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The Power of Advertising in Modern Society - Essay Example

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The Power of Advertising in Modern Society

The power of advertisements is immediately linked to their use of imagery and their sponsorship of commercial media.
While the majority express a dismissive attitude towards advertisements and claim to be unaffected by them, available figures support an alternate reality. Steinberg emphasises this point when highlighting the financial resources which companies set aside for advertisements per season. In 2008, 30-second Super Bowl ads sold for $3 million (para 1). As exorbitant as this figure may sound, every single ad spot was sold and networks were pressured to provide more advertising slots. The reason, as Steinberg explains, is that advertising makes financial sense. The Super Bowl, for example, is viewed by almost 100 million people across the United States, with the implication being that Super Bowl ads give companies the opportunity to deliver their commercial message to 100 million people in just 30 seconds (Steinberg, para 6-8). Within the context of the stated, the $3 million figure is an investment in the popularisation of a brand/product and an attempt to persuade 100 million people to, at least, consider purchase. Accordingly, while most claim that they are unaffected by advertisements, the sums which companies invest in the purchase of prime-time advertisement spots tells a very different story.
The power of advertisements does not only derive from their primetime placement but from their use of imagery. ...
185-186). For example, the images which Calvin Klein employs in its jeans ads are not just selected for the purpose of depicting the product but of portraying all that which may potentially be associated with the product. This includes sex appeal, charisma and an aura of success and popularity, among others. The point here is that the power of an advertisement and its ability to attract the attention of consumers is almost entirely dependant upon its use and selection of visuals.
The fact that advertisements draw their power from images, rather than words, maximises their appeal and potential for attraction. As may be inferred from Moeller's analysis of the importance of imagery, the power of images lies in that they are open to interpretation and that viewers can, to an extent, impose their on meanings and values upon them (para 5-9). Unlike words where meaning is explicitly state, leaving little for the imposition of subjective interpretations, images provide viewers with the freedom to impose their own meaning and interpretations upon them. The implication here is that visuals can be personalized. Hence, the power of ads does not simply derive from the images which they use but from the fact that viewers have the freedom to impose personal meanings upon these images.
Whether or not people choose to openly admit it, ads wield power. The imagery which they use influences our perceptions and their very presence provides us with media content. As Steve Hall explains, the production of media content is very costly and corporations only undertake the expenses involved for the purposes of profiting. Insofar as television content is concerned, whether sporting events or popular serials, advertisements cover the costs and generate the profits ...Show more

Summary

People are bombarded with advertisement messages throughout much of their waking hours. As Steve Hall, a communications scholar and advertising professional writes, "the average consumer can't go through a day without seeing 3,500 commercial messages" (para 1)…
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The Power of Advertising in Modern Society essay example
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