A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.
By Nelda Kampff
There is no doubt about it, television advertising has become a multi-billion dollar industry. She is a medium so great, that our nation would be lost without her, much like a motherless child. If this seems far-fetched to you, then take a moment to reflect on what she does for society.
Mother advertising tells Americans all they need to know in order to live a long, healthy, active and fulfilling life. She tells people what to wear, what to eat, and where to exercise in order to keep healthy and fit. She gives us our perspectives on what is acceptable and unacceptable. For instance, a model’s body is considered good, but a pear-shaped body is shown as bad.
Subliminally, she tells us what programs to watch, what music to listen to and what books to read. She teaches us hygiene and cleanliness and which products are best to use for both.
As teens become young adults, mother advertising guides them to the right college and opens up career paths. She takes the liberty to tell people how they should feel and which prescriptions will make them feel that way. Her helpfulness doesn’t stop there though. This mother of industry puts her two cents in on where people should go to find a mate, whom to vote for, what birth control to use, and what hospital to have our babies in when we choose the wrong method. If it weren’t for her, new parents wouldn’t even know what type of car seat to use when they bring their newborns home. I have even heard her suggest which brand of tires will keep our little tots safest as we drive them to and fro.
I don’t know about you, but mother advertising often lulls me as I drift to sleep at the end of the day, just as my real mother did when I was still a babe in her arms.
If you take into consideration that advertising affects everything we do from the time of birth forward, it doesn’t seem so implausible to feminize and even maternalize this giant of industry. Come to think of it, we have given her such overwhelming influence and leadership capabilities over our lives, that if a spaceship landed and little green men appeared demanding to see our leader, one might be tempted to point them in the direction of the nearest television set.
As individuals and consumers, we each have our own opinions about what works and what doesn’t in advertising. One of my favorite advertisements of all time is the Indian who paddles downstream, gets out, climbs a small hill and looks out over a littered land that was once revered by his people as sacred. The single tear that runs down his cheek was so powerful, that four friends and I, ages 12-14, spent two days in the middle of the summer heat, picking up trash around our neighborhood. I will never forget the way that I felt while cleaning that poor Indian’s land.
Speaking of trash, why the need to bombard the television with advertisements pushing tampons and pads? Come on, ask yourself, are there any post-teen to pre-menopausal women, the target audience, who would cease to need and purchase these products if they weren’t on T. V. every five minutes?
Yet, it saddens me to add that after 17 years of marriage, the advertising industry has led me down a path of infidelity. My husband, devastated by his loss, must deal with the fact that my heart now belongs to another. Yes, it is the absolute truth;
I am hopelessly in love with the “Geico Gecko.”