The United States has come to a point where a person cannot go for very long without being greeted with some sort of advertisement. Advertisements are everywhere, no matter how secluded of a life someone may live. They appear on most web pages of the Internet, show up on cellphones during applications, and are plastered along roadways. It has become second nature for most people to tune out the advertisements that are thrown in their faces at practically every turn. Our country is especially ridden with advertisements compared to others, as it has become a multi-billion industry for the country. Fueled by a materialistic frame of mind, the population’s desire for the latest product keeps the advertising field thriving.
Advertisements are one of many things that Americans cannot get away from. Every American sees an average of 3,000 advertisements a day; whether it’s on the television, radio, while surfing the internet, or while driving around town. Advertisements try to get consumers to buy their products by getting their attention. Most advertisements don’t have anything to do with the product itself. Every company has a different way of getting the public’s attention, but every advertisement has the same goal - to sell the product. Every advertisement tries to appeal to the audience by using ethos, pathos, and logos, while also focusing on who their audience is and the purpose of the ad. An example of this is a Charmin commercial where there is a bear who gets excited when he gets to use the toilet paper because it is so soft.
Advertising is so prominent in American culture, and even the world at large, that this media form becomes reflective of the values and expectations of the nation’s society at large.
As Gore Vidal once said: “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return” (Vidal, N/A). In our society, the ruling ideas are easily believed and taken as “true.” Advertisements sell ideas and lifestyles rather than objects; people consent to the ruling ideas which in turn make them less of an individual. Although we may live in a culture industry that controls what people believe is right or wrong, there is always a struggle for power. According to C. Wright Mills and Nina Eliasoph, in order to create a struggle and challenge the ruling ideas, developing a “sociological imagination” is crucial. The ruling ideas work by creating notions of our culture and giving one false needs which in turn help maintain the status quo.
Popular culture is the new name for “low culture” which is referred to cultural products that have mass standardized production such as television, music and magazines which is shared and known by most people. (Nakayama, 2013). The power of popular culture is enormous as it serves the purpose of social functions such as establishing social norms, identities and gives meaning through shared ritual. Therefore stereotyping a particular race changes the prospective of common people when they interact. As popular culture helps creating social norms, identities, etc. people get used to what they say and produce for consumption and unknowingly get used to those information and acknowledge and even participate in racial activities.
A mass communications major once told me that an individual is subjected to more than forty thousand advertisements during a single day. From radio to television a person’s senses are bombarded by images, sounds, and even the smells of ever conceivable form of media. Newspaper pictorials use print to deliver visual messages. Companies erect walls of advertising billboards along our highways that utilize large graphics and bright colors to draw the attention of sight. The radio attacks the sense of hearing with commercial advertising twice as loud as the station’s booming rock music. The pages of men’s magazines are doused in the smell of a single cologne ad that lurks within the pages waiting to be unhinged. At grocery stores and markets tasting tables are set up to create interactive advertising for an individual’s pallet. No matter what form of media is used to communicate ideas to the population there will always be a stimulation of one or more of the human senses.
Out in the world, there is a concept, an object, an idea, a service, something that drives its viewers and audience toward a product, appeals to their interests, develops questions in their minds, and piques their readers’ interests; these are referred to us as advertisements. Advertisements can consist of many things, and advertise many things – objects, software, hardware, a service, a restaurant, a shower hose, etc., and advertisements are everywhere; it is very difficult not to run into one throughout the day. These advertisements are not created simply to present something and that’s it, but are specially and specifically made by professionals to be directed toward the audience that affect them in several ways, which the intended results
The term ‘Popular Culture’ was developed by Adorno and Horkheimer who describe it as a form of cultural expression associated with the common ‘people.’ The term is contextual and is always evolving within social situations. Storey (1998, pp. 6) describes it as an “arena of consent and resistance…not a sphere where socialism, a socialist already fully formed – might be simply ‘expressed’. But it is one of the places socialism might be consituted.” Popular culture is something that produces meaning, and is symbolic with human nature. This includes how we live, what we like and why we like it. Danesi (2012, pp. 2) describes Popular Culture as a system for human beings that specify all forms expressive, intellectual, ritualistic and communicative
Once upon a time, a vast divide existed between the aristocratic high-culture, reserved for the socially superior, and the low-culture of the common people. The divide remains, to some extent; however, as society continues to evolve into a global community, thanks in part to the birth of the Internet, popular culture is helping bridge the gap between high and low-culture, granting access to those who want to move freely from one side of the divide to the other. Given its ability to transcend class status, educational background, geographical location, age and gender, sexual orientation, and political affiliation; case in point, presidents Reagan and Trump, popular culture has become a commonplace in the college classroom.
