Avoiding advertising is no longer as simple as turning down the TV on commercial breaks. Commercials are everywhere. In fact, you may be surprised at the number of hidden advertisements you’re exposed to on a daily basis. From health and wellness “campaigns” to in-store selling techniques, it’s likely you’ve fallen “victim” more often than you think.
Have you ever sat down to watch a “news” show and realized it was mostly about promoting the services of the guests appearing on it? How about that candy bar being subtly eaten by the actor in your favorite sitcom? The products toted by that home improvement store that just happen to be available at the very same store that pays for the show?
Campaigns that send subliminal messages
Got milk? It does a body good, you know? Have you had your annual mammogram for early detection? Fracking isn’t so bad, really. The oil, gas and energy industries help protect the environment. Hunters save animals through money collected for licenses. Oh, really? What is your carbon footprint? Have you done enough good to erase the damage you’ve done? All these campaign have one thing in common. They are paid for by people who profit from them. They’re just ads in disguise.
Your pet causes on Facebook
Facebook and other social networking sites are advertising based. We all know that. What we may not notice is how much brainwashing goes on by the re-posting of funny memes, etc. Corporations love it when republicans and democrats argue on Facebook or people post memes that knock helpful social programs. It takes attention away from the fact that they are the real reason our budget is in the hole. And those memes? Do some fact checking before you post. Some are just a glorified, non-fact based promo for companies who profit from their promotion.
Clever jingles are the very least of your worries. At least they’re upfront about the fact that they’re selling a product. How many ways of thinking or behaving have you adapted after hearing a clever line in a popular song? Many artists are influenced by societal conceptions that may or may not be founded in truth. When they create, these concepts become woven into their music. Sometimes it’s intentional. Sometimes, it’s not. However, commercial brainwashing is so ingrained that it becomes part of our art and culture, which further contributes to the brainwashing.
In store advertising
Most of us are annoyed by the little televisions popping up everywhere in stores. They play infomercials all day long to influence our purchases. What we don’t realize is that commercialism has been a part of our shopping experience since stores came to be. Stores are purposefully designed to make us stay longer (no clocks), buy higher priced items (lower prices on lower shelves) and so much more. Next time you are shopping, look for the many ways stores subtly influence our purchases.
Indirect commercial exposure
So, you think you’re too smart to be influenced by subliminal ads? What about your kids? Advertisers often prey upon parents by targeting their children. You don’t have to be influenced by a commercial directly. Watch TV with your kids sometime. Hey, there’s an ad for that new phone your teen keeps begging you for. There’s those pricey shoes that “everyone” has. Companies know that kids are more easily influenced than their parents, therefore, that’s who their ads are directed to.
Before you buy
Think about what influenced you to make your purchase. Are you buying out of need or want? When did you first come to know about the product? What type of company is selling the product? What are their ethics? Do their philosophies align with yours or are they just in it for the money? Of course, every company has to make a profit to stay in business. Otherwise, what would be the point? Still, when you buy only what you need and ignore the influence of subliminal commercialism, you’re sending the only message that will end it.
More from Jaipi:
How and When to Use TV as a Parenting Tool
Have TV Commercials Stereotyped Your Relationship?
Top 10 Classic TV Movies for Toddlers