We all like to think that we have complete power over everything in our lives. We control how hard we work, how clean our home is, whether we marry or go to college. These decisions come based on life experience. However, there are things that we are subconsciously influenced by as human beings. Those in the advertising industry know how to do this – and they do it well.
Now, advertisements are not bad for you. Some are very important. There are simple cereal ads that reflect the changing family dynamic and commercials teaching children to be careful around strangers. There are also color schemes used solely to increase our appetite and to calm us during times of stress. Some advertisers use their knowledge for good, while others are shown to do the opposite.
Modern advertising is not for those of us who are broke by Tuesday. The core of advertising has always been there is something to be sold, and the ad is the company’s attempt to do so. Ultimately, you should want to buy the product by the end of the 90-second television spot. You should be enamored and believe that you cannot live without that product. While a Taco Bell run isn’t expensive, that run for the latest iPhone can leave many consumers feeling miserable and unpopular simply because they do not have it.
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From internet advertising to hanging ceiling signs, we see products that we want but cannot afford. There are advertisements inside movies and television shows, and these too often should not be things that the characters afford, either. Wanting stuff without the money to back them often leaves consumers in debt, as they have taken out loans for new, flashy cars and credit cards for new mobile devices and travel.
It is the manipulative side of advertising. Businesses want us to buy their products no matter what. They get the money immediately, while we are left wondering how to pay off our new kitchen set. However, it only comes with being smart about purchases. Use advertisements as more than a demand, but as a guideline to following our dreams – being wealthy enough to afford three new phones a year or that car that we love.
Advertising is always going to try and sell us something. It is our job as educated consumers to make sure that we are not buying everything that we see on television simply to be the envy of our friends.