Advertising and Society

Essay by esgee17C+, June 2009

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Leiss, Klein and Jhally have often reasoned that the 1920's saw the emergence of the consumer culture that subsequently lead to a "new type of personality and social self based on individuality". This essay discusses the growth of consumer culture that began in the 1920's, how it developed and lead to a "new type of personality and social self" and how it became the basis for everything else that emerged from this culture.

The end of the First World War marked the beginning of consumerism. Following WWI the economy of the U.S.A began to grow. It was at this time that the concept of advertising to large masses first gained momentum. Prior to the war, print media was used as a tool for propaganda and exposing political agendas. However at the end of the War, print media began to present and initiate a new idea of consumer culture ('Advertising in the 1920's', n.d.).

At the time, a novel idea of self and individuality was introduced to the common man. It was at this time that advertisers first began the concept of advertising not just their products, but a lifestyle associated with their products. During this time advertisers were often trying to blur the boundaries between traditional and modern. A 1924 Chenard & Walcker Limousine advertisement is an illustration of this. The car is in a traditional setting, in a familiar background to make the audience comfortable while presenting them with sophisticated, modern technological advancements ("Ad Classix", n.d.). Thus the period between the end of the Second World War and the start of the Great depression marked the beginning of a long standing tradition of consumer culture.

The end of the Second World War, lead to the growth of a new type of personality and social self. The end of...