In the current day and age, it may seem impossible for one to imagine a world without advertisements: a world without commercials, internet pop ups, or flashing brand names littered across every major street in every city in the world. And as much as they are part of our everyday life, advertisements receive a grand deal of criticism—usually surrounding their role as “propaganda” and their ability to “control” the minds of their eager viewers. While the main point of commercials is to try to sway or convince viewers to a certain point of view, I believe this is more of a necessary evil then something to rebel against.
Ever since the popularization of the moving image in the early 1900s, movies and video have had a profound impact on the thoughts and actions of the masses. Many times, these effects are not the result of intentional manipulation. For example, when It Happened One Night was released the the 1930s, it featured a shot of star Clark Gable taking off his shirt—and revealing that he wore no undershirt. That year, undershirt sales plummeted, with many companies going out of business. Beach resorts faced a similar situation the summer that Jaws was released. Advertisers quickly picked up on the power that images could have on a mass audience.
But as the saying goes, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Tobacco companies, for example, are famous for using this power to advertise a potentially deadly product to a mass market. Using the manipulative abilities of (Source B)