Thursday, February 8, 2007


1- Though it's true that propaganda and advertising are both ways to sway public opinion, they are not the same thing. Because of the totalitarian justification of propaganda as a valuable tool to advance and legitimize the interests of the ruling party (Lenin, Goebbels, Plekhanov, etc), the term has strong political overtones. On the other hand, advertising uses techniques and practices to bring products, services, opinions, even causes to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in certain ways. In a Capitalist system, most advertising involves promoting “goods for sale,” but similar methods are used to encourage people to drive safely, to support various charities, or to vote for political candidates, among many other examples. 2- Advertising is late-Capitalism’s most important source of income for the media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, or television stations). 3- The most basic media for advertising are: (a) Newspapers (offers large circulations, a readership located close to the advertiser's place of business, and the opportunity to alter content on a frequent and regular basis), (b) Magazines (of general interest, aimed at specific audiences), (c) TV and radio. For advertisers the most important facts about a TV or radio program are the size and composition of its audience (size determines the amount of money the broadcaster can charge; composition determines the advertiser's choice as to when a certain message should be run). (d) Other minor media are direct mail, outdoor billboards, posters, transit advertising (which can reach the millions of users of mass-transit systems) and even smaller items, such as matchbooks or calendars. 4- Advertising will be effective if its production -and placement- is based on a knowledge of its target, plus a skilled use of the media. Advertising agencies can orchestrate complex campaigns (whose strategies are based on research into consumer behavior and demographic analysis). So, the marketing side of advertising employs publicity to achieve its aim. 5- There’s no question that advertising is a powerful way to inform consumers. In a free-market economy effective advertising is essential to a company’s survival, for unless consumers know about a company's product they are unlikely to buy it. In criticism of advertising it has been argued that the consumer must pay for the cost of advertising in the form of higher prices for goods; against this point it is argued that advertising enables goods to be mass marketed, thereby bringing prices down. 6- It has been argued that the cost of major advertising campaigns is so high that it stimulates oligopolies. 7- Finally, there’s the issue of “undue influence,” false advertising and the use of deceptive techniques such as concealment of facts, exaggeration and other psychological appeals.


tae said...

Advertising, especially on TV, is so over done! I am so very grateful for my DVR which allows me to fast forward through the commercials. I find these TV spots to be tediously redundant and more often than not blatant lies. Advertising is no longer about presenting a product. It is about convincing the public to buy the product. And apparently advertising companies use tactics similar to propagandists. Some of the statements about the product may be true, but the complete message is not necessarily valid. Take those diet commercials with the before and after models. These are outright deceptive. The models claim to be successful dieters using these miracle pills. But, of course, these models never used the pills, and the advertisers use “tricks” to present the models as the before fat and now slim. Advertising has come a long way and sometimes it has gone too far. Much of advertising is regulated, particularly ads for food and food products. But, not everything is monitored. Of course, not all ads are based on lies and false information. Some ads rely on entertainment to call our attention to their product. Sometimes these may not even relate to the product itself. They figure if we like the ad, we will remember their product. They don’t even have to tell us about the product. It is incredible how the general public, including myself, can be swayed, cajoled, and convinced by advertisers outright deception and tactics of persuasion.

JustineH said...

As long as people are trying to sell products there will be advertising. Advertising like propaganda has come a long way as audiences have become more sophisticated. As annoying as adverts might be sometimes you really have to hand it to them for being creative.
I remember an a.s.p.c.a. advert from a few years ago. A guy is sitting on a couch and another guy sits next to him, the first guy pulls the other onto his lap and starts stroking him, then the line "somethings you can't do without a pet" comes up, very simple and very funny. I often think, oh I wish ihad come up with that idea after a particularly clever ad. Never caring much for american football I find that all watching of the superbowl on my part is only ever for the ad's to see what they've come up with this year.

stephsteph said...

Society today is very much influenced by the push of promoting and selling products. Does not everyone want to sell their own products? How do we do this? Basically comes the manipulative thing we know as advertisement. We want to grasp the attention of the public and influence them to believe they want or need the product. Personally, watching the television I have become numbed by advertisement and not easily influenced. I believe it is so molded into the society we live in today that half of people experience the same thing. Yet the other half are seeking status and advertisement molds the view of products influence in status. I find many advertisements are too overdone and manipulated. However, this is how our economy is influenced and kept afloat. This is how we make money. I just want to think about the world without advertisement. I believe life would be simple. We all would think for ourselves and live in our bare needs. It would be a different place. Advertisement is one major way the world has modernized and become so complicated. I try to keep myself grounded by stay in tune with what I really need and what my tastes truly desires. Not doing or getting things not just because everyone else is or some advertisement told me so.

