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To what extent does advertising reflect or dictate cultural ideologies?

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Introduction

To what extent does advertising reflect or dictate cultural ideologies? In terms of the media, an ideology is something that gives an account of society, although often a partial and biased view. In terms of advertising, it is clear that there will be a reflection of "cultural ideologies". One of the main definitions of advertising is "to draw attention to something" (Dyer). From this definition we can clearly see that whenever there is a reference to society or the public within an advert then there will be a reference to a constructed ideology. The main point of these references will clearly be to aid the manufacturer in selling their product. This confirms the fact that there will be the use of an ideology, as the advert will be constructed to show where the product will fit into "society". ...read more.

Middle

These needs can be broken down into several sections that clearly show the manners in which advertising plays on them: * Physiological (Food, Water, Shelter, s*x etc) * Safety * Social * Esteem * Sense of Achievement These needs are used by advertisers to entice a consumer into buying their product. This also clearly links in with the original definition of an "ideology" as it shows that advertisers are attempting to pinpoint a certain area of their campaign to appeal to certain needs felt by the public, for example cosmetics adverts will be based around improving a persons appearance and therefore their self esteem. It is clear that advertisers exploit theories such as this in order to increase the appeal of their products. Many adverts are also set and/or based around "real life" situations. ...read more.

Conclusion

This viewpoint is enforced by a quote from the Guardian in January 1995; "In India television has brought the lifestyle of the urban middle class- with its electric kitchen gadgets, motor scooters and fancy furnishings- to villages where women still collect cow dung fuel their cooking fires" This shows clearly that advertisers wish to present their view of society to a public, even though in this case it has very little rooting in fact. Advertisers will also attempt to tap into society and maintain "a cutting edge". It is clearly hoped that by presenting whatever is currently fashionable to the public they will therefore be able to tap into the current craze and their product will become more popular as a result. Advertisers chooses mostly however to present us simply as shoppers, although promising to solve all our problems and dilemmas by selling us their newest product. ...read more.

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