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Transcript of Advertising:
Information or Manipulation?
What is "Advertising"?
Advertising is defined as the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.
Advertisements are notices or announcements, to the public, promoting a product, service, event, or publicizing a job opening.
Advertising is a form of media present in our daily lives. Although the target is to inform customers of products and services, advertising has been altered into a form of manipulation that alters our views on body image and morals, as well as leading us into a false sense of materialistic fulfillment.
In conclusion, advertising can serve as an influential and informative form of mass media.
Despite this, advertising has been altered, over the years, as a form of manipulation that affects our entire state of mind, as well as our values and moral compass.
The goal of corporations is to maximize profit and market share. To achieve this, they choose a selected group and target them.
Corporations turn these customers into mindless consumers of goods that they may not want, or necessarily need; only products they are lead to believe they do.
The very first evidence of what we consider to be “advertising” today was found among the ancient Babylonian Empire - dating back to the 3000s BC.
The first English advertisement was printed in 1472 - directed to increase the sales of a prayer book.
The official advertising industry first started in 1841, in the United States.
Good Use of Advertising
What do you see is wrong with these advertisements?
Exploitation of Women in Mass Media
exploitation of women in mass media
refers to the criticisms of feminists, and other advocates of women's rights, against the use or portrayal of women in the mass media (such as advertising) to increase the appeal of a product or service. The most often criticized aspect of the use of women in mass media is objectification.
Pro-feminist cultural critics accuse advertising of promoting the objectification of women to help promote goods and services.
Clothing designer Calvin Klein has himself been a critic of the use of women in advertising, having said:
"Jeans are about sex. The abundance of bare flesh is the last gasp of advertisers trying to give redundant products a new identity."
The overt use of sexuality to promote breast cancer awareness, through fundraising campaigns like "I Love Boobies" and "Save the Ta-tas", angers and offends breast cancer survivors and older women, who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have breast cancer say that these advertising campaigns suggest that having sexy breasts is more important than saving their lives, which devalues them as human beings
12 Forms of
Classifications of Advertising
"Advocacy advertising" is defined as "advertising" which presents information or a point-of-view bearing on a publicly recognized controversial issue.
"Government advertising" is defined as "advertising" by any part of local, provincial or federal governments, or concerning policies, practices or programs of such governments, as distinct from "political advertising" and "election advertising".
"Political advertising" is defined as "advertising" appearing at any time regarding a political figure, a political party, a political or government policy or issue, or an electoral candidate.
"Election advertising" includes "advertising" about any matter before the electorate for a referendum, "government advertising" and "political advertising", any of which advertising is communicated to the public within a time-frame that starts the day after a vote is called and ends the day after the vote is held. In this definition, a "vote" is deemed to have been called when the applicable writ is issued.
Effects on Body Image
Advertising, particularly for fashion and cosmetics, has a powerful effect on how we see ourselves and how we think we should look.
Women's magazines in particular have a tremendous influence on body image, with researchers reporting that teenage girls rely heavily on them for information on beauty and fashion, valuing their advice nearly as highly as that of their peers.
Men's magazines, as well, portray men to look a certain way, also having a tremendous influence on body image.
"A lot of people think that ads do not affect them but they do, which is why corporations pay massive amounts of money. Well written ads lead to envy greed and pride, which are emotions we all feel."
Advertisers know how to appeal to their customers through extensive study and research.
They use human emotion and vulnerability. Good advertisements will make us feel something- whether they are good or bad.
Advertisers will tell you what you want to hear, in order to get what they want: your attention.
How Manipulative Advertising Works:
There are all kinds of ads, but in general they all aim to keep you from thinking and, instead, make your buying choices based on an emotional response.
"Don't Forget to Think"
Advertisers sole purpose is to inform you about a product or service, but market competition will force ads to be more descriptive to set them apart from other products in their category.
If you're not prepared to think, majority will accept any suggestion an ad is offering to you.
No ad is more effective than one that makes you feel something, because emotion and memory are tightly linked.
An effective ad gets you to buy the product through desire and emotion (making you feel as if you need what is offered in the ad), not buy the product and be happy with it.
Indirectly Targeted Ads
These ads can target you very well even if you're making a decision for somebody else.
