Blog Entry 10: Write 2 Paragraphs towards paper 2

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Hi all:

For this entry write a couple of paragraphs collecting your thoughts for paper 2.  Remember that can be either on advertising to children or advertising to women.

Before writing your paragraphs you might want to check out the paragraphs written by a previous class on the same subject.  Might give you some ideas.  You can find those here.

Be sure to bring hard copy of your paragraphs to class.

See you Monday.


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What Advertisers Are Really Up To!

Marketers are greatly targeting children more and more over the past few decades. Susan Linn, author of “Consuming Kids,” states that children now influence over $600 billion in spending each year, thus installing a “cradle to grave” brand loyalty to its purchasers (RD 63). This means that children are the future, and corporate America wants to make sure to grab hold of them as soon as possible to keep them consuming all the way into their adulthood. Linn notes that children are not capable of making the best judgement of what is good for them, and therefore makes them “more vulnerable to marketing” (RD 64). The effects of this mass amount of advertisement to children, and their lack of knowledge to know it is not good or them, is harmful; contributing to obesity, tension with their parents, nagging, and loss of personal values.

Advertisers are promoting junk food and sugary products that are extremely appealing to children. Most of what children see is on television, in which children watch a lot of. Linn reports, “The average child sees about 40,000 commercials a year on television alone” (RD 65). Children see these commercials in between their favorite cartoon shows and they too have cartoons within the ad. These commercial have Mickey Mouse, Spongebob, The Flintstones, and many more cartoon characters that are running around happily promoting these junk foods, making this food seem fun. Kids do not necessarily know that this food is not good for them, they simply see that if their favorite character likes it, then they should too and it must be good. Since there are so many of these terrible ads, kids are always wanting this sugary and fatty foods, which leads to them sadly becoming overweight and eventually obese. Children are increasingly becoming over weight or obese, with the amount of obese children in America at fifteen percent (RD 93). The constant wanting of these junk foods are obviously bad for the children and their health, so one may ask, why do parents continue to buy it for them if they know the consequences?

Contemporary U.S culture is obsessed with women’s bodies; they are seen everywhere: on television, in magazines, and posted on billboards. Multi-million dollar industries use them to push their products without realizing what these mixed messages do to women. Women are told to be innocent and passive in one circumstance, and later told to be sexy and feminine. These dual pressures, created by repressed feminine sexuality and the obsession with woman’s bodies, create confusion for women in contemporary American society. Women cannot not live up to that exemplary standard because the images we see plastered everywhere are not of real women. A woman who eats healthy, and as much as she is supposed to can never be as skinny as many of the supermodels we see. The only eating the media will promote is the force feeding of their commercials to everyone who lives in our society.
Advertisements surround everyone these days and when asked many people say there are so many that they don’t even pay attention to them. “We may not pay attention to very many of these ads, but we are powerfully influenced, mostly on an unconscious level, by the feeling of being immersed in an advertising, market- driven culture, in which all of our institutions, from political to religious to educational, are increasingly for sale.”, says Jean Kilbourne author of the article “The More You Subtract, The More You Add”: Cutting Girls Down to Size. As Kilbourne says we may say we ignore the ads, but it is hard when you are submerged in them. The advertisements work by making it into your head without you even realizing they’re affecting you. You may see a commercial and later when you go to the store you favor one brand over another and you don’t know why. The commercials we see have this affect on us. When young women, and even men, but more so to women see thin people on the television they think there is something wrong with their own bodies if they don’t look like the people on the television.

Advertisements affect us as people in every way we can think of. They affect man by telling them they need to be “manly and strong”; they affect women by constantly reminding them they need to be “thin and silent”; and advertisements also affect children by informing them they need to “fit-in” and be like what is being advertised. The main goal of advertising is to sell their product to the people, but today, the majority of advertisements are being directed towards children. Children today suffer from not being able to identify an identity they are pleased with, and also suffer from mental disorders because of advertisements.
Every place we come across, there are billboards advertising everything we can think of. When I turn on my TV, I see colorful images of happy children advertising products and on the radio every day I hear a commercial about the lap-band. In Susan Linn’s article, “The Marketing Maelstrom”, she explains the reason why advertisements are most directed to children, rather than adults. She notes “because children are unable to employ such judgment, they are more vulnerable to marketing” (64). This means children find it difficult to understand the purpose of an advertisement, which is to sell, and the child believes the advertisement is talking directly to him or her. By this, this child begins to feel they need to buy the product or in many cases, the child feels they need to look that certain way.

