How does advertising influence our life?
Whether we like it or not, advertisements and commercials are present on television and on the radio, in magazines, newspapers, street billboards and Internet banners. They arrived n our country not many years ago but it seems that they are here to stay. We cannot escape their influence even when we claim that our shopping decisions are independent. Marketing has become a major business and almost everything is advertised nowadays – from washing powder to candidates running for the Parliament.
Market specialists and copywriters use a lot of psychological tricks in order to persuade us into buying goods we do not really need. Different commercials use different audiences as their target, they appeal to our emotions and to our senses drawing heavily on various psychological theories.
One of the most popular advertising tricks is using a celebrity to promote the product. Showing a model drinking a certain brand of mineral water usually leads to a dramatic increase in the sales of this brand. Boys believe that wearing a particular kind of sports shoes will make them score goals exactly the same way a popular footballer does. Men driving luxurious cars want to feel like a popular actor who appeared in the commercial of this car.
Such products like washing powder or kitchenware cleaners are not exciting at all, yet we all use them. Therefore marketing experts often create artificial excitement about these boring and ordinary products. If you buy this washing up liquid, not only will your kitchen look spotlessly clean but also your family life will improve.
This is nonsense, yet we rush to buy the newest brands of multicoloured toilet paper and kitchen towels.
Commercials aimed at young viewers often present an image not related to the product. According to this kind of advertising, eating crisps will allow you to make a lot of new friends and be very popular among them – and this is what we all dream about when we are teenagers. In my opinion, this is an outright lie as devouring a big amount of junk food will only make you fat, unhappy and definitely unpopular among your peers!
Elderly people often buy medicines which have been recommended on television by a person wearing a white uniform. They get the impression that the product has scientific or medical approval. In fact these ‘doctors’ are usually actors. I find this trick unethical yet it is effective.
Some companies overstep all acceptable boundaries when they use shock and sensational details to capture consumers’ attention. In their commercials and advertisements they show suffering and even death. Many customers believe that by buying goods produced by these companies, they will support worthy causes but all they do is make these manufacturers richer! I strongly believe that such misleading commercials should be banned and these goods ought to be boycotted.
Advertising does rule our lives, even if we decide to get rid of a television set in our house, we overhear nice tunes related to certain products and our friends repeat catchy slogans which have become part of our everyday conversations. I have a negative attitude towards advertising, especially commercials aimed at children. However, I tend to agree that without advertisements we might never get to know a lot of valuable products and useful services. Commercials also lead to cheaper TV and newspaper subscription fees. Finally, some of them are humorous and not really harmful or dishonest. Still, I believe that there should be a tight control system over what techniques can be used in commercials, so that young people were not encouraged to smoke or to drink and women did not decide to go on slimming diets to look like anorexic models.
Pytanie, jakie może zadać egzaminator
Which of the techniques you have mentioned do you find the most harmful?
To my mind, all advertising techniques are harmful as they try to influence our independent choices and, unfortunately, they manage to do it very well. However, what I disagree most strongly with is the idea of advertising aimed at children. Indicating what they must possess in order to become happy definitely kills their creativity, spontaneity and personal freedom. Besides, the girls and boys whose parents cannot afford the newest toys and the trendiest clothes, will certainly be ostracized by their peers. I find this situation appalling when not having a certain item destroys the child’s self-esteem. With advertising surrounding us everywhere, it happens every day.
- devouring – pożerający, chłonący
- appalling – okropny, potworny, przerażający
- approval – zgoda, zatwierdzenie
- misleading – mylący, wprowadzający w błąd
- self-esteem – poczucie własnej wartości