Advertising and popular culture
Advertising and popular culture
Every weeknight when I
turn on the TV to watch CSI I mute the ads. I see SUV ads, Vonage ads, Pepsi
and whatever other stuff they're trying to sell me.
When I check my email (I
have a Gmail account), I usually have 1 or 2 new spam in my inbox, and about
120 new spams in my spambox. At the end of the month, my spambox auto-deletes
all spam over a month old. I currently have over 4000 spams in there. I check
any new spams as spam and then go about my business of answering
Then I read an
interesting statistic: Advertising profits have slumped during the last three
years in the United States. That doesn't mean that advertising companies are going
bankrupt (although some of them might eventually), what it means is that
companies that are advertising don't seem to be making as many sales.
For example, if the
Widget Company spends $100 million on a new advertising campaign and usually
makes about $500 million in profits, whats happened is that instead of making
$500 M, they are only making $400 M instead.
Obviously people aren't
selling Widgets, but the principle is the same. Companies seem to be going into
an "advertising backslide", almost as if we were in a depression.
Except we're not in a
depression. True, the US economy did SHRINK 0.5% during 2005, but that’s not a
depression. It’s a minor bump on the economic radar.
These days you see
advertising EVERYWHERE. We use Google Adsense in order to make sure the Lilith
Gallery Network makes a profit and can afford to pay for its server/etc.
Admittedly we also fall into this trap of using advertising in order to pay the
bills, and we can admit to it without being hypocritical.
But what about the rest
of the world? Advertising really is seemingly everywhere. Dentist offices often
get free magazine subscriptions because the advertising in the magazine is a
good way of selling products to consumers that might not see it otherwise. It
also advertises the magazine itself simply by "being there".
During the whole history
the aim of advertising is to inform and to convince, hasn’t changed.
Advertisement which we know now is a modern phenomenon with its roots in deep
past. One of the greatest events of the history of advertisement was the
invention of demountable fonts by Johann Gutenberg in 1440. His invention gave
life to the new carrier of advertisement: printed posters, leaflets and
Albert Lasker, the
father of modern advertisement, told that advertisement is “a printed kind of
trade”. But this definition was given before the invention of radio and TV.
Advertising is a
transfer of information, usually paid and has the characteristic of persuasion,
about production, service or ideas by famous advertiser with the help of
Advertising occupies a
major place in American society. Linked to the bedrock principles that shaped
American nation - free speech, competition and individual choice - it has
served the public since colonial times as a source of vital information about
their open, market-based economy.
Advertising is a
positive force in our free society. Protected by the First Amendment, it
informs the public, promotes competition, fuels economic growth, creates jobs
and fosters a wide array of media choices for consumers.
The First Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom
of speech or of the press…” In a long series of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court
has conclusively extended this protection to “commercial speech.” As a result,
advertising of lawful products and services, conducted in a non-misleading way,
is fully protected by the U.S. Constitution.
According to a landmark
study conducted by the highly regarded consulting firm Global Insights under
the direction of a Nobel Laureate in Economics, advertising is a remarkably
powerful economic force. Nationally, it generates over $5 trillion in economic
activity, or approximately 20 percent of U.S. total economic activity. Sales of
products and services stimulated by advertising support 21 million jobs, or 15
percent of the total jobs in the country. In addition, another Nobel Laureate
in economics, George Stigler, also has noted that advertising is a critical force
in fostering economic efficiency and competition throughout the US economy.
consumers to enjoy a vast array of media choices. Commercial television and
radio are available to the public at no cost, thanks to advertising. In
addition, advertising revenues provide substantial support for most print
publications, large portions of the Internet and cable, giving people access to
immense information and entertainment content at little cost. This support
helps democratize access to information. The public, wherever they are located
geographically and regardless of their income level, have more information
available to them than at any other time in history.
consumers about product choices available in the marketplace. Increasingly, it
also educates them about issues that affect their lives. Recognizing the power
of advertising to educate, the industry annually voluntarily devotes
multi-billions of dollars worth of creative and media resources to
high-visibility public service campaigns.
Vast, affordable media
options enrich our society and underpin a core American value: the
democratization of knowledge and information. Advertising plays a critical role
in fostering this abundance of information, as it provides the financial
foundation for the immense number of media and Web services available to U.S.
both radio and television, is supported solely by revenues from the sale of
advertising time and space. Other types of media, including the Internet,
newspapers, magazines and large segments of cable television rely heavily on
advertising for a major portion of their revenues. Indeed, without advertising
dollars, many of today’s media outlets would not exist, and the cost of those
that survived would be substantially higher for the consumer.
