Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold.

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To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Lately, advertising in on the increase, be it on Television, Google Adwords, Facebook campaigns, Social media, Billboards, Mobile applications and even as Handouts and Posters. Some people assume that advertising campaigns boosts the sales of goods and encourage people to buy things that they even don’t need.  Most of the businesses sell products and services needed by a society. To a great extent, it is true that people, especially youngsters, are swayed by attractive promotions although they do not need to buy the product or service. This is mainly because of a few reasons such as the indirect influence of repeated advertisements on our decision making skills, the appearance of our favourite celebrities and attracting offers and discounts that promise to benefit us economically. 

The indirect influence of repeated advertisements on our decision making skills is widely accepted. The TV channels and almost all visual medium of communication prioritises advertisements of companies that are willing to pay more than the usual lot. Newly established and not very promising companies usually pay for lesser frequencies but the companies that can afford the high end bills of the advertisement cost can get their advertisements repeated several hundred times on one day on each channels. This on the other end influences a lot on people who watch TV channels on a regular basis. For Example: A child watching a cartoon on a particular channel is influenced with the advertisements of chocolate companies. These advertisements appear several hundred times during a particular show eventually leading the child to believe the claims. While going to a shopping mall with their parents children usually demand for the chocolate that has affected them largely by repeated advertisements. 

We all have a special attraction towards some of our favourite super heroes and top models in the limelight. Celebrities such as film stars or cricketers are usually very famous in my country. The appearance of such celebrities in the advertisement of a particular brand or product, makes us believe that the product is good and reliable. We take the product with the face value of the celebrity. A shampoo having the miss world acting in the advertisement influences all women to believe that they would have such falling hair after taking a bath with the particular shampoo. A paint advertised with the help of a famous cricketer makes us think that the product must be as charming as the celebrity. People are most often unable to see the hidden agenda in the advertisements. 

Attracting offers and discounts that promise to benefit us economically necessarily need not benefit us. Why should a company benefit us ecumenically. That is not why they come into business. All business, needless to say, are here to mend money. Unfortunately, poor youngsters and less educated people fall prey for these sort of advertisements. This can sometimes even make them lend money to buy a product as they don’t won’t to miss the offer which is valid only for a few number of days. Usually during New year, Christmas or any other famous festivals in India,  we see the jewellery shops and textile shops advertise as if they give more than 50% discount on their product. Most often either the product is worn out and not durable or the cost is increased and labelled with a discount tag. 

On the whole, it is true that the high sale of consumer goods reflect the power of advertisements and not the real need of the society, but these advertising companies or manufacturers cannot be blamed for it, after all, the objective of all business is to make profit.

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