Self Reflection #1

So far I have researched several articles online (not all have been academic) about advertising as a whole and some of the main topics surrounding the field. I have also read a few chapters from my non-fiction book specific to this topic. My findings so far aren’t very surprising. There is no shortage of articles and research bashing the advertising industry of the past and today. I’ve noted that several of the articles use similar diction when referring to advertisings: brainwashing manipulative, exploitive. All of these articles do an excellent job of outlining the negative scientific and social affects of advertisements, which are all rather horrible. The book I am reading is extremely insightful and has given me a great understanding of how advertising really works. The author does an excellent job of explaining the psychology behind advertising.
Unfortunately, I am still struggling to find a source which provides a strong argument for why advertising is good or positive for society other than it makes us more aware of things that can help us (anti-smoking ads, healthcare/drug ads etc….) Because of this lack of sources I am going to focus on how these advertisements affect our society in a negative way. As of now it seems unlikely there is much benefit to it other than the potential financial gain as a result of a successful advertisement.

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4 thoughts on “Self Reflection #1

  1. I agree with your assumption that you will have difficulty finding studies that suggest a positive impact of marketing or advertising for anything other than financial gain. The whole basis of marketing is essentially to highlight or create minuscule differences between almost identical products. Your mention of advertising along the lines of PSAs or health campaigns seem to be the only possible source of collective benefit and even then there are several public service announcements advocating the consumption of high fructose corn syrup because this product and other corn products are a driving force in our economy.

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  2. I believe advertising is both a bad thing and a great benefit – just depends on who is exercising the power of advertising. Just as powerful as the manipulation of drinking or food ads are, the informative and educational ads can be same. Advertising in good hands informs us of new breakthrough products, tells us about whats going on around us, and helps us appreciate cultural differences in a constructive way through humour

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  3. I would reiterate the theme I saw in your Personal Statement post about “sense of self.” Perhaps advertising is our reflection of our sense of self. Advertisements reflect both who we think we are and who we want to be. In this sense, advertisements may purely be a function of our culture. Good or bad, positive or negative opinions aside. Wow, the anthropology student in me is really coming out right now! haha

    I’m curious if you think this function of our culture that sustains or weakens our culture, or is it a chicken before the egg scenario? Do we know who we are because of advertisements or do advertisements exist because we know who we are? Entirely random but your opinions here were very interesting and drew me to these questions!!

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  4. I think you’d be sadly misguided to assume that it all about the bad – ads are a extremely valuable form of communication in society about the products and attitudes that are constructive for society. Ads can make the powerful seem familiar and the frightening seem funny – ads bring information to us that we otherwise might ignore and expose us to issues that might be overlooked. Mama Mia!

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