The effects of advertising on society and consumers have led to a fierce debate with some people saying the impacts are negative while others think the opposite. There are a number of negative and positive economic and social effects upon which society get from various forms of advertising. For example, on the positive side, advertising helps in promoting public awareness of some products. On the hand, advertising can portray women as sex objects, which will affect the society in a negative way. Equally, advertising can affect the society by offering funds to the media and stimulate an active and competitive economy.
In the society, there a number of proven ways through which consumers can be persuaded to believe that they need certain products. Advertising is one of such means. The method of persuasion will concentrate on getting the consumers know the benefits they will get from using certain products or services. Some of the benefits advertisements portray are hope for more money, popularity, better pay, praise from other consumers, personal prestige, more comfort, improved appearance, social advancement, and better health among many others. A great example is car advertisement. Such an advert will go ahead to mention the super functionality of the car, the prestige and social advancement it comes with and concentrate on the excitement. The aim of doing all this is to catch the attention of buyers. One thing that may not miss in this advertisement is beautiful women who are often sexually involving. They are meant to attract the opposite sex consumer to buy the car. In his article, Lutz uses the word “new” (33) to show how marketers are renovating old products and label them new as a way of convincing consumers to buy them.
Through advertising, social concepts have been transformed to important ideas among the public. Many public service announcements are made through advertising. This safe and fast means make people get to know certain messages. Adverts that market products and services come with a number of social benefits are common in the modern days. Advertisements that support entertainment have been used to promote social change. According to Janus, “Advertising of skin-lightening products persuades the African women to be ashamed of their own color and try to be white”. This is a clear show of how advertising has corroded the culture of other people. When it comes to economic benefits, a number of positive effects have been brought by advertising. According to Winston Fletcher, advertising has encouraged companies to provide new products and compete favorably in the market. The main aim of doing this is to ensure the needs and requirements of consumers are met. On top of this, advertisement has helped in creating jobs. As the demand for goods and services go high courtesy of advertising, the manufacturers and suppliers have been overwhelmed.
Apart from helping consumers know the right products and services for them, advertisement will help people learn about different political choices and lifestyles. After getting the right information, they will be in a position to choose what is right for them. Advertising has been blamed for its negative effects in the society. It is speculated to have pushed consumers buy things they do not need. The do so by injecting negative emotions like anxiety and fear. Adverts are created in such a way that they will play with the human mind and take advantage of individuals. This is a technique of convincing consumers to buy certain goods and services. A good example is people meant to believe that it is hard to blow out a candle. The new “outdoor” color according to William Lutz is the one that has made many people buy this candle. The use of weasel word “new” makes many people’s mind get corrupted. Some of the candles in the market are natural ones only that they have been turned color to green and called new.
Adverts have been framed in such a way that they convince people that buying and consuming are two principal activities in people’s lives. They are meant to evoke fears of human by depicting the person as young. According to Lutz, “New” or “Better” are weasel words used by most adverts. In the real sense, making use of the products will not make any much difference. It is only that the packaging of the products is changed. This is how adverts have managed to use little weasel words to woo people buy some products even if they do not need them.
In conclusion, advertising can have both negative and positive effects on consumers and society. It has corrupted the minds of people to believe that with the use of certain products they will have better looks, get paid more, or move up in terms of social class. For this reason, consumers have been trapped into using some products with the aim of changing their appearance. However, despite the negative effects, advertising has seen fast spread of important public messages.
“Advertising of skin-lightening products persuades the African women to be ashamed of their own color and try to be white” Noreen Janus
Rephrase: African women have decided to use the skin-lightening products because they feel like their skin is not attractive.