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Advertising and its psychological grip over us

2 min, 5 sec read
23:30 PM | 2 September 2016
by Finn O'Neill
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As advertising become ever more popular, we take a look at its omnipresence and omnipotence and see what it really does to us.

The immense power of advertising is something we cannot truly fathom. It has a psychological grip over us whether we like it or not. We are immersed in a world of advertising the moment we wake up; whether is it brushing your teeth with a Colgate brand of toothpaste and brush, eating a bowl of Kellogg's cornflakes, or sitting on the tube on your way to work staring at the Dave channel advert above in order to not make awkward eye contact with the pretty lady opposite you who is reading the Sun.

We are immersed in a world of advertising the moment we wake up."


What makes advertising so unusually effective is the fact that it often makes us desire a product that we don't really need, but want. An example of this, as mentioned above, is Dove's empowerment campaign. Women are associated with beauty and Dove incorporates a twist in its latest campaign and uses plus sized models of various race and ethnicity. This really makes you ponder the unrealistic beauty standards portrayed by various brands such as Victoria's Secret, Tommy Hilfiger and Christian Dior, just to name a few. Nonetheless, the campaign by Dove works and received praise from viewers around the world. This is because of Dove's portrayal of reality rather than fantasy.


Celebrity influence also plays an important role in advertising. For instance, we associate a certain actor with our favourite T.V. show or movie, and if he or she endorses a product (which they probably don't even like, but get paid a lot, and I mean a lot, of money to use), we develop a need to buy the product in order to satisfy ourselves, to associate ourselves with the riches.

"We develop a need to buy the product in order to satisfy ourselves."


With further technological advancements, ads seem to be getting sneakier. Advertisers pay a lot of money to show us what they want to. This can be seen when you're shopping online, scrolling through Facebook, or just checking your e-mail. Ads often just sneak up on you, whether you like it or not. What is clear is the fact that we are so accustomed to it, we just turn a blind eye to its grasp over us.

"Ads often just sneak up on you, whether you like it or not."

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