Advertising As An Institution Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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this industry, Kellog was accused of overpricing their products by fifteen percent because they had no competition. Eventually the case was thrown out, but it does reflect the power advertising has on an industry. As far as the majority of consumers knew, because of advertising, cereal was Kellog. This in turn gave the company the window of opportunity to charge consumers what they wanted. One question that consumers have is, “Does advertising make the things I buy more expensive?” (text pg. 299). Well, there are two models that describe the economic impact that advertising has on consumers. The first of these is Advertising=Market Power. It “views advertising as changing consumer tastes and establishing brand loyalties among buyers of advertised products” (text pg. 300).

This theory predicts that the results are “higher profits for the large advertisers, higher prices for the consumer, and less competition in the market” (text pg. 300). There is really no way to measure this “product differentiation,” but if this is true, its relation to our consumer culture means that we are paying higher prices for our products. The second model is Advertising=Information. “This alternative maintains that advertising provides information to consumers, and thereby increases price sensitivity, lowers prices, and reduces monopoly power” (text pg. 301). In my opinion, this theory is much more appealing to me as a consumer. This means that the time spent searching for a specific product is reduced, there are more brands to choose from, and most

importantly the price will be lower. Studies have been done which reveal that overadvertising does take place in our culture. If an agency and client decide to make a strong push for advertising a product, a number of effects can happen. The first is plain and simple: did sales increase or decrease? This is obviously going to be a result of consumers and the affect that the advertising has on them. Also, what was the effect on sales during the first short time periods after the advertising took place? Another effect is to look at the product life cycle during the advertising. The relationship of sales to advertising will be reflected here. As consumers, the advertising mainly affects us during the growth stage. We will either be inclined to buy more of the product, or ignore the

advertising and not buy the product at all. And finally, what do the competitors do in response to this overadvertising? The effect this will have on consumer culture is that it will either draw our attention to other competitors of the client, or focus all of our attention solely on their product. In conclusion, advertising as an institution does affect our consumer culture. It affects what we buy, how much we will pay, when we will buy it, and who we buy it from. These end results come from a number of different things including symbols, how we interpret advertisements, and which environment we are accustomed to. Advertising as an institution is more powerful than most consumers realize. It “consumes the consumer” in such a way that it affects our decision making process

greatly, whether we are aware of it or not. I believe that the text states it best: “Institutions order human relationships into roles . and they regulate the distribution of a society’s desiderata to the advantage of some and to the disadvantage of others” (pg. 110). In essence, this is exactly how advertising as an institution affects our consumer culture.