Advertising was initially meant to make people aware of the goods available
in the market. It was as simple as announcing what you have in your store or the
services you offer in your premises. Over the years, advertising has evolved
into a major industry that goes beyond informing to persuading and influencing.
It is a form of brainwashing consumers.
Advertising has become a type of culture with ardent followers. In the
process, it attracts enviable attention from manufacturers and service providers
who fancy an edge over their competitors. Unfortunately, in keeping with the
ever-increasing demands of the manufacturers, the advertisers have resulted to
creating unnecessary wants and excess consumption in most of us. This is a
craving for harmful products that we are better off without. It preys on our
minds rendering us completely irrational. The billboards (hoardings), television
and radio advertisements target us from a very early age, forming our view of
the world as we grow into adults. The buzzwords in advertising are, 'you are
cool, type, sophisticated, of the hook', if you use this or that product.
The notion that the media is primarily in place to give us news is not very
true. If the truth may be told, the media is there to gather enough audience,
package them into a pricey commodity and sell it to the advertisers. The
advertisers, on the other hand, are always on the lookout for a target audience
to persuade them that this product or service is better than that of the
Advertising does influence people. Most of the advertisements are filled with
images that equate emotional well-being with material acquisition and associate
independence and leisure with consumption of alcohol. Advertising also makes
people lavish their affect on products rather than real people, thereby
destroying human relationships We have become trapped in the web of
advertising where products like brands of beer and cigarette take over our
minds, doing away with our core family values.
When you look critically at most of the advertisements on the television, you
will discover how persuasive the advertisers are in deciding for us what, when,
how much and why to buy. But most people think that they are not influenced by
advertisements. This is precisely what the advertisers want us to think, that in
the end 'the people decide'. If you think deeply, nobody in his profit-minded
sense will pay so much money to make a thirty second advertisement, which might
not be seen by a hundred people, leave alone convince them to buy. How we strike
a healthy balance between the two will definitely have a direct bearing on the
future of our country. It is unfortunate that alcohol and tobacco advertising
forms a sizable chunk of the industry.