Opinion Based Article #1

http://makewealthhistory.org/2011/10/26/the-trouble-with-advertising-2/

The Cultural Impact of Advertising

Summary: In the article the author discusses a number of the positive influences that advertising can have and juxtaposes these to the negative effects. First he points out the benefits advertising has for businesses. Ads can help boost the market by introducing new products. The author also points out the benefits advertising can have on values. Of these values advertising most influences what we perceive as social norms. The author then points out some potential negative effects of advertising. The article states advertising effects our values by placing more importance on extrinsic values than intrinsic values. The author warns this can lead to people ultimately living a life that is less focused on personal wellbeing. Lastly, the author discusses how advertising effects out ability to make choices. This is a result of advertising being focused on subliminal associations and not conscious choice. This ultimately leads to people making choices based on subconscious urge rather than an informed and conscious decision. As a result of these effects the author calls for more concern and debate on the ethics of advertising.

Analysis: This article makes several well though out conclusions on advertising. Initially the author seems bias toward advertising. However he does an excellent job of stifling this bias by conceding to some of the negative effects. This leaves the reader feeling very informed about the subject and not blindly mislead. The author’s knowledge of the topic seems significant but it is apparent that the amount of information the author posses is not that of an expert. This does not take away from the power of the argument because the author provides plenty of quotes from experts. Also the author provides a visual aid outlining the intrinsic and extrinsic values. This makes it extremely easy to understand his point and see its negative affect.

Response: I fell that this is a very good article for my topic. The conclusion the author draws is very similar to my own goal I have for my blog. My goal is to see how advertising affects a society and how these effects can be altered to benefit us as a whole. The content of the article is excellent as well. There are a number of solid facts here to support my own conclusions. One criticism I have about this article is how the author ignores the fact that some of us are actually aware of the effects advertising has on us. He believes we make all our decision based on instinct. We do make decisions on instinct but we also have the ability to make mostly conscious decisions.

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One thought on “Opinion Based Article #1

  1. “The author warns this can lead to people ultimately living a life that is less focused on personal wellbeing.”

    It’s hard to be honest with ourselves and to see ourselves for what we really are. Advertisements are sort of a communal statement of “I don’t want to be who I am.” Advertisments aren’t about being happy and content with the status quo. They’re use is to show it can always be better – and you should make it better.

    It’s a bit sad to me that we constantly seek change externally when what we often really desire is change internally.

    I really appreciate what you say here: “One criticism I have about this article is how the author ignores the fact that some of us are actually aware of the effects advertising has on us. He believes we make all our decision based on instinct. We do make decisions on instinct but we also have the ability to make mostly conscious decisions.”

    I couldn’t agree more! We have the ability to be self-aware. I’m not sure to what extent this is instinctual or a conscious process…we’ll leave that for neurologists. I think we make many decisions on a sort of auto-pilot, however, that involve our brains seeking easiest route. Often the easiest route when we’re faced with big issues is to go around the issue. Makeup, clothes, products, cars, any item is ultimately used to get aroudn a problem, right? It’s so much harder to tackle the problem from within because that requires we relearn habits and address our weaknesses.

    Like

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