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Effects of advertising Essay

Advertisements are everywhere, traveling by all ways possible, infiltrating the privacy that every person holds important to themselves and their family. American Marketing Association defines advertising as “the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.”

Today, with the development of the technology and the diversity of the mass media, advertising has influenced us pervasively in our daily life. Advertising has been applied in most of fields in society such as economical advertisings, educational advertisings, political advertisings, and healthy advertisings, etc. Advertising is used to promote goods, services, images, and anything else that advertisers want to publicize. It is becoming a major part of mass media. We may view it positively; at other times we may just skip or ignore it. In order to attract audience, advertisers use various techniques on their advertisement to make people aware of the firm’s products, services, or brands.

Although the methods used by advertisers are infinitely, they have a common goal to persuade those who may become their customers to buy their products. An excellent advertisement will create a deep impression on its potential customers through particular techniques. They deliver their advertisement through TV, radio, magazines and newspapers, internet, billboards, and other multi-media means. By advertising, individuals or companies are able to get more extra profits from their products, promote their products, and gain the most important purpose – to sell.

In many cases, there are some negative effects – some annoying hindrances in our daily lives. It makes our nerves, distorts the truth, and adds to the cost of the product. Advertising is designed for one purpose – to sell. To achieve this goal, advertisers are willing to stretch and distort the truth, just to convince people to buy their products. For example, an advertiser may convince buyers to purchase their products by stating those have been tested and found superior. In reality, the products are not better than any other – the tests themselves doubtlessly conducted by the promoting company – conducted to ensure at least something is superior about the product, even if it is only the color. These advertisements are worded carefully so that they are telling the “literal truth” – the truth is exactly what the words say, although people misinterpret the message by using conversational logic as something different – something better. By using ingenious tactics like these, the populace is deceived into buying a product that may not do what is required, or a product that a buyer may have never needed. That is why advertising is not good for our society.

First, I would like to discuss about the negative effects to children and youth. One of the most corrupt forms of advertising comes from cigarette companies. According to some investigator, “Cigarette advertisements are degrading not only because the products behind them are proven to be a health hazard, but also because the advertisements are focused toward younger generations.” Many advertisements use young, attractive, healthy looking models when advertising for a brand of cigarettes or beer. Company promotions have led people to affiliate certain products with feelings of happiness or euphoria. There is no doubt that people smoke the most heavily advertised brands of cigarettes.

“Tobacco advertising increases young people’s risk of smoking by using themes that appeal to them, such as fun times, action, and being popular and attractive.” (Family Education 1). Advertisings that supply the Surgeon General’s warning along with the main body of the message are blatantly contradictive. These advertisings prove that there are many forms of advertising without any morals, and that companies will go to great lengths to have their name and image promoted regardless of the results. The nation’s companies have put themselves before the children. Similar to the case of cigarette companies, Ph.D. Henry Saffer show that spending money to advertise alcohol contributes to increase the rate of students drinking.

Alcohol remains popular with American college students, as indicated by the Core Institute Survey (1998). In 1997, 84.2% of college students reported
drinking alcohol, an increase of 2% over the prior year. For comparison, there were similar increases in the prevalence of tobacco and marijuana use. Moderate to heavy drinking also increased with corresponding reductions in abstention and light drinking. Nationwide, students reported consuming an average of 5.64 drinks per week in 1997, up about 7% over 1996.

The Core Institute also reported that 45.5% of students had consumed five or more drinks in one sitting in the previous 2 weeks. More than 21% of the students reported three or more episodes of this kind of high-risk drinking in the previous 2 weeks. Finally, more than 90% of American college students reported that drinking is a central part of campus social life. (Henry Saffer, Ph.D., Alcohol Advertising and Youth, pg. 173)

According to Competitive Media Reporting, more than $1.2 billion was spent in 1998 on alcohol advertising in measured media (i.e., print media, outdoor advertising, radio and television). An additional two-thirds billion dollars was spent on other forms of promotion, including sponsorships, couponing and direct mail. Alcohol advertising had decreased from 1987 to 1996 by 34%, in real terms. However, since 1997, alcohol advertising has been increasing. Part of the recent increase includes the use of cable television by spirits advertisers. (Henry Saffer, Ph.D., Alcohol Advertising and Youth, pg. 173)

Second, advertisements can change or impact an individual’s behavior, attitude, expectations, or relationships. The more advertising that a person watches the more that they are influenced by it. The more that they are influenced by advertising the less important their relationships become. Consequently, the behaviors that we display and the influences on our physical environment are directly affected by the amount of advertisements that we see.

