Wal-Mart Island: Low Cost Vacationing!

Review of “Socialization and the Power of Advertising” by Jean Killbourne (Link not available)

I am honestly waiting for the day that the entire globe turns into a bunch of logos that can be seen from outerspace. I can see it now, we already create man-made islands so why not an island in the shape of the Nike “swoosh” or perhaps Wal-Mart Island for low-cost vacationing. This is exactly why advertising “sells much more than products” It sells a lifestyle, values, morals, and it’s beginning to look like there will soon be a religion dubbed “Chevronism”

These advertisers influence our lives by telling us what to wear, where to shop, what to eat and pretty much drill into our heads any possible thing that they can. Especially within the past few years, brands have been mushing ideas into everyone’s heads.

For example, and this is mainly for the little children that are being influenced, while I worked at the daycare there were many children who would only eat a specific type of food. Now, I’m not talking about the fact that they didn’t like vegetables but during breakfast there were many kids who wanted a specific type of cereal. At first I figured the kids were just being bratty (which they were don’t get me wrong) However, I asked a 4 year old girl, who was eating Lucky Charms, “Why do you only want to eat this cereal? How come you don’t want Trix or Rice Krispies?” to which her response was “I like the funny green guy on the front and I’ll get lucky if I eat the cereal” This response in turn made the parents also loyal to the company due to the fact that this little girl only wanted this cereal. (Which will also bring me to the topic of how parents spoil the daylights out of their children but that’s probably for another time)

I’ve seen families who only buy brand-name things and scowl at having to buy store-brand things and vice-avers. Either way, they’re being loyal to the brand and their lifestyle and food choices depend upon whether or not the bottle says “Clorox” or “Stop and Shop” Clearly, the name-brand things will cost them more but what do they care? The consumer believes that they are getting a “better” product which in turn makes them look “better” to society. It’s all a vicious cycle.

Obviously the tobacco companies are not just targeting adults but setting the stage in a child’s mind when they’re very young that smoking is cool. Despite the efforts of anti-smoking campaigns, anti-drug campaigns and the like, children are smoking, drinking and doing drugs at younger and younger ages. The ad’s are brightly colored or really stand out at you or have cartoons and of course as adults we are past the stage of brain stimulation from brightly colored objects or cartoons. So who else would these ad’s be for?

Television is becoming more and more lax with what they air on T.V. So ads of nearly naked women, drugs and alcohol are on shows that are accessible to children. MTV is the worst with their stupid shows like “Tool Academy” and “Jersey Shore” MTV is basically teaching our children to be spoiled, nasty, slutty and above all stupid then hey! You might have a chance on TV.

These shows set the stage for little girls and boys alike on what’s “cool” and how to act towards others when clearly these people don’t have any respect for anyone, not even themselves. It can make little girls grow up to think that they have to be half naked in order to be appreciated by a guy which can turn out to be terribly harmful especially with their self-esteem and serious situations such as rape. It’s creating values for these children and young adults alike on how to act in society.

It’s all about the money. As the consumer you must ask yourself, do they really give a crap about how our lives turn out? Do they care about how our children grow up if they grow up to be pregnant at the age of 12? Or if your loved one becomes addicted to cigarettes or drugs? They just see us as dollar signs. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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