How many times have you visited the grocery store and come back with a lot of things that you later realize you do not need but you just bought because they looked good at the time? This is the power of advertisements. Marketers use various techniques in order to make promotions for products so that they look really appealing and attractive to the customers. These people use various cues that target the various emotions and values of the consumers and the people are pulled into buying the products. Some marketing techniques are so successful that they attract even those people who really do not need the product in the first place! This means that advertising makes us buy things that we really do not need.
Many critics of the media and literature have criticized advertising. Many philosophers have also gone ahead and said that advertising corrupts the society and the culture and that it should not be allowed. I have seen many magazine articles and read many books that criticize advertising as being bad. Many people think that it is manipulative and therefore morally reprehensible. Others think that it is very expensive and therefore a waste of the important resources. Many believe that advertising diverts our attention from important problems of society such as poverty, class divisions and inequality. And worst of all, it wastes consumers' money because it is responsible for making them buy things that they really do not want.
I remember that once I was watching television with my sister and we both saw an advertisement for some new lamp that they have made that boasted perfect lighting for the eyes and were giving out promises that it can improve your grade. We were both laughing at the ad because we both thought that it was a very stupid idea. In addition, none of us needed a new lamp because we have plenty of them in our house. But to my amazement, I saw my sister walk in the house a few days later, carrying the lamp in her hands! I asked her why she had bought it because we clearly did not need it and she told me that it was because the advertisement convinced her that it would be a good buy. She told me that it looked good in the ad and that she had to buy it to see the great light that they were talking about. Later we found out that it was just another ordinary lamp with a fancy name and design.
There have been times when I go to the grocery store to buy something that I have needed, and have come back with so much more that I later realize was totally unnecessary. Why do I do this? It is because I see the posters, the banners, and the flyers that are advertising those products and I am lured into buying them. This means that the marketers do this on purpose: they include such cues and materials into the advertisements that attract the customers and sometimes those customers who really do not want the product in the first place. Other times when I have experienced this phenomenon is when I have seen kids ask their parents for things that they really do not need. This is all because the advertising of these products have been done in such a way to target and attract all kinds of customers.
I am definitely of the opinion that advertising can make people buy unnecessary things that they do not really need. I have seen this happen to people I know and I have read about this in various places. I have experienced it first hand and that is when I was convinced. Many critics may argue that advertising helps us by spreading awareness. I agree with this, but it also waste the money of the consumer by attracting them into buying things that they really do not need.