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cma123's avatar

Has the power of advertising in the media manipulated society into materialism?

Asked by cma123 (35 points ) June 28th, 2012

If the media has power to influence us, has it gone so far to manipulate our society into materialism?

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11 Answers

ETpro's avatar

@cma123 Welcome to Fluther and thanks for a Great Question.

Advertising certainly tries to make us all compliant materialists, but it’s had a paradoxical effect on me. It has taken me from a good little consumer to rage against the machine. It is now all transparent and fairly abhorrent. It’s the blueprint to the destruction of the ecosystem that sustains us.

Sunny2's avatar

I think so, yes. It has made people think that “things” are super important to the satisfaction of your life. False values, in my mind. The whole advertising industry focuses on making people want things whether they need them or not.

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. Capitalism has made society materialistic; advertising is but one aspect of the capitalist machine.

Ron_C's avatar

The media and extreme capitalism has make out society materialistic. Kids mug other kids for their shoes or jackets. I remember fads when I was a kid in the early 60’s and there were Barracuda jackets and penny loafers were the things to wear. I couldn’t afford the jacket and still have the loafers. They seemed moderately important at the time but nothing to get upset or violent about.

I notice that the level of acquisitiveness and herd behavior seems to be diminishing. I expect that the economic climate and commercial overload are the source of this reduction. It is also possible that or kids are getting wiser than we were.

thorninmud's avatar

Advertisers are in the business of creating desire. It’s no longer enough to demonstrate how a product fills a practical need. Advertisers now work to establish a connection between a material object and your emotional well-being.

We all desire emotional well-being. In fact, one’s well-being has very little to with objects. But the job of the advertiser is to parade images in front of you of people in a stuff-induced state of bliss. That paradigm comes to be accepted as a matter of fact, especially since there is less and less exposure in our society to voices urging an alternative route to well-being.

Advertisers have found the magic formula: create a bottomless pit of desire, and keep shoveling stuff into it that has no chance of quelling the desire.

disquisitive's avatar

It’s not that simple. A better way to say it is “Media has convinced the public that they are not worthy if they do not own certain things.” This is very different from being simply materialistic.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. It’s called the exposure effect.

flutherother's avatar

I can’t begin to tell you how much I detest advertising.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Yes, I think that the combination of Capitalism & Advertising has made a lot of people a great deal more materialistic & unrealistic about their expectations.

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Nullo's avatar

I’m inclined to think that materialism is innate, at least to a degree. My sister tells me that her pre-schoolers (a segment that gets comparatively little, if any, exposure to media) are inclined to hoard toys, usually by type – e.g. collecting and prohibiting access to all of the balls. Though I suppose that this could also be an example of kids experimenting with power and its abuse.
I personally remember being more enthusiastic about gifts than their givers when I was shorter. I still love presents, but I try to focus on the humans involved. Sometimes it works. XD

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