In the world of advertising, lovers are things and things are lovers (Kilbourne, Can’t Buy My Love: How advertising changes the way we think and feel, pg. 77). Sadly, advertising promotes a corrupt and bankrupt concept of relationships (Kilbourne, Can’t Buy My Love: How advertising changes the way we think and feel, pg. 77). It is unavoidable and extremely damaging to our relationships and especially families. With the divorce rate and domestic violence rate at the highest it has ever been, it is necessary to evaluate the influences of advertising to our relationships. It has become more and more difficult to relate to our partners in a manner that isn’t objectifying and exploitative.

These are images that are forced into our heads and we may have very little control over. Moreover, advertising creates images of what is appropriate behavior in a relationship, using products. That behavior is not always one that is idealistic for real life relationships and generally can be very damaging to intimate and personal relationships. Advertising plays a part in dictating our expectations of our mate, ranging from money and clothing to behavior and attitude. Therefore, when messages and images are repeatedly presented to us they inevitably have an impact on our relationships. Our intimate relationships have been trivialized and our relationships with products have become more important.

Another negative effect is that some advertisings use the sexual content to attract the attention of consumers. Consistently, studies have demonstrated that sexual appeals attract attention to the advertising, typically without a corresponding advantage for brand information processing. Sexual content may be eye-catching and entertaining, but it may not be communicative and might distract the viewer from the message. Reichert, Heckler, and Jackson (2001) claim that when sexual stimulus is used in advertising, viewers’ perceptual and processing resources are directed toward the sexual information in the ad rather than toward the brand.

Therefore, they will not have a perspicacious decision to buy the products. Recently days, on the television, some company try to develop the crazy adverting project that use women’s belly to advertise. They make some small advertising boards and they paste them on the belly of women and then they ask them to wear short skirt and bikini, after that they will go around some public locations. In this case, it is very stupid that it can promote the women’s body not the products. Finally, use sexual content to advertise is one of the negative effects of advertising that is worse in the society.

Throughout history politicians have used various methods, such as persuasive speeches, political advertising and political rallies, to achieve their “primary goal, the winning votes”. But according to the results of the research made by Won Ho Chang (Professor and Director of the Stephenonson Research Center at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism), Jae-Jin Park (Public Relation Specialist with LG Corporation in Seoul, Korea) and Sung Wook Shim (graduate student in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri) in 1998 “over the years, politicians have found that it is most advantageous to use political advertising to persuade voters”. For example, the majority of presidential campaigns depend on television advertising.

Clinton spent $12 million of his $30.9 million limit on television commercials in the middle of the primaries, $42.4 million during reconvention, and $44 million on television ads in the general election. A total of $98.4 million was used on television commercials. In my opinion, it is not good for the citizens and will influence on the result of voting. The voters will receive much positive information of the politicians and they will be distracting the purpose of vote.

Moreover, by using an effective political advertising, a politician can win the other politicians even though he is not as good as the others, and it is unfair to them. There are no a commission to check the information of political advertising that is wring or wrong; therefore, the voters will have no chance to predict what the politicians will do for them. Some politician just tries to get votes by any ways, and when they win they forget what they promise. In short, advertising in voting is not a good method and it also makes some disadvantage to both the politicians and the voters.

The last problem is that some activities in our society are wrapped by the advertisings. On the streets of our city, many advertising billboards are built to advertise for some products and it makes he city become uncivilized. On the television, there are many programs of advertising that trouble the audiences. For example, when people are attracted by a wonderful program, some adverting programs are run and distract them. More over, on the Internet, now people get many difficulties to check their e-mail in the inbox because they have seen many advertising letter from some company in their inbox. In short, some of advertisings are now obstructing the process of some activities in our society.

Advertising has a strong influence over social behaviors, attitudes, and expectations of individuals involved in intimate relationships between men and women Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising every year. The companies are very aware of the effect of advertisement on the community. Companies would not spend millions of dollars on advertising if it had little or no effect on the public. We all know that advertising provides a general service of informing us about products. But, does it also unnecessarily affect our behavior, relationships, and environment? How can we avoid the negative effects of advertising, especially in our relationships?

Nowadays, in order to promote the products, many companies abuse so much of the advertising. In this case, they do not pay enough attention to the quality and the value of the products. Therefore, although advertising can bring them the profit and promotion from selling their products, they have to consider some bad effects of them on the society.


Family Education Network “Cigarettes – Don’t Believe the Hype” cited in 18/12/2004 at www.familyeducation.com

Henry Saffer, Ph.D., Alcohol Advertising and Youth, National Bureau of Economic Research, 365 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor, New York, New York 10016-4309

Kilbourne, Jean (1999). Can’t Buy My Love: How advertising changes the way we think and feel. New York: Touchstone.

Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women (New York: Phime, 1989)

Reichert, T., Heckler, S.E. & Jackson, S. 2001, the effects of sexual social marketing appeals on cognitive processing and persuasion. Journal of Advertising, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 13-27.

Won Ho Chang, Jae-Jin Park, and Sung Wook Shim. “Effectiveness of Negative Political Advertising.” Cited in 21/12/2004 at

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