makes promoting products difficult. Marketers have a hard job to determine what is offensive because everyone has a different idea of what is inappropriate. Therefore, when an ad in a magazine offends you, it may not offend someone else. The Gucci ad in your post, I would never think of as demeaning until you explained the symbolism in it. I feel that many people do not read into ads that much, so what might be truly offensive to someone is not seen as it. I think that before a company places an ad in the media, research is necessary to determine if the target audience will accept it or find it offensive.

  • At Tue Sep 27, 09:32:00 AM, Blogger ckrause said…

    INTERESTING POST. I don't think that advertising leads to a materialistic society. I would agree with you that it depends on how you were brought up along with alot of other factors. As for some ads being sexiest like the Gucci ad, there will always be ads like this. Lets face it....SEX SELLS. That's a hot ad. You can't watch TV or look at a magazine for long without seeing a sexual ad or inuendo (SPELLING?). I think that it is perfectly fine and entertaining to see these ads when they are placed in the right places. I however disagree with when there is a sexual ad placed where children or younger audiences will clearly view it. Just my personal feelings.

  • At Tue Dec 20, 01:48:00 PM, Blogger Car Insurance Center said…

    Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering auto insurance quote related stuff. Feel free to visit my auto insurance quote site.

  • At Tue Apr 29, 05:16:00 AM, Blogger Paul Meunier said…

    As a youth intervention worker, it is your responsibility to save the youth in drowning themselves into this habit every time problems would arise. Not only is drinking a trend to those who are at the right age, but most especially to those who are just learning to enjoy it. It is but a challenge for a youth worker as to what strategy and approach he will use in preventing underage drinking. If you are not equipped with the right tools, knowledge and skills as to how you will address this concern, My Youth Pro will be of great help to you. Preventing underage drinking is one of the areas that we integrate in our programs in order to produce competent workers for the job.
    You can easily access the necessary things that you need in order to be the right fit for the job. My Youth Pro offers comprehensive online courses that you can take advantage of. You may contact us as well if you are having questions and concerns about how our program works.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Counter
Web Site Counter