They make no real claims. They simply identify the problem and you connect the dots. You assume there's a connection when there may not be one at all.
Avoiding Ads Entirely
Many may think that skipping over ads and ignoring them means they have no effect. Wrong. Ignorance doesn't mean the ad isn't still lodged somewhere inside your memory.
Advertising has become a part of our daily lives, although we may try to avoid it, even a simple logo can symbolize and bring a specific product to mind.
Laws Concerning Advertising
Advertising can be a useful tool for sustaining honest and ethically responsible competition that contributes to the economic growth in the service of authentic human development. It informs people about the availability of rationally desirable new products and services. Political advertising can make a contribution to democracy analogous to its contribution to economic well being in a market system guided by moral norms. Advertising can contribute to the betterment of society by uplifting and inspiring people and motivating them to act in ways that benefit themselves and others.
Advertising is used to persuade and motivate and to convince people to act certain ways, which is why particular abuses occur. The practice of brand related advertising can raise serious problems because they will use “sex appeal” as a way to get people to buy their products. It is a serious abuse, affront to human dignity and the common good when it occurs in affluent societies.
Thus, advertising is only considered morally just when it is remaining honest and true, avoiding any forms of manipulation or exploitation.
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” –Ephesians 4:25
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”- 2 Peter 2:1
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23)
More than $500 billion a year is spent on advertising worldwide.
By the time a person in the United States is 65 years old, he would have seen an estimated two million television commercials
Ice cubes in beverage advertisements are typically made of acrylic so they won’t melt under hot photography lights or move around. Bubbles are made by adding detergent, and water is added so light will filter through better.
"In a national survey, more than half of the children who responded reported that buying certain advertised products made them feel better about themselves."
Feeling of Desire and Satisfaction
The unfortunate fact is that kids feel an overwhelming need to buy a host of consumer goods in order to fit in.
Ads convince, not only the youth but everyone, that obtaining their products will lead to happiness, fulfillment, and ultimately the ability to fit in with the rest of society.
A national survey of youth commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream:
The average American child (aged 12-17) who asks their parents for products they've seen advertised will ask
until their parents finally give in.
Parents of so-called "tweens," the problem is particularly severe - more than ten percent of 12-13 year olds admit to asking their parents more than
for products they've seen advertised.
Interview with Jonathan Vrozos:
1. Q: What kind of ads do you create?
A: Clicks and bricks- social media space
Bricks- Traditional media magazines flyers radio
Personal engagement –people hand out brochures
Create the engagement with people
2. Q: What is your main focus when making an advertisement?
A: Consumer engagement
3. Q: What are you trying to achieve?
A: Market share- profitability
4. Q: What tactics do you use when trying to get buyer’s attention?
A: All available tactics
5. Q: How do you try to and play with people’s emotions?
A: You’re always trying to play with people’s emotions (ex. Viagara). Find out what is their likes and dislikes. What are their fears- play away from fears and go towards happiness. Focus groups.
6. Q: Do you manipulate people’s minds with vocabulary?
A: Know your clients, if your client is a 5 year old you can’t use over the top vocabulary. Know your target. Identify your client. Customizing your client to that demographic
7. Q: How do you feel? Are you violating your own morals when making advertisements?
A: No, there are certain things people will not do. If it violates my morals I would switch to a different job. If you’re unhappy it will show in your work.
8. Q: How morally correct is it to manipulate the mind of vulnerable people?
A: As long as you’re not hurting them then there’s nothing wrong with showing them something different.
9. Q: Whom do you make advertisements for?
A: CIBC, Live Nation concerts, Appo Techs Pharmaceutical, National Post, LIUNA!, Rolling Stones
The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code), which has been developed to promote the professional practice of advertising, was first published in 1963. Since that time it has been reviewed and revised periodically to keep it contemporary.
The Code sets the criteria for acceptable advertising and forms the basis upon which advertising is evaluated in response to consumer, trade, or special interest group complaints
Accuracy and Clarity
Disguised Advertising Techniques
Bait and Switch
Professional or Scientific Claims
Superstition and Fears
Advertising to Children
Advertising to Minors
Unacceptable Depictions and Portrayals