Introduction In an attempt to understand the impact media for example, television has on influencing behaviour of people different researchers approached the subject from a variety of angles. This research is no different; however, emphasis is placed on television shows’ impact on young adult females behaviour…
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With more access to social media and exposure to advertisements, today’s youth are receiving overwhelming amount of information. Besides leisure choices, Television is moulding their day-to-day preferences and trying to influence them to adopt a certain unrealistic lifestyle as they view in their favourite TV series. Another major theme is unhealthy influence of media on the health and personality building decisions. Be it an attempt to follow an unhealthy lifestyle, acting like an adult or having an access to recent branded goods, there is a constant comparison between real lives and what is being portrayed on the TV (Toffoletti 2008, pp.72-5; McRobbie 2008, pp.534-42). On the contrary, these TV shows provide an opportunity to view how certain characters exhibit an ideal behaviour in difficult situations which can be learned by the audience (Hill 2011, pp.354- 357). Consumerism has affected spending patterns and buyer’s behaviours significantly all around the globe. The era’s prominent brands occupy major market share by strategizing techniques that appeal to the youth. This is in spite of buyers’ prior awareness of the fact that advertisements only show the brands that they want viewers to buy. The effort to induce positive perception in the consumers is so overwhelming that it has a tendency of affecting decisions of even the most knowledgeable buyers (Romeo 2009, pp.18-25). The Television sector is not far behind in this race and they also strive to increase their viewership. Television is a powerful medium that reaches billions of viewers on a daily basis (Turow 2005, pp.105-113). Trends introduced through this medium affect millions of young viewers on daily basis (Spalding, 2010). An upcoming trend that continues to gain prominence over traditional television commercials is marketing brands in television series or movies; whereby, big corporations avail their products to actors in a television series as part of costume and decor as a marketing strategy as is the case in the TV series Gossip Girl. The TV series is based on a best-selling series of novels written by Cecily von Ziegesar about the tumultuous life of Manhattan's Upper East Side's elite young adults. The main themes in the TV series revolve around the love life, relationships, deceit, rivalry, power, and money together with luxury lifestyle of the main characters. The series, created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, was first premiered on The CW in late September, 2007 (Spalding, 2010, p.3-67). Although, researches done by Turow (2005, pp. 105-113) and Saplding (2010) illustrate how TV, especially sitcoms, affect behavior and preferences of consumers; Keum et al. (2004, pp. 372-391) present a different opinion by saying that media creates social consciousness and status consciousness which leads to spurring an awareness of the social responsibilities associated with consuming and a pursuit of status-oriented lifestyles. These researchers were of the opinion that the shift in social and status consciousness occurs as a result of viewers’ obsession with emulating the behaviours and attitudes portrayed with the characters they hold in high esteem. This approach infers that TV series such as Gossip Girl plays a role in influencing viewers’ social and status consciousness, which in turn affects their attitudes and behaviours with regard to lifestyle and consumer choices. For example, ...
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