The Advertised Life According to Vanderbilt

Essay by oedipus February 2004

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The Advertised Life According to Vanderbilt

In Vanderbilt's The Advertised Life, he argues that in our culture, full

with traditions and values, has assimilated to consumer culture, which is

full of marketing persuasion and buying trends. The idea of freedom of

choice, where one can make a decision for oneself without any biased

third party, is long gone. The modern version of freedom of choice is in

which the individual can only between "Brand A" and "Brand B". In this

life, every choice, purchase, attire, and lifestyle is supersaturated and

bombarded with advertisements compelling consumers to make products or

the lifestyle behind the product essential to the consumer. In today's

society every sort of public space like billboards, walls, Internet, and

radio waves are used to assimilate people into this advertised life. We

identify ourselves only as consumers. Every aspect of our lives is

intertwined with advertising; therefore, we live the advertised life.


power of advertisement has modified the mind of society in which

advertisement has the control of the mass culture even if the consumer

has no previous knowledge of this action or willingly or unwillingly to

accept this. Advertisement does this through the means of alternation of

demographics, perpetual idea, passive consumers, consumerist democracy,

and branding.

Using demographic analysis and trends of consumers, advertisement can

alter or influence trends and demographic groups in order to suit the

corporations through the use of advertisement. If the latest demographic

trends do not favor drinking hard liquor the companies who are involved in

hard liquor production will not easily take a decrease of annual sales.

Rather companies will spend a multi million-dollar campaign, including ads

in magazines, and sampling events. (131) These tactics will convert the

trend to favor liquor-related companies. Another technique corporations

use is to expand to larger...