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We simultaneously watch television as we surf the Internet and read the evening paper. Advertising blaring from a radio or screaming from a billboard bombards us. From the time we wake up until we close our eyes at night, we are inundated with the media. It conveys information, educates, promotes products, and sells lifestyles…
Media influence begins at a very young age and advertisers are quick to utilise this factor. There is little doubt that when the local brewery advertises on Saturday afternoons that they are not just selling beer, they are grooming the next generation of customers. According to marketing researchers Maher, Hu, and Kolbe (2006), children as young as 6 years old are able to recall television advertisements with a 90% accuracy rate after seeing a commercial (p 31). At this tender and impressionable age, advertising can substantially influence a child's future willingness to drink or become engaged to a product's branding. Any producer that may have an agenda can just as easily sway them politically or socially.
While some media outlets use sensationalism to attract attention and sway ideas, advertisers have been using sex to sell products for years. If the media did not have the power to sway opinions and preferences, the advertising business would not be the multi-billion pound business it is today. Getting to the consumer's feelings means portraying a relationship with their culture and becoming more acceptable. Getting to know the culture and what makes it react prompted one ad executive to remark, "Find out why people join cults and apply that knowledge to brands" (Goodman & Dretzin, 2004). ...
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