It is increasingly clear that media and culture today are of central importance to the maintenance and reproduction of contemporary societies. Cultures expose society to different personalities, provide models, which display various forms of societal life and cultivate various ways to introduce people into dominant forms of thought and action. These are the types of activities integrate people into society and create our public sphere. Media and technology surround our society; engrained into the fabric of our existence so much so, that it has become hard to find an aspect of life not influenced by its effects. For this reason, media controllers, wield extreme power and influence over the lives of everyday people. Although, they increasingly continue to feed the audience trash, despite their authority as the creator of our social/cultural interactions, and justify their actions by calling themselves industries. Reducing themselves to just businesses whose sole purpose is to create a profit. This admittance of what they feel to be their true purpose however does not hinder their control and power but instead adds to it. Creating a need for there to be some way to analyze and discuss whether they are using their position and power wisely. Filling this void, scholars have theorized ways for individuals to be critical of the media that they intake. One of these critical theories is the “Culture Industry” theory. Using Cultural Theory, as well as other complementary neo Marxist theories, it is possible to determine how Stacy Peralta, once urban youth culture advocate, became incorporated into the superstructure through media use, thus making him a tool for the continued commoditization of society, and a youth marketer for industries l...
Although it can seem that the invasion of advertising in public space is inevitable, there are media activists who 'baldly reject the idea that marketing – because it buys it's way into public space – must be passively accepted as a one-way flow of information.' (Klein, 2000, p.281) Countercultural networks of culture jammers, billboard liberators and some street artists, use various subversive strategies to intervene against the invasive presence of outdoor advertising. They exhibit the strong belief that the streets should not belong to corporations. The act of culture jamming has been widely influenced by the Situationists practice of détournement, which used techniques to divert or subvert the context of imagery to create new meanings. Adbusters, the anti-cosumerist media foundation, is described as the culture jamming 'headquarters' with an objectives to change 'the way information flows, the way corporations wield power and the way meaning is produced in society.' (adbusters.org) Kalle Lasn, co-founder of Adbusters, claims that the process of subverting advertisements can be used as a powerful tool which 'cuts through the hype and glitz of mediated reality and momentarily reveals the hollow spectacle within' (Lasn, 1999, p.131) Culture jamming can therefore be used as a protest to expose the truths which are hidden behind the spectacle of advertising. A common jamming technique involves using humour and parody, with the simple alterations of billboards 'Coca-Cola becomes Killer-Cola, Shell becomes Hell, Just Do It becomes Just Screw it' (Bell; Goodwin, 2012, p.6) Adbusters, as an example, notably created a campaign (Fig. 5) which featured the fictional character 'Joe Chemo' to humour and 'unco...
A balanced look at the arts and popular culture will quickly reveal that they are also sites of domination and oppression where citizens are misled and their interests distorted; where various undemocratic ends are pursued, often successfully; where the possibility of resistance is systematically erased; and where the notion of authenticity is hopelessly obfuscated. The arts and popular culture represent a terrain in which new spaces can be opened for political action. By cultivating the imagination, citizens can increase their capacity to understand that they share the world with others who are different from
The purpose of this essay is to firstly explain what John Fiske means by ‘popular culture lies not in the production of commodities so much as the productive use of industrial commodities’ (Fiske, J. 1990 p.28). Secondly this essay will go on to compare Fiske’s interpretation of popular culture to MacDonald’s theory of mass culture.
Advertising has been defined as the most powerful, persuasive, and manipulative tool that firms have to control consumers all over the world. It is a form of communication that typically attempts to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume more of a particular brand of product or service. Its impacts created on the society throughout the years has been amazing, especially in this technology age. Influencing people’s habits, creating false needs, distorting the values and priorities of our society with sexism and feminism, advertising has become a poison snake ready to hunt his prey. However, on the other hand, advertising has had a positive effect as a help of the economy and society.
Advertisers and corporations are liable for using modern and sophisticated forms of mind control to the extent level of brainwashing consumers, in order to manipulate their choices and their spending habits. Our society is being negatively impacted, by becoming a consumer driven society constantly distracted by overwhelming persuasive advertisements, as opposed to ideal informative advertisements. The most vulnerable and negatively impacted targets of persuasive advertising are the younger, less mature, and/or less knowledgeable and self-directed consumers. Ironically, it was once said “An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15% commission” (Allen). It is quite clear that social benefits are not part of this equation. The harm and severe social related costs far outweigh any economic growth and benefits deemed necessary for advertising and marketing companies.