Advertising Plays an Important Role in Our Daily Lives

Advertisement has become an important part of our daily lives. It is a form of persuasive communication. It can be infomercials (on television), radio advertising or online advertising. Companies use some of these types of advertisements to market their products and catch the audience’s attention. Levi’s for example is a mark of clothing that became famous thanks to advertisements, and has been advertised in different ways. However, most commercials are not just simple marketing tools. They carry hidden messages. Ads can provide racism and lead to socialism between people. Also freedom of commercials has crossed the lines and illustrates a wrong image of culture and religion. Furthermore, advertisers play with people’s minds especially females and take advantage of their naivety by lying to them.

Levi’s or Levi Strauss is a very large company known all over the world for its most significant product, clothes. It is especially famous for its various denim jeans. In order to establish its sell successfully, the company uses many marketing strategies to attract a wide audience. A big number of principles concerning consumer behavior have to be tackled and controlled. Apart from producing new series of clothing for everybody, the company’s products are thoughtfully designed to target to a specific group of consumers. One of the company’s effective marketing techniques is the use of music. The commercials run with a popular song in the background. Examples include: When a man loves a woman of Percy Sledge, Stand By Me of the famous Ben E King or Should I Stay or Should I Go of The Clash. All these songs are used for precise purposes. For example, the first song states that when a man loves a woman, he can do anything for her. This, in my opinion, means that a woman wearing Levi’s jeans, looking attractive, can have any man fall in love and therefore do anything she asks. This is even shown on the TV commercial. If a man loves a woman, he will buy her Levi’s jeans as a gift which makes the jeans very precious compared to other gifts men can offer. The second song says stand by me, which literally means: remain stationed beside (a person); usually as a helper, advocate, defender, loyal or sympathizer (Oxford English dictionary). In the commercial, there was a night club that only couples could go to, a man trying to go in alone, but he was stopped by the security guard, he looked around for a woman but did not find anybody. Another man walked by and entered the club alone just because he was wearing Levi’s jean. The jeans stood by him in this difficult, and what could have been embarrassing, time. . Apart from the clever choice of music and lyrics, Levi’s ads use good-looking and well-shaped people to model their clothing. Furthermore, the use of dark colors, half-naked models and sexuality certainly has hidden messages they want to convey. Danger, anger, beauty, self-esteem and confidence are some of the sensations the audience feel while watching Levi’s commercials.

Reading signs has become a very popular way for recognizing people’s styles. In their essay "Consuming Passions", Maasik and Solomon talk about how signs can give a report about your character and give a message about how you see the world. Every selection and choice represents a symbol or sign that has a meaning. For instance, the significance of cell phones has changed gradually with time. The authors first talk about the pagers that the phones replaced nowadays. Not everyone was allowed to carry a pager; it was specified to people who used to use them for professional goals. Then some people started using them for bad purposes such in dealing with drugs. By the time, when cell phones just showed off, young people whose parents could not afford to buy them, buy pagers. As well as being used for calling, texting, chatting, making business, cell phones are used for a more serious purpose, safety. Women, children and old people feel more confident and secured while having cell phones. Same thing for clothing, the way you feel depends on what you are putting on your body. Wearing normal jeans is not the same as wearing Levi’s jeans. Even if two jeans made by two different companies look the same, still, people feel the dissimilarity, behave differently. Some people think they get the power when they pay more, they feel like they can control the world by wearing Levi’s jeans. And this is because of the way Levi’s jeans are advertized. And when you tell somebody that you like his jeans, the answer is always the same: yes, I bought them from Levi’s company and they cost me a hundred dollars. I personally do not like to spend too much money for a piece of tissue; I can buy more tools with the same price from somewhere else. The reasons why I do not like fashionable and very expensive clothes are that they create socialism between people, which may lead to conflicts. All the feelings, emotions and dreamful lives shown in the advertisements are not true; furthermore, it is a huge waste of money especially for women.

Socialism has always been present in our lives. According to an article called “The Rich and Consumption, Before Modern Consumerism” written by Peter N. Stearns, “modern consumerism does not assume equality, it can blur class lines, never erases the effects of wealth or poverty” (7 ). If a girl is wearing fashion clothes everyone is looking at her, they respect her, but the one who is wearing casual clothes is ignored. Does not that look unfair; people judge each other depending on the way they look. It happened to my father once, he is an engineer of systems, there was a Sunday when the company of Coca Cola had a technical issue, they called him, when he wanted to go into the company, the doorman stopped him at the door and said, “you do not look like an engineer”, more than that, he let other people with suits go into the building. I think there are many other aspects people must take in consideration before judging physical appearances. And I guess knowledge, a good mentality come first. I am not accusing teenagers for making socialism and acting this way but parents who encourage their children to pay attention to their physical appearances more than anything else.

