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Humor as a Force in Advertising, Essay Example

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Advertisers in America use many different approaches to sell their products to the public. In fact, in some cases, it may be accurately stated that companies care more about the advertising of their products than the quality of the products themselves. Therefore, the persuasive techniques that have evolved over the years in advertising are very sophisticated, although there continues to be arguments among experts as to how powerful advertisements actually are in practice. Many people are probably unaware of the fact that advertisers use a range of emotions, including fear, excitement, hope, nostalgia, and humor to create a response in the viewer. In regard to the use of humor, a significant amount of the comedy that is injected into advertisements has to do with cultural norms and ideas of cultural “belonging.” Due to this aspect of advertisements, the issue of self-identity becomes very important when looking at the message that humorous advertisements actually communicate. The way that many advertisements use humor is to show a person who is “outside” of the cultural norm because they are too fat, or too shy, or have pimples, or are fatigued, etc and then show how the product that is advertised turns that person’s life around. In other words, ads use humor to reinforce cultural norms and conformity by associating self acceptance and cultural acceptance with products. The bottom line of all ads is to show that consumerism is, itself, the foundation of American culture.

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