Advertising and Modern Culture

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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In the early 1900?s advertising was simple, you were shown a picture of the product and told what it would enable you to do. For example: a Coca-Coal advertisement from 1905 showed two women at a table drinking the well-known beverage. The slogan read ?Coca-Cola Revives and Sustains.? By the 1920?s the advertising culture began to change dramatically. Advertisers started to shift from promoting the product and its characteristics, to connecting products and services with life styles and values (Prewitt). Advertisers began to create an image of what the average American should look like, act like, and possess. Because of this, people began to be more obsessive and self indulgent, which has shaped the way American culture is today.

When modern advertising first took off, people were forced to work more hours to produce more products. Between 1973-1988 employees had less time for their families, their recreation and leisure time decreased from a median of twenty-six hours per week to under seventeen hours per week (Pool).

In 1990 the average employed American was on the job an additional month a year compared to twenty years earlier. Which would account for the reported one third of American children who were caring for themselves by the end of the 1980?s (Pressman).

The positive effects of advertising are that they keep our economy from crashing to the ground. By keeping money constantly circulating throughout the United States, it enables people to have a higher standard of living. This means more toys, better toys, and bigger toys. Advertising also creates more jobs for people with higher incomes; this allows them to support themselves and their loved ones (which also contributes to more consumption).

Another thing about advertisers is that they claim to be informing people of new products and services, but if that were...