Advertising Poverty

All advertisements you see on TV, newspapers, magazines or the Internet, use some common keywords: cheap, discount, sale, % off, $x less, etc. The first idea that comes to mind is that there is an opportunity one should grasp and take advantage as soon as possible. But being bombarded by these advertisements can have other consequences, some of them are quite well-known: consumerism, obsession with buying, getting confused, overwhelmed and so on. But there is still one other less-discussed consequence on people with low to medium income: feeling poor.

When you are being constantly informed of sale or discount opportunities and you are urged, most of the time explicitly, to hurry while it is available, to call immediately, etc, you are being implicitly labelled as poor. These ads insinuate that you need a lot of stuff but you have very little money, so you must be aware and grasp every single opportunity that the market may provide. Simply because you are too poor to buy things unless they are on sale.

Being exposed to these ads for a limited time, you may not get affected, your way of thinking may stay safe from being manipulated or your mind can overcome negative effects. But these ads are everywhere: between and in the middle of TV programs*, at the top, sides and bottom of pages on the Internet, one the radio, in magazines and newspapers, on the bus, … There is virtually no escape from them. Then after a period of constant bombardment by the ads, not only you become addicted to buying and consuming but you are also persuaded that you are poor and you must buy things on sale. That can make you greedy and addicted to sales. You buy products just because they are on sale not because you need them. But this is only the individual side of it. It imposes negative social effects too.

Addicted (in general meaning of the term) people who feel that they have a limited amount of money which should be used to buy the needed products (whose necessity can be an illusion) lose generosity and become mean and stingy. When interacting socially, they cannot deal with other people kindly and openly . They get imprisoned in their own individuality and lose their freedom.

Two people can be completely free: one who has absolutely everything and one who has nothing. Other people in between are prisoners of their needs to possess more or their fears of losing what they seem to possess.

* especially on free TV! which is ideally for the whole nation but its main audience are from the lower classes

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7 thoughts on “Advertising Poverty

  1. Reblogged this on Rose Writes and commented:
    Insightful and accurate, we need to recognize how manipulated our society has become (on the whole) and prevent it from affecting us and our children. Recognition (spelled out clearly in this article) is a crucial first step.

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    1. I agree that the fist step to restore the society to its healthy state is to understand malfunctioning processes. This is what the critical theory has been about.

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  2. The very idea of advertising is reaching out a wide variety of customers as if there is no nieche being defined; it is like a mass sloughter, but isn’t it loosing it’s noxious power? It seems so. Growing Trends like crowdsourcing and customization are in respond to waning advert campaigns. yet the bitter fact is that all this modern occults are due to accumulate moner for some people inevetably making people more needy or feeling so…

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