Meng said...

I actually lived at a place where there wasn't much advertisment. TV used to play series and movies with very little commercials, and especially during the time when they play programs for kids. They were purely for entertainment purposes. There were a couple rice wine and common electronics ads here and there but that was it. When I first came to America I was so surprised to see commercial every 5-10 minutes between cartoons and tv shows. And it was awful annoying. They bombared me with blowpop, poptart, barby, and magical marker commercials. If I liked playing with dolls or didn't know candies rot your teeth I'd be buying all them time because as a kid you can't really help it if you're being tempted everyday. I went through many sets of magical markers though, and to tell you the truth they weren't so magical. They either die after a couple of uses or I get bored that they're just normal markers. Adverising is way too over done. They're making us to buy things we don't truly need because we're pressured and confused from messages from all directions. The most common commercial lately I see on tv are weight loss *insert name here* like excersiting equipments, diet pills, diet meals, and so on and so forth. So much advertising about the weight makes those that aren't even fat to want to lose some because they make having a little fat on the body sound so servere. And of course they use a gorgeous man or woman to be the result. Most of these things probably don't even work, why else are they still coming out with new ways to lose weight?

diana.arguello said...

Advertisement comes in many forms, such as a posters, paid announcements, print, broadcastings, electronic media, and is designed to attract public attention. Advertisement is found everywhere and now a days many marketing and advertising agencies contract graphic designers to design eye catching brochures, business cards, posters, billboards, postcards etc. For instance, club flyers which graphic designers design is a form of promotion in order to get people into clubs and make money of the masses that go in to have fun and drink. Advertisement, I believe is most effective in television commercials. For instance, as already stated when the super bowl comes around many people wait to see the commercials and those commercials cost $2.6 million a spot. Now, a day you see so many commercials that it feels as if the shows that you are watching is less then the time they say they are.

La Lady said...

Advertisments are a way of life and are very important for the economy. Considering how much bullshit we hear on the radio, television, or in magazines we are still subconsciously persuaded by them, and I dont feel its actually the advertisements themselves, its the public. How many times have we purchased things because we have noticed everyone around us has it. I know I am guilty of it...FOR SURE... I have no facts to back this up but I can guess that more than about fifty percent of advertisments are for material things rather than necessities. Like i said earlier i feel that advertisments are very important for the economy, because they keep us updated on the things we think we want that we are most likely willing to spend our money on.

I seriously dont know what I would do if I never heard another Geico commercial again on the radio. It has become music to my ears...and those Target commercials are to die for.

Sarita Sanchez

Kristal said...

Today’s media has become highly saturated with advertisement. You can spot name brand products in movies and popular sitcoms as a form of subliminal advertising. Once you see your favorite TV or cinematic character using a particular product, that you can also purchase, it becomes a much higher temptation. Yet, because of this over saturation, some advertisers are forced to perform a type of guerilla advertisement campaigns in order to compete with some of the flashier Ad companies. This, of course, can backfire.

For example, a few weeks ago a couple of artists from a marketing company were arrested when their ads, which are little magnetic displays placed all over Boston, were mistaken for bombs.

You can read a little more here:

The ads were for an animated show which I’m a fan of myself. In the end, the whole fiasco did get the exposure the show wanted since it didn’t have the power to reach the popular masses before.

AlexLee said...

The idea brought up in class about advertising that struck me the most is the idea that we no longer think. The idea that we are blind and raised to see things a certain way without forming an opinion for ourselves. Its very interesting because I believe in today's society that is very much true. We in fact allow advertising to tell us what to wear, where to go, what to eat and so on. Sounds similar to the ideas brought up in the Matrix.

Its funny because when you think this way you can catch yourself all the time. Do I really need that car or will my life be better with it? Advertisers are incredibly good at what they do, good enough to influence culture and create trends.

Once you realize this though still not easy to always easy to resist, it helps to be aware and to not always get sucked in.