Advertising revenue has
helped lead to a tremendous proliferation of media choices. For example,
television viewers in the early 1950’s and 60’s could watch only three
broadcast networks. Today, viewers can choose from multiple broadcast networks,
hundreds of cable channels and direct broadcast satellite programming.
advertising-supported business model has also fueled the explosive growth of
the Internet, creating a low barrier-to entry for an immense number of
entrepreneurial online businesses. According to research firm comScore, more
than 200 million Americans age 15 or older use search engines each month. These
consumers are going to the Internet to access - at no cost - all types of
content: from news and health, to sports and entertainment, to job listings and
travel recommendations. The most popular Internet search engines, news outlets,
entertainment portals, photo and video sharing services and social networking
sites all give consumers free access to vast content and online experiences
thanks to their advertising revenues.
The online media has
developed at an extraordinary pace. It took 38 years for radio to reach 50
million Americans; network television took 13 years and cable television took
10 years. It took only about three years for the Internet to reach 50 million
users in the U.S.
According to the
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), there was $23.4 billion spent on
advertising and paid search on the Internet in 2008. To put this in perspective,
the Internet today is a bigger advertising medium than radio, outdoor
advertising and about the same as consumer magazines. (www.iab.net).
need to refrain from imposing undue restrictions that would limit the
effectiveness of interactive advertising, thereby diminishing the flow of ad
dollars into this promising new media channel.
The economic health of
most of American media, including the online marketplace, rests primarily on
the strong financial foundation provided by advertising.
You see that modern
economy, especially advertising, as a part of modern economy not only in the
USA, is much connected with pop culture: TV, Internet, literature, art and etc.
This phenomenon is very interesting. The problem of advertising is very
important for economics because you need ads for promoting your production,
especially if you only start your own business. Everybody knows that ad is
connected with the culture: TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, even films an so
So in my work I’ll try
to study the problem of affecting advertising on pop culture in America. At
first we’ll learn the definitions of advertisement and pop culture.
Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade its viewers,
readers or listeners to take some action. It usually includes the name of a
product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer,
to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume that particular
brand. Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the
late 19th and early 20th centuries.
often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services
through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in
an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of
consumers. Different types of media can be used to deliver these messages,
including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio,
outdoor or direct mail. Advertising may be placed by an advertising agency on
behalf of a company or other organization.
Organizations that spend
money on advertising promoting items other than a consumer product or service
include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental
agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as
a public service announcement.
Money spent on
advertising has declined in recent years. In 2007, spending on advertising was
estimated at more than $150 billion in the United States and $385 billion
worldwide, and the latter to exceed $450 billion by 2010.
Egyptians used papyrus
to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political
campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia.
Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient
Rome. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation
of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of
Asia, Africa, and South America. The tradition of wall painting can be traced
back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC. History tells us
that Out-of-home advertising and billboards are the oldest forms of
As the towns and cities
of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general populace was unable to read,
signs that today would say cobbler, miller, tailor or blacksmith would use an
image associated with their trade such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a
diamond, a horse shoe, a candle or even a bag of flour. Fruits and vegetables
were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their
proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts for
the convenience of the customers.
As education became an
apparent need and reading, as well as printing, developed advertising expanded
to include handbills. In the 17th century advertisements started to appear in
weekly newspapers in England. These early print advertisements were used mainly
to promote books and newspapers, which became increasingly affordable with
advances in the printing press; and medicines, which were increasingly sought
after as disease ravaged Europe. However, false advertising and so-called
"quack" advertisements became a problem, which ushered in the
regulation of advertising content.
As the economy expanded
during the 19th century, advertising grew alongside. In the United States, the
success of this advertising format eventually led to the growth of mail-order
In June 1836, French
newspaper La Presse was the first to include paid advertising in its pages,
allowing it to lower its price, extend its readership and increase its
profitability and the formula was soon copied by all titles. Around 1840,
Volney Palmer established a predecessor to advertising agencies in
Boston.Around the same time, in France, Charles-Louis Havas extended the
services of his news agency, Havas to include advertisement brokerage, making
it the first French group to organize. At first, agencies were brokers for
advertisement space in newspapers. N. W. Ayer & Son was the first
full-service agency to assume responsibility for advertising content. N.W. Ayer
opened in 1869, and was located in Philadelphia.5
At the turn of the
century, there were few career choices for women in business; however,
advertising was one of the few. Since women were responsible for most of the
purchasing done in their household, advertisers and agencies recognized the
value of women's insight during the creative process. In fact, the first
American advertising to use a sexual sell was created by a woman - for a soap
product. Although tame by today's standards, the advertisement featured a
couple with the message "The skin you love to touch".
In the early 1920s, the first
radio stations were established by radio equipment manufacturers and retailers
who offered programs in order to sell more radios to consumers. As time passed,
many non-profit organizations followed suit in setting up their own radio
stations, and included: schools, clubs and civic groups. When the practice of
sponsoring programs was popularized, each individual radio program was usually
sponsored by a single business in exchange for a brief mention of the business'
name at the beginning and end of the sponsored shows. However, radio station
owners soon realized they could earn more money by selling sponsorship rights
in small time allocations to multiple businesses throughout their radio
station's broadcasts, rather than selling the sponsorship rights to single
businesses per show.
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