In the past, in agricultural civilizations before about 800 CE, wealthy people had the largest houses with great decoration in ancient Athens or Han China; their clothing was more luxurious compared to average standards. They also had the best jewelry and perfume that other people never dreamt of. And this was how conflicts between people started according to Steams. Rich people could provide weapons, and many other dangerous and expensive tools. They though people with less income were their slaves. And nowadays we are going back to that status.

Freedom in advertisements had crossed the lines, and nowadays, people are not able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. I am sure that if a person starts analyzing advertisements, he or she will figure out that 70 per cent of what is told to the audience is lies. Wear Levi’s jeans and you can access any place you want, all boys will like you, fight for you and ask you for a date, everything is planned and so simple, what you need to do is to buy a hundred dollars jeans. Your future will cost you a hundred dollars. Let us take it this way, if you are wearing something else, you cannot find a job, and no one will like you? In the article “Consumption as freedom”, Conrad Lodziak gives many advantages of freedom in advertisements. He says that with freedom, “individuals make lifestyle choices, choose self-identities, play with meaning, seek pleasure and so on” (68). People can say or do whatever they find helpful to advertise their product, by playing with sounds, using technology, reality, fairy tales and that is what make variety and difference always present. Freedom avoids similarities and boredom. He states that consumerism with freedom also developed in an in intelligent way the interaction between people, uniformed them, and provoked traditionalism among the masses. More than that, consumer culture encourages any active and creative engagement that leads to difference between people. I do believe that advertisements must have diversity but without exaggeration, showing people wearing Levi’s jeans and half-naked does not make any traditionalism between people, and can be racist. In other words showing well-shaped and beautiful people in clothing advertisement is an ejection of people who are not, showing blond women in makeup advertisement makes people with different skin colors feel bad; is that what we call interaction between people? I think that what the media or specifically advertisements are interested in is the income, if they know that this project will be liked by a category of people, for example children, they use something in kids domains, if well-shaped people are the audience of Levi’s then the commercials do not care about others, which provide inequality conflicts between people. Also cultures and religions in advertisements are portrayed in the wrong way because of this unlimited freedom.

In advertising, advertisers are frequently communicating through gender messages to sell their products. The society teaches us how to construct our gender through advertisements thanks to its use of some materials. An advertisement about bra helps a girl to become a woman and increases her femininity; an ad about shaving shows a man how to increase his masculinity. However, what about all other kinds of advertisements, kitchen, furniture, jewelry and others? I personally believe that 90 to 93% of advertisements are made to be addressed to women more than men. “When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country”. The media knows that women buy strategically; men purchase immediately, that women consider other's opinions as a channel to making their own conclusion; men consider others' decisions as a guide to forming their own choices, and that is how commercials take advantage of women’s naivety. Because, if a woman wants to buy something no one can stop her, especially if someone a women know already got that same thing. Showing a beautiful woman driving a plane and wearing Levi’s jeans with a handsome man sitting next to her will definitely affect women’s minds. We all want to be in the same position, so the closest thing to reality we can do is buying those jeans. Men’s reaction toward this advertisement will be neutral. For women it means power, life and happiness. Advertisers know how to play with women’s emotions; they know that men are strong enough to believe their lies. Peter N. Stearns says in his article “The social approach and gender”, that it is difficult to talk about advertisement without signaling women. Men could be passionate consumers too, when it comes to technology or coffee, but women are dominating in buying other materials. He gives the example of household items which are under women’s control, the items they address for women are somehow domestic, but they somehow give women the power in the household. Also in the domain of clothing styles, the author thinks that women are making themselves more beautiful than in the past thanks to advertisements, it is a good way to participate in the society and commercial life. He believes that every advertisement addressed for women has a benefit either for females or for society in general. I think that it is good that some women feel this household control, but what if these women want to go further and try to control technology too? What is the role of men then? Advertisement must take this in consideration, showing women how to control men is not a good idea to sell product. And the statics showed that the reasons why people divorce recently are always related to the expensive things women see on ads and want to buy on any way.