Exploring the effects of advertising has greatly expanded my knowledge on the methods in which advertisers reach their audience, and the phycological and physical effects resulting from overexposure to false perceptions portrayed by advertisements. It seems as if the most dangerous proposed threats regarding advertising relates to the younger audience, as they unaware of the manipulative power of ads and in the process of adopting habits that they may pursue for the rest of their lives.
The biggest concern appears in the abilities of advertisements to encourage harmful behaviors and establish unrealistic social standards, as children are surrounded by ads promoting unhealthy foods, women are constantly comparing themselves to the displayed image of the perfect, ideal appearance, and teens are overexposed to ads endorsing harmful products of drugs and alcohol.
As advertising establishes these possible negative effects, I was also reminded by the reality that advertising is a vital aspect of business and society, and allows necessary communication between industries and their audience. Although advertisers investigate specific ways in order to target a certain audience, using tactics seen as possibly manipulative and corrupt, their intentions are not to instill harm, but to promote and sell their product.
I felt as though the most difficult aspects of this assignment included the ability to use a lengthy article and produce a concise summary of the most important elements relating to my topic. My topic also expressed varying and opposing viewpoints, as evidence supporting negative effects of advertising on viewers was unable to offer direct, absolute proof, taking into account the phycology and other outside factors influencing a specific person and their behaviors. I thought the compare and contrast post was very interesting, as it granted insight into the two completely opposing views regarding the effects of alcohol advertising on youth. This also mirrored my interview post, as it expressed differing views on the impact of cigarette ads on the teen audience.
I greatly enjoyed the ability to explore any topic of choice, as I was intrigued by the impact of advertising, which reflects a relevant and omnipresent issue in today’s society. This issue seems especially prevalent with the growing and expanding methods of communication accompanying new technologies. I was alarmed to discover the many ways in which Facebook offered such a primary advertising market and utilized personal information to directly target specific individuals. As an avid user of Facebook, I am now aware of these methods of customized and personal advertising, and will be able recognize if I am falling victim to overbearing advertising ploys. I feel as though the assignment as a whole was very rewarding, as it was my first experience creating and managing a blog.
Although this is my final post, my observations have opened my eyes to advertising’s powerful role in our society and its possible harmful results towards human behaviors including eating disorders, childhood obesity, and abusive drug or alcohol abuse. I was overwhelmed in observing the abundance of advertisements and their ability to explore new and creative ways in order to target and enter the minds of their viewers.