American Absurdity. This essay discusses America and how advertising affects our lives.

Essay by deesgr8College, UndergraduateA+, February 2004

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If I started out my paper with THIS IS JUST FOR YOU or SEX BEER NAKED SEX, would that make you want to read it more? Why should it? Any other paper may be just as interesting, if not more, but I just tricked you into thinking mine was juicier. If an advertisement said THIS IS JUST FOR YOU or SEX BEER NAKED SEX, would that grab your attention? Why should that? Sex or beer might not even be what is for sale, but the ad tricked you into associating those things with the product.

In their advertising campaigns, companies do not use broad ads geared toward the general public. People need something they are connected with to catch their eye. All commercials have a specific target audience, and businesses look for ways to attract their targets through advertisement. They want to figure out what kind of ads will make prospective customers look and keep looking.

A successful advertisement will intrigue people and make them feel like their product will either make them fit in or give them power. In his essay "Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising" Jack Solomon, a professor and cultural critic, expresses frustration with this complex advertising trend, and how its contradiction exemplifies the American dream. Although the essay was written in the late 80s and politics and the world view are different now, the populist/elitist paradox is still prevalent in American advertising.

This advertising paradox is obvious to anyone who has watched TV or leafed through a magazine. While some ads depict a group of people seen as equals enjoying a product that brings them all together, other ads show a person basking in self-satisfaction as the product he discovered has provided him with a newfound sense of supremacy. It is not...