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How Advertisements Shape American Society’s Perception

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An advertisement issaid to be the process of conducting product promotion to make sales through the application of impersonal media. It is one of the most important aspects of the social phenomenon across America as it stimulates economic activities, value orientation, and certain lifestyles. Therefore, an advertisement is not considered to shape the personal values of society only, but it can distort them completely until society strays away from its principles. Due to the advertisement, an individual can be manipulated to buy a product even when he or she did not have any plans to have it. This is because of the ability of advertisement to shape the perception of that individual on a particular product. In the U. S., advertisements are mainly relied upon whenever there is a need to shape the perception of the residents on a certain issue. “Advertising men and women still fight an uphill battle toestablish their professional status and win ethical respect”. Although the advertisement is objectively designed to boost marketing strategies in the purchase of goods, services, and ideas, it is always under criticism since it twists and manipulates the mentalities of those exposed and subjected to it. 

Consumers are heavily confronted by the substantial outlets and doses of advertisement messages daily across the available multi-media since an advertisement is not selecting the indented target segmentation. This is why Pope argues that “repetitive ads for familiar products often aim to short-circuit the consciousconsideration of purchase decisions”. Based on the perpetual operations of the marketing media bombardment, the majority of researchers argue that society’s perceptions, as well as individualism, are affected wholly. The minds of potential consumers targeted by this advertisement are changed and their opinions molded. Unfortunately, attitudes regarding a commercial purchase are not changed immediately but rather take a longer time for manipulation to attain its considerable effect. Commercial advertisement usually targets the potential audience or consumers through the presentation of products in special ways. The aim of doing this is to appeal to the desires of the consumers to present and create the product’s desire. According to Schudson, “advertisement marks and namesremind potential customers that they are facing inescapable thing within their lives (most of the times reflects the society’s desires which can serve as a way of manipulating the perceptions within the society”. Furthermore, the advertisement philosophy regarding what effective advertisement entails has been changing over time. The philosophy’s perceptions based on its target audience’s interests and needs have changed. Moreover, according to many researchers, advertisement currently is said to be primarily designed to pass information by evoking and provoking the entire feelings of the potential audience. In addition, it also associates their desires and expectations (both psychological and materials) in some way with the underlying product. When it comes to society’s perception and the large picture, generally advertisement is not pretty good. An advertisement has to be considered one of the detrimental influence attributes and be regulated accordingly. Therefore, consumers may be influenced to buy or not buy a product if the product’s advertisement did or did not persuade them as Schudson reiterates. 

Advertisement impacts the values of society and many scholars and researchers suggest that it is harmful to society. With advertisement outlets reflecting the society to a certain level, it has the presumed effect of normalizing behaviors and values too. Across America, an average of five hundred to one thousand commercial messages are exposed to Americans. This why Hayko argues that “there is no argument that the media has become a very present force within American lifestyle due to the free media”. This is an indication that advertisement promotes extensively the extrinsic values (values relying on admirations and opinions of others) as compared to the intrinsic values (values relying on family belonging sense and self-development) as Hayko cements it. By placing more importance on the extrinsic values worries the society. Furthermore, extrinsic advertisement is associated with greater prejudice levels, less environmental concern, and weak human rights concern. Individuals who attach more importance on extrinsic values usually report lower personal well-being levels. According to Williams, “advertisement sometimes impacts society negatively; while it reflects society to a certain degree, it also has the effect of ‘normalizing’ values or behaviors (Para. 4). He points out a report which indicated that “advertising may be encouraging society to save less, borrow more, work harder and consume greater quantities of material goods” (Para. 4). In addition, inappropriate exposure of women through advertisement negatively impacts the perception of society. There are unendingand numerous debates opposing some forms of advertisement. Advertisement plays with the general public’s emotions and at the same time encouraging them to see buying and depleting the sole life activities. Materialism is much emphasized through advertisements leading to dangerous consequences within the society. All in all, society is ignoring social issues due to the underlying obsession in the process of satisfying the new needs created by the media. 

