Summary Final Draft
December 4, 2013
Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse Summary
Sut Jhally claims that advertising has become so intrusive and powerful that, unless precautionary action is taken, will destroy all of humanity and its successes. His credentials include: college professor of communication at University of Massachusetts Amherst, executive director of the Media Education Foundation, and an assortment of more than 40 documentaries on advertising and media consumption.
At first Jhally explains how industrial capitalism has revolutionized the world; he also notes how capitalism’s crowning achievement of innovation and the wealth of commodities. In contrast, Jhally also argues that capitalism is very dependent on consumer consumption and without them, capitalism would collapse into stagnation and depression. In order to keep the continual consumption of their products, businesses use advertising to persuade the masses and their marketing techniques can also be found almost anywhere in the U.S. With advertising messages on everything from food to bathrooms to sidewalks – nearly any surface or location – marketers have now been perturbed with making their messages stand out amongst the ever-increasing competition. In response, marketers are beginning to utilize the most influential forms of advertising, emotions and society.
A question always asked is, “Does happiness come from material objects?” A majority of people say “no”; yet when a research firm examined further what would qualify as a “good quality of life”, researchers found economic security and success outranked the social values of love and family. A true irony of the survey is that a material object, by definition, cannot provide social relationships, which is the target of advertisers. All humans feel the need for love and friendship, and this is played by advertising to create false social conformity.
Jhally suggests in true definition, there is no such thing as society, only...
Cited: Jhally, Sut. "Biography - Sut Jhally Website." Biography - Sut Jhally Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
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