The Powerful Influence of Advertising

Advertising, as defined by dictionarycom, is the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., especially via paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, and so on. By simply looking around us, we realize how advertising is overwhelming our society. From the moment we are born, we are exposed to advertising. So much so that we are manipulated on a daily basis by advertisements without even realizing it. For example, when you hear “I’m loving it” and “Happiest place on earth” the first things that come to mind are McDonalds and Disneyland, respectively Our brains have been conditioned to associate those slogans with those corporations because of the frequency of which we hear them and the fact that they appeal to one or more of our needs Advertisements are also necessary; they provide consumers with knowledge about their product, among other things.

Advertisers can either choose to give consumers a significant amount of knowledge or just enough to persuade them to purchase their product Magazines, like Women’s Health, focus on enhancing the lives of its readers For the most part, their advertisements focus on being healthier: eating healthier, taking care of your body, and getting enough of what your body needs, like sleep and vitamins.

Advertising aims to influence people by appealing to their needs by using one or more of Lutz’s 15 basic appeals of advertising that aim to persuade, if not brainwash, consumers into buying their product by using basic human appeals, such as the human need to escape, feel safe, as well as their use of weasel words in their advertisements “Weasel words are words that although might appear to be making a claim or stating something in reality when examined closely they make no real claim or statement“ The advertisement being analyzed is a Quaker Oats ad found in a February 2016 issue of Woman‘s Day magazine.

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The advertisement splits the page in half. On the left half, the ad portrays a white dining table with a napkin, a white cup full of, what appears to be, black coffee, and half a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit. On the right half, there‘s half of a bicycle wheel that meets up with half of the oatmeal bowl on the left side. The partial front of a red bicycle has a leg over it, wearing white pants and shoes, pedaling along the road. In the background there’s a field that appears to go on foreveri The caption “Healthy hearts for adventures ahead” is written through the page in bold white letters right below the half bowl and bicycle wheel. Below that in the center of the page is written, “Keep up with the life you love. 100% whole grain Quaker Oats can help reduce cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet” in white letters as well.

The advertisement ends with a picture of three of their products on the bottom center with the slogan “off you go” coming from the right side of them. The need to escape is an appeal this advertisement tugs at, in part clue to the fact that we seem to associate the feeling that comes from escaping with the sense we find in pleasure. The feeling of escaping, better yet, the perception of freedom the ad seems to convey, is what most, if not all, individuals seem to yearn for. Freedom from the hassle of our daily lives. By appealing to this need advertisers seems to be enticing the consumer to escape their daily lives, even if it’s only momentarily, by simply consuming their product. In the case of this advertisement, the appeal is found not only in the art work, as it is most commonly found, but also in its text For example, it uses “Off you go” and “Healthy hearts for adventures ahead” to place the idea of getting away, traveling, going for an adventure, regardless of where it will take us, because after all, according to this advertisement, the only thing we need are healthy hearts. Healthy hearts for adventures is what this advertisement is offering.

The need to feel safe is one that leads us to do whatever it takes to stay away from any danger that may come our way, whether that may be in a physical way or a health related way. Even if, in this case, that means eating oatmeal to diminish the risk of having heart problems By claiming that eating Quaker Oats can help reduce cholesterol, the advertisement is trying to project the claim that you will be at less risk for high cholesterol if you eat their product compared to abstaining. Advertisers seem to target our need for self— preservation as a way to make us respond to their advertisement, Weasel words, like the word “help”, are intended to mislead consumers into purchasing the product, in this case, Quaker Oats. “Help” is considered by Lutz as one of the most common weasel words “The trick is that the claim that comes after the weasel word is usually so strong and dramatic that you forget the word “help” and concentrate only on the dramatic claim” “The advertiser is not responsible for the claim that you read into the ad, even though the advertiser wrote the ad so you would read that claim into it.”

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The Powerful Influence of Advertising. (2022, Oct 13). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-powerful-influence-of-advertising/

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