Advertising As An Institution Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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attention and interest. Advertising can be limiting to the society and consumer culture if authority persuaded individual choice. The text states, “Even in highly structured societies there are apparently reasons to attempt to reinforce individual thinking and action, if not change it, and advertising can play a role” (text pg 29). I agree with this statement for a number of reasons. Mainly I agree with it because it gives American consumer culture freedom of expression, which either results in an acceptance or rejection of the product advertised. Classical Liberalism is a very broad term that consists of four parts. The first is Egoism, which states, “A human individual is, by nature, self seeking” (text pg. 30). In other words, we buy what we buy for ourselves, whether

we are aware of it or not. The second term is Intellectuism, which holds that “the individual is rational” in his or her buying habits (text pg 31). This term, described more in depth, means that consumers think before they buy, regardless of the impact that advertising has. The third term discussed is Quietism, which states, “A person will expend energy only when there is some definite promise of reward” (text pg. 31). From my own personal experience, I am not going to waste my time and energy to meet someone new, for instance, unless I am going to benefit from that relationship. Finally the last term is Atomism, which states, “The whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts” (text pg. 32). All of these terms definitely apply to my behavior and me both socially

and economically. But the two that describe me the best are Egoism and Intellectuism. Another term that is involved in how advertising affects our consumer culture is Symbolic Interactionism. Without getting into a long, detailed, and confusing definition of this term, it simply means that when we see a symbol or sometimes a stereotype, we as consumers immediately know what product is being advertised. When we see the golden arches, it is immediately recognized that there is a McDonald’s nearby. The Cultivation Theory also plays a role in the advertising/consumer culture relationship. This term is described that “mass media, especially television, is believed to cultivate and acculturate the audience through repeated exposures. Viewers are likely to adopt a common worldview,

common roles and common values as they consume relatively more television” (on-line notes). In my opinion, this term and symbolic interactionism are very closely related. It all really boils down to repetition. The more times a consumer is exposed to a product or symbol, the faster he or she will develop an opinion and knowledge of that product. This in term affects our consumer culture as a whole. National advertising is also a part of the correlation between advertising and consumer culture. This new avenue allows manufacturers to “achieve market power in their dealings with distributors” (text pg. 105). As a result of this new trend, the manufacturer is able to make the distributor buy his brand at his price. This does not necessarily mean that the manufacturer will

increase his sales, but it does mean that instead of asking the distributor what price to sell his product, he merely tells him. Unfortunately for consumers, this causes us to buy smaller quantities of products at higher prices. I believe that this affects our consumer culture in such a way that it will make us look more closely at competitors products because of the higher prices. Is advertising free for consumers? Apparently it is not. According to the text, “Americans pay for advertising, and they pay extra for most of the goods promoted in the advertising” (pg. 120). Compared to forty percent in 1940, sixty-five percent of newspapers were advertisements in 1980. In essence, consumers were paying more for advertisements than they were for the editorial matter in

newspapers. The reason why newspaper publishers do this is because they turn more profit by selling ads to numerous companies. Editorial matter does not make these publishers a lot of money, but the ads do. Obviously, the result is less reading material, and more advertisements. A negative aspect of the advertising/consumer culture is the term monopoly. This occurs when a company completely dominates its industry, and I will discuss it from an advertising perspective. An example of this is the case in 1982 involving the cereal giant Kellog. In short, this company had become so powerful that it was not operating under “competitive conditions.” Their dominance had prohibited new entrants from entering this industry, thus causing less competition. Because they were so strong in