This image has since altered drastically due to the nationalization of television and the shift from disseminating information to focusing on persuading the masses. Today advertising is criticized as encouraging materialism, creating envy and obsessing with physical beauty, all this using various tactics such as manipulation, deception and typecasting. Consumers are treated like guinea pigs with products hung out in front of them.
When people switch on their television sets they aim to watch not the commercials, but the programs or films aired on the multitude of channels. These channels make their business and profits through the advertising revenue generated by the telecast of the programs. Advertisements are an inevitable part of the business and channels are required to feature them at regular intervals during programs. The viewer at home has a choice, whether to watch the commercials or tune into another channel. Studies show that most viewers would watch a newly telecast commercial and are less likely to be interested in it after several repetitions. Some ads are watchable even after many runs, while the credibility of other ads appears to be the weak link (Ries 2004). The content of the ad is therefore the prime aspect that determines the watchability factor. A creative ad would always generate some interest in the product even if the ad has very little to do with it. Increasingly, innovative storylines are being used for a substantial part of the ad, with the actual product revealed at the very last moment. When the storyline approach cannot work for some products, other methods are employed such as use of film stars, sportspersons and other celebrities. Cosmetics, watches, cell phones are just a few of the products that ride on celebrity appeal. For advertising companies, celebrities play an important role in their overall marketing strategies. Celebrities are willing to endorse any product that supplements their income from their regular professions. The result is that the value of the product increases manifold and flows not just from the endorser to the product but from the product to the endorser (Twitchell 2001). Although a celebrity may endorse a wide range of products he or she is likely to feature in an ad which shows a good product but whose overall message has immoral or violent leanings. There are exceptions though.
It has often been said that violent TV programs glorify guns and crime. But how much influence do violent TV commercials have the public Although crimes have existed for thousands of years before the advent of television or film, some people believe that violence in the entertainment media is a cause of violence and deteriorating moral standards in society. Most of the focus has been on TV programs and film but only recently with the increase in controversial and questionable advertising, more attention has been given to the content of commercials. Out of the thousands of commercials screened every year, only a fraction have any violent or objectionable moral content. Many advertisers, though they sponsor programs that contain guns and violence, would prefer to distance their products or services from the program content itself. But there have