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The Negative Effects Of Advertising

There is one industry that is very visibly related to all of the others that we interact with daily. That industry is advertising. From personal hygiene products all the way to political campaigns, every single thing we purchase or support has some element of advertising attached to it. The thing about such pervasive actions is that we stop noticing them overtime. This is basically a desensitization to the real impact that it has on us Through this essay we can discuss some of these forgotten negative effects.

Making you want things you don’t need

When an agency is charged with creating a commercial for a food company they will position a replica of the product in perfect lighting before taking pictures. They will pair the image with music that has been tested on focus groups and proven to increase hunger and they will devise catchy slogans. Even if the viewer is not hungry, the way that the product is presented will make it desirable. This same concept is also used to create or increase demand for expensive vacation packages, sporting events and clothing. None of these are exactly necessary but they may feel that way after a successful campaign.

Creating an unrealistic self image

Advertisers often use beautiful images to make products seem more appealing. Sometimes this means cute baby animals or animation. At other times they use sex appeal by hiring very attractive models. Because commercials are so frequently seen it can be hard to quantify how much of what we find attractive is innate and how much is just the result of good campaigning. People who do not fit the profile of a stereo-typically attractive person may begin to see themselves as inferior and try to make ridiculous alterations to their appearance as a result.

Disguising dangerous truths

Throughout history there have been cases where a product or concept has been dangerous or even lethal but continues to receive patronage because of good PR. Many foods contain toxic ingredients but are advertised as healthy. Similarly, the army and navy play up the positives of service but rarely address the risk of death and trauma in their commercials.

As much as advertising has the power to make people’s wants take new form, there is still an element of free will to be considered. Viewers do have the ability to turn away some of the time.