Martini Advertisement

The Effects of Advertising

By Cory Lewis



Today, the influence of advertising greatly affects our society.  In America, the average child views 20,000 commercials a year.  Commercial advertisements contain powerful messages that are directed to large audiences.  Advertisement is one of the most expressive and informing means of communication in the mass media.  The significant effects of advertising are gender roles, discrimination, and socialization.

      Gender roles are one effect from the influence of advertisement.  These roles are the expected behaviors of both male and female.  In television, boys are displayed as aggressors while girls are portrayed as cooperative and graceful.  For example, these roles are commonly shown in cartoons such as "Popeye."  These characteristics shape people's views on how men and women are supposed to act.  The gender qualities that advertisement influences are so strong that they even play a role in parenting.  For example, a sociological study showed that mothers would reward their daughters for being passive and dependent while approve of boy being domineering and defiant.  These views limit each gender's  identity and the result is a deviant society.

      The influence in advertisement also results in discrimination toward females.  In movies, men occupy the high-status jobs that are respected in society.  Males are represented as more prestigious and lucrative individuals compared top women.  Men are most likely to be the action heroes that America has grown familiar with.  With society so deeply influenced by advertisement, gender messages are recruited and applied toward broader aspects of life such as the labor force.  This results in discrimination toward women because people stereotype females as being inadequate.  Sexism is still a problem today.  Although, now there are some stereotype-breaking shows that adopt traditional male characteristics such as the Xena the Warrior Princess and the Power Puff Girls that show females as the dominant figure.  These contrasting characters may signify a greater step to a less restricted society for females.

      Gender socialization is another significant effect of advertisement.  Gender socialization occurs when the child is born.  It sets the child onto the different paths through life.  Gender messages even emphasize meaningless aspects like color based on the sex of the baby.  Blue is assumed the primary color for boys while pink is emphasized for girls.  Advertisement influences the toys that the child receives, too.  Boys are more likely to get action figures with guns such as G.I. Joe's.  Girls are more likely to receive jewelry such as bright necklaces and dolls like Barbie's.  This tends to be the most profound stage that separates boys and girls toward different associating directions.  These directions conform toward advertisement's ideals and further isolate male and female.  The influence of advertisement is extremely engrained in life.  It even guides the way children act and feel toward others because of the basis of their sex.

      The influence of advertisement plays a negative role in society.  The major effects of advertisement plays a negative role in society.  The major effects of advertisement are gender roles, stereotypes, and socialization.  The influence of television messages is very powerful and forceful.  It affects our self-concepts, attitudes, and basic orientations to life.  Advertisement establishes isolation between gender types and controls how these gender types should act. 

Dalton State College

Faculty :: Christy Shannon























One of the more famous Guinness advertising posters from the Gilroy Era of the 40's