Advertising has been embedded in our culture to such an extent that at times we do not realize how we are being influenced by it. In other words, as Jean Kilbourne says in The More You Subtract the More You Add, “Advertising is our environment” (145). It affects everyone whether one realizes it or not, however a particular group of people that in my opinion is affected the most, is women. Advertising is not only “the creator and perpetuator of the dominant attitudes, values, and ideology of the culture” (146) but it is also the reason for the many insecurities and self esteem issues that affect many women today. By creating their so-called “perfect image” of what a woman should look like, advertisements are not only selling and making profit more efficiently but at the same time are becoming more hazardous to women than ever before.
Today many women, through advertisements and even their friends have been convinced by the idea of being thin. Specifically adolescents, as Kilbourne mentions, “At no time are we more vulnerable to the seductive power of advertising than during our adolescence” (146). I can relate very much to this quote. During our adolescents for some reason we feel very insecure, we feel as if everything is wrong with us. In picking out the things that are wrong with us (not necessarily in our standards but in society's) ads hit our weak spot and mess with our self esteem to try to get us to consume more of what they are selling. These are years in which we already (and I say this through experience) feel like the most minimal thing is wrong with us. We begin to think we look like horrible, you don't know who you are, and all in all being a teenager comes with a huge amount of insecurities. There are so many ads that deal with weight issues that it is almost impossible to try to avoid them; and even if you do, your friends are probably talking about it themselves. The peer pressure that not only ads convey but also comments that friends make, makes one actually believe that they’re fat or ugly. This has been an issue that many girls have to deal with including myself.

Advertising today targets children of all ages through television, magazines, and video games. Why? Well children are vulnerable and easily persuaded. They especially fall into peer pressure and thus fall under the coercive hands of advertising. Advertising uses its negative effects such as instilling the nagging factor, attacking self esteem issues, and instilling poor values in order to persuade children to buy their products.

The Nag Factor is the key to advertising when it involves children. They want children to nag to their parents for their products because they know parents would give in to their child’s constant pleas. Corporations know that parents love their children and they would hate to say “no” to their beloved children. When parents say no it affects the fabric of the family and causes problems between the child and the parent. Corporations don’t mind these devastating affects as long as the nagging factor is effective and their products are bought.

In today's society, advertisement places a major role in our environment especially in the lives of young naive female teenagers. From television, magazine and billboards, Americans are exposed to more than three thousands ads every single day. Teenage girls are a main target to the advertisement business because they are learning more and more about their bodies and are in search of discovering who they really are. Young girls are often in search of being the "perfect girl" they often see on advertisements. Advertisements varying from exotic alcohol beverages, the latest and longer lasting mascaras to even the lasted trend of brand clothing opens up a whole different fantasy world, where teenage girls see fictitious women with long lean cellulite free legs with perfectly clear, smooth skin. Advertisement creates an unrealistic ideal vision of women that is clearly unattainable to the rest of the women, leading them to depression, insecurities and even eating disorders.

In today's society, advertisement places a major role in our environment especially in the lives of young naive female teenagers. From television, magazine and billboards, Americans are exposed to more than three thousands ads every single day. Teenage girls are a main target to the advertisement business because they are learning more and more about their bodies and are in search of discovering who they really are. Young girls are often in search of being the "perfect girl" they often see on advertisements. Advertisements varying from exotic alcohol beverages, the latest and longer lasting mascaras to even the lasted trend of brand clothing opens up a whole different fantasy world, where teenage girls see fictitious women with long lean cellulite free legs with perfectly clear, smooth skin. Advertisement creates an unrealistic ideal vision of women that is clearly unattainable to the rest of the women, leading them to depression, insecurities and even eating disorders.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Tingle published on May 6, 2011 8:28 AM.

Blog Entry 9: The More You Substract. was the previous entry in this blog.

Blog Entry 11: 2 Paragraph Summary of the Truman Show is the next entry in this blog.

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