ArgumentativeResearch Essay with Refutation
Marketingorganizations have used advertising as a means of influencing thechoices of customers and hence boosting their sales andprofitability. Although some of the adverts are important inproviding critical information about products, most are meant tomanipulate the customers and hence induce them into buying productsthat they do not need. As such, adverts manipulates the consumersinto buying substandard and unhealthy products, as the informationthat they contain is not only exaggerated but also untrue. As aresult, advertisements should be restricted to only providingveracious information about products and not manipulatingunsuspecting consumers into buying products.
Mostof the information contained in adverts is exaggerated and,therefore, the advertised products significantly differs from theactual items. A good example of this is the “Burger King Whopper”which presents a delicious and clumsy burger in the advert while thereal burger looks very different (see Appendix 1 in the appendicessection). In the view of Hayko (80), advertising “distortsperceptions of healthy body image.” In this regard, the imagepresented in the advert would be a combination of many images thathave been melded through a computer and which does not represent theactual image of a real person. These distortions induce customersinto buying that product so that their bodies and faces would looklike the one in the advert, which does not eventually happen. This isall because of advertising companies wishing to manipulate thecustomers with distorted information for their benefits of increasedsales and profitability. The resultant effect is to deceive theconsumers into believing on the efficiency of the products.
Advertisinghas the effect of creating unneeded necessities that would lead toimpulse buying by the customers and hence using money meant for othernecessary activities. According to Diaz (27), “it is clear thatadvertising is necessary (to a certain extent), as a social serviceprovided to inform people the problem perhaps arises whenadvertising makes us consume products which we do not need…” Thisis especially the case when adverts contain humorous and appealinginformation that would attract people to purchasing products not outof need, but out of a mere appeal. Additionally, people would startto feel in love with products as opposed to feeling in love withtheir partners, which is an objectification that is dangerous to thesociety. Moreover, the amounts of money that have been invested inthe purchase of unnecessary cosmetics and clothes would have beenused in other more critical areas if it were meant for themanipulation of adverts. Indeed, adverts are only concerned with theplight of the marketing organizations and not those of the consumers.
Throughadverts, people are openly manipulated through persuasion, whichentails a combined use of images and words to influence their minds.Diaz (27) presents how adverts control the minds of the customers bystating, “people’s minds can cognitively decode what is expressedthrough language and, furthermore, language can be reinforced byimages and these images can persuade – and what is worse, (to)manipulate – minds”. This manipulation of mind can either be donethrough commercial and non-commercial advertising. Specifically, thegovernment would use it to provide critical information to thecitizens. Similarly, business organizations would use the persuasionof words and images to confuse the minds of the customers. Indeed,commercial adverts would spend so much money and skill to find outhow they can play with the minds of the consumers. This creates asociety of deception and manipulation for children and adults.
Proponentsof manipulative advertising opine that it is critical in effectivelypassing the message of the ad. According to Chang &Chang (9205),“via the manipulation of advertisements, the messages may beeffectively delivered to the target group and thus help to achievethe communication goal of spreading and promoting the products.” Assuch, adverts are critical in efficiently delivering an importantmessage to the audience. This claim is further proof that advertsmanipulate customers for the benefit of marketing organizations. Assuch, it creates a culture of deception and undue influence. This isvery dangerous to the society as customers will be unsatisfied, asthey will feel betrayed by the marketing organizations. Moreimportantly, the message being delivered should be ascertained to becorrect for it to be considered adequate.
Inconclusion, advertisements have been used by marketing organizationsto induce customers into purchasing products. However, instead ofproviding veracious information, the adverts contain manipulative anddistorted information that is meant to influence the choices ofcustomers. Additionally, adverts have created unneeded necessitiesthat lead to impulse buying. Although proponents state thatmanipulative advertising is critical in the efficient display ofinformation to the consumers, they fail to establish that this isonly for the benefit of the marketing organizations and not for thecustomers. As such, manipulative advertising should be restricted sothat the information provided by ads is meant only to inform, and notunduly persuade the customers.
"BurgerKing Commercial 2016 Whopper Meal Fans". YouTube.N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Chang,Wan Yu, and I. Ying Chang. "The Influences of HumorousAdvertising on Brand Popularity and Advertising Effects in theTourism Industry." Sustainability6.12 (2014): 9205-9217.
Diaz,María Alcantud. "Manipulation of teenagers through advertising:A critical discourse approach." Revistade Lingüística y Lenguas Aplicadas6.1 (2011): 25-38.
Hayko,Goldie. "Effects of Advertising on Society: A Literary Review."Hohonu8 (2010): 79-82.
Appendix1: Advert for “Burger King Whopper”