Essay on The Way We See Images in the Land of Plenty

Essay on The Way We See Images in the Land of Plenty

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Every day, we are bombarded with millions of images produced to sell us things. Advertising is no longer confined to traditional mediums like television, radio and print. It has broken out of those confinements, surrounding us everywhere we go. Its in billboards, bus stops, taxicabs, weaved into the plots of movies, inside our emails and social networks. We are bombarded with Advertising images a multitude of times during our day and our responses to them are having an increased influence on our lifestyles. Advertising images reflect the contemporary culture that glorifies possessions and through continual exposure to them we increase our need to purchase things.
Advertising images are produced with a clear meaning in mind, which is to instill in those seeing them the need to purchase the item they are selling. Never mind, whether this meaning is subtly insinuated or clearly perceptible, it is nevertheless still there. Like most of the European Paintings of the 16th century, Advertising is work made by commission. But unlike them, whose main objective was showcasing someone’s possessions or favorite subjects, the objective behind the commission of Advertising pieces is to propel people to action. Seeing an Advertising image is supposed to instigate in a person the desire to lead the lifestyle portrayed in that Ad, to quench this desire the person is suggested to buy the product being sold there.
John Berger (Berger 130) states that Advertising images, although made to belong in the moment, always speak of the future or refer to the past, in that sense they are meant to instigate in us a need to reconnect with the past or to connect with the future. Images also have a second meaning too, they form a mental picture of somethin...


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Fox, William S. and William W. Philliber . "Television Viewing and the Perception of Affluence." The Sociological Quarterly 19.1 (1978): 103-112.
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Spurgin, Earl W. "What's Wrong with Computer-Generated Images of Perfection in Advertising?" Journal of Business Ethics 45.3 (2003): 257-268.


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