Firstly it is important to explore the concept of advertising and its link with the consumer culture we live in today. Advertising is greatly linked with the growth of a consumer culture and the mass migration from the rural to the urban. The shift from an industrial society to a consumer society was helped by advertising. This is further iterated by Slater (1997) who proposed that consumer culture is linked to the idea of ‘the rise of commercial society, the relation between needs and social structures, the relation between freedom of choice and the power of commercial systems...’(Slater, 1997). This suggests that the values of consumption are based on notions of individual needs and choice, and that social relations are shaped by the market; the market force creates a way of life that individuals are led to follow and strive for. It also suggests that the consumer culture has been created through the increased reliance on a consumer and commercial society.
Essentially, this consumer culture was proposed within the industrial society as a way of giving workers control over an aspect of their lives that were not controlled by the work place. It drew attention to individuals’ leisure time and how the individual could do what they wanted in this time. It persuaded workers to look to the market force as a way of life and advertising was used to educate workers to be ‘modern consumers’.
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Millward, B. (2006). Great global ads: the secret of success. Available: http://www.millwardbrown.com/Sites/MillwardBrown/Media/Pdfs/en/KnowledgePoints/F4E1A163.pdf. Last accessed 21 March 2010.
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