Monday, 27 February 2017

Influence of Advertisement on Woman

Skin Color fair & Lovely ad

Influence of skin

Advertising is a form of media in itself that needs no introduction which has been pervasive and for all to see. This pervasive and potent nature of advertisements leads to the fact that it has a certain kind of impact on people from across all age groups but the viability and the probability of that impact varies across age groups and that posits a very interesting juncture. This particular juncture leads to abundance of ideas and plenty of questions regarding the influences that these advertisements have particularly in reference to Indian markets and to what extent the individual customer is influenced. 

Advertising draws “heavily on psychological theories” which talk about how to create subjects, enabling advertising and marketing to take on a ‘more clearly psychological tinge’ (Miller and Rose, 1997, cited in Thrift, 1999, p-67). Increasingly, the emphasis in advertising has switched gears from providing ‘factual’ information to the symbolic connotations of commodities and thus, by altering the context of such representations, there are multiple interpretations that seek the light of the day. These interpretations may project various voices and reflect imbued socio-cultural factors that  have continued to mark their presence in overt and covert ways and across several age groups including the age of adolescence where the young minds are in the stage of learning and understanding and imbibing those changes in their daily lives. This forms a preface and a blue print of the research study where a person’s interpretation of oneself has several underlying contexts which are more or less prominent in the age groups under consideration. In other words, the age of adolescence is considered a very vulnerable age where attitudes are formed and exposure to various issues- good or bad define the way in which the particular individual is in turn, informed and influenced who for the purpose of this study are adolescent girls and would be referred as young women for establishing the simple fact that the representative sample under consideration grows increasingly susceptible to the messages because of many biological changes that set in with time along with cultural norms that the media including a large chunk of advertisements perpetuate, as ‘the mass media are the communicators of social and cultural standards’. 

Consider, for example, the advertisements of cosmetic products, slimming and beauty products such as Fair and Lovely Cream, Kelloggs Special K, Himalaya Herbal face wash, Olay skin lightening cream, Dove Moisturising cream, White tone powder with a tagline saying ‘for a spotless skin’ and many such advertisements that portray certain notions.  Many hold that young women are ‘the prime targets because they are new and inexperienced consumers and as such, in the process of learning their values and roles and developing their self-concepts’ (Kilbourne, 1999). This emerges from the observation that young women are much keen towards experimenting coupled with inquisitiveness towards concepts about the self, looks and overall physical appearance that contributes to engagement. In addition, the researcher wants to look at the various connotative and denotative meanings attached with transformation from the care-free days of adolescence to the responsibility attached with being an adult. Yet, these changing notions do not seem to change the mandatory requirements of looking and being desirable as a young woman and perhaps, even later in life that seem to form a relationship with advertisements and hence, the need of this question at the first place. Advertisements are not something new. The ancient Chinese used to advertise their circuses and their gladiators. 17th century England advertised the coffee that it had begun to import. At its inception, advertising was merely an announcement which took a modern avatar with the invention of printing. Printed advertisements joined other forms of advertising shortly after the printing of Bible by Gutenberg in 1480. The first advertising using movable type was a handbill for a book of ecclesiastical rules, posted on church doors in London by William Caxton.