Advertisements Essay, Research Paper
In the essay The Pursuit of Happiness , the author Fromm makes a valid point which I agree with, that modern consumers believe that what they have and consume creates their identity in society. Fromm says that consumers will never be happy or satisfied because, like a drug, consuming helps release anxiety, which in turn creates a short moment of satisfaction that needs to be replenished by consuming more. Leslie Savan, author of The Bribed Soul , also took this same view that consuming advertised products has created a false sense of individualism materialistic in order to find our own identities. I agree with both authors that our society has become so materialistic that it has become nearly impossible to become an individualist. Since the first day we were born we have been bombarded by advertisements and logos teaching us that having more will make us better people than those who can t afford to own such extravagant material objects. Savan says that the real masterwork of advertising is the way it uses techniques of art to seduce the human soul. Advertisements seduce the human soul into thinking that we must conform into a certain mold in order to find resolution and sanity. And like Fromm, Savan explains that once we get that one sweet taste of satisfaction we crave more, which can only be reached by consuming more. When we begin living the sponsored life , according to Sevan, we are buying an image, or an experience that is represented in ads. We aren t creating our own identity as long as we continue to make unsatisfying purchases because we can t live up to that image we see on the television, in magazines, on billboards and plastered on walls. Savan says that we must first recognize that advertisements are lies. There is no logical connection in real life between with the popular cool image we see on the television and real life people. Savan wrote all ads must tell us lies: This car will attract babes and make others slobber in envy. Don t be shocked that ads lie that s their job. It s a commercial s job to sell us an image. We must ignore the overriding idea that has been placed in our minds, that the very essence of having is being. Master Eckhart once said that our goal should, be to be much, not to have to much. He is saying that we need to take our focus away from material objects and focus on an individual’s soul and kindness rather than their material worth.
I would be a hypocrite if I said that I was not mesmerized by the images that are portrayed on television. Yet I d like to think that I was not as caught up in the commercialism that surrounds me everyday. I buy a pair of jeans if I like them and if the quality is good, which I can tell by the name brand, which means I must be intrigued by commercials that tell me I m buying good quality and that it will look good. As a consumer it s quite hard to play the individualist role when we only have a few choices on the sales rack. I don t feel that as a consumer it s possible to dress like an individualist when the same style of clothing fills every store, and is advertised as the in thing to wear. We can t escape the advertisements images, we are what we buy, and I m an image that every teenager try s to attain by losing more individuality. I agree with the observation Tennyson made in his verse that it is human nature to want to possess an object in order to understand the nature of people. To consume an object, or in Tennyson s case pick the flower rather than observe it, we obtain power to hoard the beautiful object to ourselves. When we are enabled to capture this power there is instant exhilaration and satisfaction having this object all to ourselves. This object becomes yours and in turn makes you more happy, beautiful person. This satisfaction is a drug with endless opportunities when money is no object. Therefore the more we obtain or spend, Savan and Fromm agree that the more content we become, the more we want this feeling again. This is why, as a culture we must begin identify the difference between having and being, before we go bankrupt. According to Fromm we must create a society centered around people rather than one centered around things.