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Subliminal seduction

The heart of an advertisement is the consumer. Generally speaking, in different various forms, everything winds down to whether or not there is a market for one’s product and whether someone will buy it.  Basic commodities have a ready-made consumer market: the general public. Since these commodities are items that are needed by all, everyone is expected to buy these products. These products are easy to make and are easily found. The strength of these products is inherently its greatest weakness as well. Since these products are not exactly hard to find items, there are many companies that can and are offering the same kinds of products. This leads to extreme competition in the marketplace and results in a massive dilution of the consumer base. The more competition, the lower the price. The lower the price, the lower the profit. There is, therefore, a need to create a new market or a new consumer base (Collis, 1999). These consumers are as manufactured as the products they themselves buy. They are not consumers of basic products or things that they really need but they are consumers created by the ad campaigns that they watch. Some resort to subliminal messages that subconsciously influences people to buy things they ultimately do not use in the end.An example here is the efforts of the magazine industry to buck the trend. For several years magazines have consistently included full-sized women in their fashion pages and some have pledged not to touch up photos and not to include models less than 25 years of age. Yet women are still pressured to look fashionable by wearing the latest brands, especially if their favorite models sport a luscious body. We all know the stereotypes—the femme fatale, the supermom, the sex kitten, the nasty corporate climber. Whatever the role, television, film and popular magazines are full of images of women and girls who are typically white, desperately thin, and made up to the hilt. For Sara Lee Wonder Bra, the model sports a mysterious look out in the streets flaunting her beautiful body and face. There is a subliminal message that this bra fits so naturally like one’s own clothes such that one can feel so comfortable wearing it out in the open. For instance, the product Wonderbra specifies even the manner that is best used in laundering the product and taking care of it.Many would agree that some strides have been made in how the media portray these models when they are promoting several known brands. The model is always sexy and adorable. Yet it doesn’t mean she is like that all the time. Magazines do not print pictures of her when she gains pounds. We may not even be ware that posters have actually been digitally altered to make her look reed-thin. Nevertheless, female stereotypes continue to thrive in the media that we consume every day.The social groups being targeted in this advertising and promotional campaign are women who have the capacity to buy the products that they think will make them look good. Subliminally, the product entices women that they will become attractive to me if they wear the product. Some companies even constantly change and upgrade their stock, which means that a style may be discontinued because consumer’s desire for that product has been discontinued. They say that this allows them to regularly update their product lines so that they are better able to answer the needs of their clients.Advertising rules the marketplace and in advertising thin is “in.” Twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8 per cent less than the average woman—but today’s models weigh 23 per cent less. Advertisers believe that thin models sell products. The barrage of messages about thinness, dieting and beauty tells “ordinary” women that they are always in need of adjustment—and that the female body is an object to be perfected.These huge posters of the exotic model Maja Latinovic, a reed-thin woman with exotic, mysterious looks entice women all the more to buy the Wonderbra. Sometimes,  the tragedy here happens when women internalize these stereotypes, and judge themselves by the beauty industry’s standards. Women learn to compare themselves to Maja Latinovic and make them buy the bra because they could look like the lady on the poster.Dr. Riesman in his study of the basic changes taking place in the American characters during the twentieth century (that is, from inner-directed to outer-directed) found that our growing pre-occupation with acts of consumption reflects the change. This pre-occupation, he noted, was particularly intense (and intensively encouraged by product makers). He characterized the children of America as ‘consumer trainees.’ (Santrock, John). Today, the clothing and apparel industry grosses over a billion dollars but despite its popularity among people who have the money to spend for the type of look they are sporting, it is still accessible by even the youngest person in the hope of making it big in the future (Wikipedia 2004).;REFERENCESCollis, D. (1999).The Abuse of Consumerism. Zadok Online.Retrieved October 28, 2006 at:http://www.zadok.org.au/papers/collis/colliss10106.shtmlSantrock, J. (1998). Adolescence, 7th ed. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 210-211.Steger, M. (2003.).  Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress,Wikipedia. (2004). Hip hop fashion. Retrieved October 28, 2006 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop_fashion

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