(above) Carl’s Jr.’s latest campaign, because a burger juxtaposed with a beautiful woman is more likely to sell.
As I flipped through the channels on my TV I came across an advertisement where an attractive couple met ultimately because a BigMac brought them together. I have bought plenty of BigMacs only to be disappointed that the BigMac did not attract any of “da’ ladies.” As a matter of fact I continued to be ignored because of the weight I gained. Today businesses are desperate to sell their products even if it means they must use misleading and brainwashing advertisements, and it also seems they are only growing in their influence.
Businesses are key to the American economy and even to American politics, to some extent. Take McDonald’s for instance. It is one of the largest corporations in the US. With more than 12 thousand restaurants and a hundreds of new ones opening on a monthly basis, McDonald’s is truly one of the most powerful franchises in the restaurant business. Without McDonald’s restaurants millions of jobs in America would be lost. Not only do they contribute so much to the economy but they also impact political views in the U.S. government. This is so because large businesses lobby political representatives and support their campaigns. These representatives are to meet the businesses interests of said corporations. McDonald’s demonstrated this when they were able to get away with controversies over their slaughter houses by playing on their good relationships with political officials. Other, larger, companies like ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart and Chevron, for example use their lobbyists in Congress to advance legislation that helps them. Arguably they have more say in what Congress passes than do the people who elect officials.
These large corporations target consumers using advertisements. In order to make us buy their products they use beautiful scenery, fun characters, celebrities, and even sexual themes. We are constantly bombarded with these brain washing and misleading advertisements everywhere we go.
In fact, there is a sometimes such a plethora of advertisements that we sometimes become unconscious of their even being there. For example, when was the last time you looked up from Times Square to actually look for ads. Unless you consciously try to formulate the ads, you simply are shanked in the eye with their collective brightness. As another example, consider a movie scene where the actor reaches out to drink a can of Pepsi. In the past couple of years it has become so that we cannot just let this pass as a random choice because that’s what the set-producers first picked off a grocery shelf. The can of Pepsi in modern movies will have been specifically chosen, it’s logo likely re-sized to be more easily seen on the big-screen and the producers will have been paid thousands, in advance, for its appearance in said movie.
These corporations tend to advertise heavily towards kids because of their gullibility. A kid watching a commercial with the ninja turtles, happy as clams in a dam, eating pizza in a Poppa John’s will go through his entire day sure that Poppa John’s is the sole-trusted provider of pizza to Leonardo and his team. Then guess where they will want to go to eat later that day.
Kids aren’t the only consumers that are targeted by misleading advertisements. Adults are met with hundreds of advertisement that contain sexual connotations. For example a car commercial may contain a lady half naked climbing on the car just to get the viewer’s attention. Most of the time they do, and sometimes, subconsciously that gray, midsized sedan enters a whole different gravitational field in your mind and you end up buying/leasing it for no good reason except that you were influenced to.
Advertisers as of late have been become more bold in their campaigns as it has become quite hard to actually grab the attention of anyone without being so rash, considering it has almost become so that people are likely to see more advertisements in a day than other actual people! The largest of corporations seem to be abusing their “artistic privilege” to create misleading advertisements that at times focus more on the diversion than on the actual product. When was the last time you saw a Super Bowl commercial in which you could actually figure out the product it was trying to sell you? Advertisers are constantly using new tactics to generate interest in the products and sometimes they go so all-out on the job that it’s laughable.
What are some commercials that, as of late, have clearly tried to mislead you?
*Article proposed and drafted by M.A.M.