Advertisement ads are perceived as cultural indicators but in distorted ways, as they suggestboth the aspirations and ambitions of the individuals involved. Adverts stereotyping men images are majorly influencing the gender function attitudes that are expressed by men immediately they are exposed to these images. Men are always seeing magazine advertisements with men images varied based on traditionally masculine aspects versus how androgynous they were. Men who initially were considered less traditional indicated extra traditional attitudes as this can be compared to any other exposure group to the traditionally masculine models even though they still portrayed non-traditional views. In turn, this forces men to make impaired conclusions that non-traditional men’s views of gender role are rather susceptible and unstable to the existing momentary manipulations like those seen within advertising reals. Some authors like Pope, have emphasized that “whether advertising is bad or good for the entire American society, majority of individuals will eventually be affected by advertisement ads since segmentation in the advertisement is rarely followed”. This is because individuals are subliminally stimulated making them think and perceive in a manner that is almost under media control. Furthermore, a regulatory agency like the Federal Trade Commission has argued that the majority of the adverts are targeting and preying on the young population or children in making easy bucks. However, argumentative debating has risen regarding these agencies’ view with some experts opposing while others are supporting it. Even though advertisement has succeeded for many years within America, it is clear that it takes part in manipulating society’s perception. Also, the art of advertising is considered by many academic articles to be a lie to the public. For instance, the methods by which the advertisement situations are presented to society are not realistic to a greater extent. This is the reason Hayko put it that, “By playing with emotions, stereotyping, and manipulating ideas of real-life situations, advertisement has reduced us to the role of irrational consumer”. The business enterprises want the society to believe and live the type of life presented by the adverts through their products. Through these advertisements, society fails to stand with its ways of perceiving things naturally. Advertisement plays a role in substituting society’s intimate perception thoughts with the ideas of these ads articulated to the adverts. With no doubt, advertisement greatly influences the surrounding cultural aspects which in turn shape our perceptions as a society. Therefore, the sole purpose of advertisements ads is to attract attention, change attitudes, and command behaviors thereby advertisement present information capable of idealizing certain life circumstances. 

Advertisement is receiving much criticism due to its impact on distorting perceptions concerning the moral health of the body image. Hayko argues that “the majority of the mainstream advertisements show unrealistic standards of female beauty and thinness” (p. 80). Women are mostly used for advertisements since they make most of these purchases. Majority of the advertisement streams are presenting unrealistic female beauty and thinness standards that are projected to be normal. For example, whenever young women see these sorts of advertisements and realize that their outward natural looking is not complementing what they have seen, they end up believing the best way to match with the projected image is by buying the product. However, this is always the company’s objective. This ability of the multi-media in shaping self-images is a detrimental one since it has led to many eating disorders, dissatisfaction with one’s self, and depression. Advertisement is manipulating how individuals make buying decision regarding products under advertisement as they majorly use some of the celebrities and beauty icons. Furthermore, this can influence consumers who find women or celebrities articulated to the advertisement are their role models. Moreover, they will end up buying the product simply because it has an image of their favorite celebrities. This is the power of advertisement in manipulating consumption decisions from potential consumers. Also, advertisements with women images are gaining fame in the modern world. Hence, advertisement criticism should stand since it ruins the moral image of women across society. 

In conclusion, as seen from the essay, advertisement has the potential to manipulate the consumption attributes of consumers as well as their spending habits. An advertisement is not wholly bad, but they continually employ manipulative tactics and measures that are quite influential in ways the society can’t even realize. The main aim of the advertisement is to persuade potential consumers to purchase particular products successfully, but communication essentialities are useful to the consumer. Advertisement reflects societal tastes, norms, and beliefs through the evolving advertisement messages created for similar products. Commercials are ways of portraying how gender roles are being displayed across society, and basically, this triggers many perceptions from the public. Generally, the advertisement makes the majority arrive at conclusions that there is a bias within the society based on the manner women and men are presented by the media. This shows how powerful the media can mold culture as individuals learn appropriate beliefs and roles through observing the way other individuals are portrayed across advertisements. Across modern America, the multi-media outlets have dictated the society’s opinion from the cosmetic surgery industry to the clothes worn. All in all, advertisement has shaped American society’s perception. 

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