Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inspirational Ads and Agents

New York, advertising and food capital. Image Source:
"Material is not actually culture but its product," as it is in man's nature to create and utilize tools (Schlereth 4). Advertising must also be considered a product of and a vehicle for our past and present material cultures. For our discussion , we must consider and evaluate how much of advertising materiality is 'real':
Cereals Manufacturing Co. Advertisement. Image Source: Getty &
The late 1880's New York cereal company ad reflects ideas of culture and materiality that might or might not be existent anymore. Romanticized, the ad tries to 'source' its product origins back to the rural upbringings of food. By drastically highlighting the obvious through a signature logo and scene, the company believes that this 'rootness' is able to attract new customers.

Modern Advertising
Pretentiously, a tag-line and ad display is meant to inspire us. Advertisements are material symbols hoping to influence and draw out "outward signs and symbols of particular ideas in mind" (Schlereth 1). Advertising drives consumption of goods, services, and media. Advertising is a billion-dollar industry built to satisfy our material "needs". As a media content provider, symbol adopter, and culture creator, advertising agencies have employed everything they can to elicit responses to serve us more products. Advertisers want consumers to agree with their ads and spend money on advertised products.
One of many Coca-Cola ads in existence. Image Source:
Like advertising and pornography, food is a billion-dollar year-round industry built on the manipulation of the human experience. This is what makes them such great bedfellows. Advertisers have known that 'sex sells' long before there were any scientific market researchers. Two of the essentials to life, advertisers did not take long to apply them together. They associated sex and food before it became scientific fact that people reacted the same to great food as they did to great sexual interactions.

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