Davila 1Jonathan DavilaProfessor DoughertyENGL 1C M15 October 2012 The Invisible Curtain Whether people are driving on the freeway or waiting at a bus stop, they arealways surrounded by advertisements that are full of fallacies. Advertising has had adramatic affect on society due to the mass media promoting these ads and causing manyAmericans to fall for the fallacies shown on these ads. These effects have changed theway people in America see themselves and has changed the way of life. People inAmerica have faced the effects of these advertisements by paying attention and buyingthe products they see on these ads or by trying to become like the celebrities they havegrown a liking too. In Jean Kilbourne’s video Killing Us Softly she talks about, “how theimage of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years” (Kilbourne). Shedescribes how advertising leads many American women to become more depressed dueto celebrity advertising and how perfect the images they see are. Many advertisementsAmericans see today include a certain athlete or celebrity promoting energy drinks orbeauty products, while some include the smoking of cigarettes or drinking alcoholicbeverages. Americans will continue to be affected by these advertisements if theycontinue to purchase items which will cause them financial harm. In American society advertising is used as a way of gaining profit from Americanconsumers. Americans spend money on these items they want, even though they do notactually need them. By buying these items many Americans will usually use their credit
Davila 2cards and therefore fall into debt because they will spend so much money that they areunable to pay back. Debt has become a common issue due to the recession, andadvertisements are contributing to the problem. On a Youtube video called Advertising:It’s Effect on American Culture, it states that “Many times advertisements which displaya product often use people to promote the product even if the commercial seems like itmay have nothing to do with the product” (Vogt). Products are a major cause for debt inwhich companies create a certain product that people buy then creating a newer onewhich causes many Americans to buy the newer products because they do not want to fallbehind. The media is to blame many times because they will announce a new productbeing released and will promote the item with billboards and tons of televisioncommercials which causes American citizens to want the newer version of an item orthey want what everyone else is getting. Television commercials often use famous actors to promote an item or televisionprogram they are in. Celebrities nowadays have a huge impact on American culture. Dueto these products that actors supposedly use, many Americans see this and want to be likethat person so they spend more money on products that they believe their favorite actor orathlete may be using. While watching these commercials on television we can often seewhich are meant for women or for men. Examples of some commercials geared towardsmen are beer and Carl’s Jr advertisements which use pretty girls to catch a man’sattention. The most common advertisements seen in today’s society are beer commercialswhich use feature pretty girls and a man who has to drink a certain brand of beer in orderto get the girl. One example of an advertisement can be a Bud Light ad which shows agirl and it says, “Life is good… Live the Good Life with Bud Light.” These types of
Davila 3advertisements send a bad message to people especially younger students who are in highschool who are usually influenced by others to drink beer. On the site Nizkor states that,“beer commercial might show happy, scantily clad men and women prancing about abeach, guzzling beer” (Nizkor). People who see these advertisements may becomeconvinced and think if they drink Bud Light they will be cooler and have more fun whileliving the “Good Life.” A huge example of advertisements being used in mass media is inthe Super Bowl. Companies today know that Americans love football and during the Super Bowlthey take advantage by trying to advertise their products on television. Americans seeingthe Super Bowl are affected in a way in which they see these commercials and think theyare interesting or funny which catches their immediate attention and causes them to wantthe item the commercial may be promoting. In a news article by Andrew Brandt, hediscusses how the Super Bowl is used to generate billions of dollars in just a few hoursby saying that, “5 million people are projected to buy new televisions in preparation forthe game, and fans are expected to spend $11 billion on Super Bowl-related purchases”(Brandt). Millions of consumers who see these commercials will usually go out the nextday or later on to purchase these “cool” items later on just to find out they are not as goodas what they see on the commercials. America is becoming a materialistic society because many people want the best ornewest items. People buy a product just to find out that a newer version will come out afew months later. Many times a person will buy a new phone or electronic device andwhen they see a friend or someone else with a newer product they feel left behind anddecide to buy a newer product which they just want, but they do not really need. A good
Davila 4example of this is the company Apple in which they make a product and a few monthslater they make a new iPod or iPhone that Americans enjoy buying. Apple makes hugeprofits because of this because they know Americans will see advertisements online andon television which will cause them to get rid of their older device and upgrade to anewer one with almost all the same technological features. Although advertising has been great for many businesses the true nature of theseads affects American society. Overall these ads have a negative impact because itportrays images that are not true and only helps the business trying to sell their products.Americans need to wake up and stop falling for these advertisements and stop givingmoney to businesses that look only to make profit. A lesson that can be learned from thisis next time you are sitting in your car or watching television beware of the true messagethese advertisements are trying to send and avoid them at all cost.Words 1247
Davila 5 Work Cited"Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion." Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion. The Nizkor Project, 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to- emotion.html>.Kilbourne, Jean. "Killing Us Softly 3: Advertisings Image of Women." YouTube. ChallengingMedia, 04 Oct. 2006. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FpyGwP3yzE>.Pritchard, Andrew J. "My Media - How Media Affects MY World." My Media - How Media Affects MY World. Youtube, 27 Feb. 2008. Web. 08 Oct. 2012. <http://mymedia-howmediaaffectsmyworld.blogspot.com/2008/02/beer-worlds- oldest-and-most-popular.html>.Vogt, Dan. "Advertising: It’s Effect on American Culture." YouTube. Dan Vogt, 19 May 2011. Web. 06 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF1zx_pAI6I>.