Consumer Culture

Over the past couple of decades, there has been a momentous shift in the way business is carried out in the United States. This is due to the growth of the modern corporation, which has led to the battle to attract as well as retain clients through novel types of casing, promotion, and marketing. Additionally, there was a rise in the establishment of departmental stores as well as mail-order companies. Subsequent to the 1870s, whole new consumer industries came up. These include cosmetics, ready made outfits, and resorts.

In the period leading to the beginning of the 21st century, a socio-cultural phenomenon had already entrenched itself in the American society, which was largely driven by consumerism. Apparently, this kind of consumer culture began rising following the end of the Second World War. By the early 2000s, this consumer culture had actually reached exceptional levels. As a matter of fact, the consumer expenditure in the United States accounts for almost 67% of the nation's GDP.

The belligerent spending among the American society is responsible for fueling not only the American economy, but the international economies as well. This is mainly as a result of imported merchandise being generally obtainable and trendy in the American market. In spite of all these, the American spending habits has led to many of them slipping into debt. This has actually outpaced the balanced increase in the median earnings, even as the level of savings plummet. In many ways, the American consumer is generally selfish and spoiled due to the boundless spending as well as acquisitiveness.

America's Evolving Consumer Society and its Impact on Citizen's Quality of Life and Environment

The Evolving Consumer Society

By and large, America as a nation is a consumer culture. On average, an American spends approximately $66 on a daily basis in gas stations, restaurants, online shopping and retail stores. Generally, an American consumes so much that not a day passes without one spending on something. The extravagant consumption by the American society borders on absurdity. The US is actually stereotyped by SUVs, sumptuousness, and mega-malls.

The American material worship is actually a consequence of rapid industrialization as well as innovation in the sector of technology. This came about in the period around 1950s when the majority of the American populace acquired the television sets. This offered the producers an avenue to advertise in order to guarantee the solid rise in the production of goods as well as services. This resulted in the culture of mass consumption that today's generation is habituated to. As a matter of fact, baby boomers as well as their offspring have grown up accustomed to the dominant and customary strength of TV.

Over the past 65 years, the American society has been marketed products and services right in the comfort of their homes. By and large, TV has become a fundamental part of the American society as well as the force behind the growth of the economy. Over the past few years, the internet, billboards, and newspapers have also been used as means of advertising.

The Impact of Advertising on Citizen's Quality of Life and Environment

Since its inception in American homes, people have been trying to evaluate the impact of TV advertising on people's quality of life. This is definitely because there must be consequences of the same. On the whole, TV, the greatest means of reaching out to the masses, keeps individuals from doing things. It also interferes with the education of youngsters. This is because on average, an American student spends more time watching TV than in the classroom. The use of TV has also led to the rise of a primitive language. Morbid emotions are also stirred up. As a result of the use of TV, politics in America has become a rich man's game.

Additionally, due to the rise in the consumer culture, there has been a rise in generational stress as well as division between the old and the young. Young people have also gown to become lazy since they spend most of their free time in front of the TV, with little time being spared for physical exercises. Additionally, over the past couple of years, feminism has risen to challenge the dominion of man, thus creating anxiety and confusion as a result of sexual stereotypes. Ultimately, the rise of the mass consumer culture has continued to face up to the social norms (Samli 45-7).

The Impact of Advertising on the Environment

The encouragement of consumerism, especially through advertising, has led to the increase in pollution, biotic impoverishment as well as scarcity of resources. In as much as a section of Americans enjoy the benefits of material plenty; many other people in America and across the world suffer as a result of loss of health. The process production results in vast wastage. The packaging, distribution, use, as well as consumption of products results in unnecessary wastage (Schumacher).

Over the years, waste and pollution has become inevitable due to the fact that America has become a human-centered acquisitive society. The destructive by-products of the consumer society have spread from the United States to the world at large. Research has indicated that in as much as many people are involved in recycling products, there is still more wastage. This is largely as a result of landfills springing up all over the world (Schumacher).

According to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), approximately 3.5 million tons of toxic chemical waste is released into the air. These chemicals are very detrimental to human health since they are responsible for causing birth defects, cancer, and reproductive challenges (Schumacher).

How Advertising Focuses and Exploits American Values, Desires, and Vulnerabilities

Advertising is basically a way of communication in which the main intention is to convince people to purchase or pick interest in merchandise, principles as well as services. In as much as it may be seen as indispensable for fiscal growth, it however comes with social costs. For instance, unwelcome commercial email as well as other types of spam has become the order of the day to such an extent that they are a nuisance to many users of the same services. They also financially weigh down internet service providers.

By and large, several forms of advertising have today invaded a number of public spaces like schools. In this way, children end up being exploited(Malkmes 29-33). In most cases, many forms of advertising make use of psychosomatic anxiety on the projected clients. This is sometimes detrimental, since it appeals to feelings of insufficiency.

Emotional Appeals

One of the ways in which advertising exploits the American society is by making sure that advertisements are more and more in the image of the viewers' desires as well as motives. In this way, they are able to give to people their deep-lying desires even as they provide images of things that people deeply yearn for(Weitz & Wensley 108-113). Advertising exploits the American populace by tugging at their psychological shirt sleeves. In the process of advertising their products, advertisers bring the ambition as well as finances to the entire thing, eventually bringing into play consumers' drives and cravings.

As a result of the increase in growth of more and more products in the American market, advertisers have apparently gone into the hyperactive competition aimed at getting a chunk of the public's dollars. In order to stay afloat, advertisers have resorted to cutting through the significant commercials by all possible means. Consequently, the emotional appeals have become one of the ways in which advertising exploits the American society.

The Exploit of Subconscious Appeals

Generally, the average American comes across an average of 500 ads on a daily basis. This may be from newspapers, radio, magazines, television, billboards, and direct mail. In order to preserve the sanity of individuals, all these are filtered to develop in every mind the number of ads an individual is essentially responsive to. As a result, advertisers have to be strategic in order to pass their points across.

Due to the fact that people have a variety of unfulfilled urges and motives in their minds, advertisers communicate through emotional appeals. As a result, they end up addressing people's tenderness, values, vulnerabilities, lusts, and ambitions. In many ways, these psychological forces invigorate people, even though they may be too crude to be accorded unwarranted play in the factual world.

In this regard, advertisers latch on to the lurching intuitive drives. In this way, they are able to make their way into the underside of the American consciousness. In most cases, advertising in America appeals to the need for sex, affiliation, guidance, attention, prominence, autonomy, as well as psychological needs like drink, food, and sleep. They also appeal to the needs to dominate, achieve, escape, and feel safe, nurture and to satisfy curiosity. Apparently, one of the key things that advertisers use to exploit Americans is the need for sex. This is because it usually comes up every time there is a topic on advertisement.

Presentation of IKEA Furniture

One of the biggest manufacturers of consumer products in the United States is IKEA furniture. IKEA furniture enjoys a big portion of the market in the United States. In order to reach that level, IKEA has been keen in understanding the decision making process of the customers. In this way, it is in a better position to fine-tune its media presentation through advertising.

Another strategy that has been employed by IKEA is through understanding consumer behavior. This is basically a culmination of a decision making process that is largely influenced by environment in which the consumer lives in. Consequently, by blending the elements of psychology as well as economics in the marketing process, the desires of the consumers can be arrived at. At IKEA, changing the tide product consumption is a key strategy that is used in order to influence groups or families. As a result of the fact that Americans admire things that are of high quality, IKEA strives to meet this demand by producing medium-density fiberboard (MDF) products, which are not only cost effective, but also comfortable.

Over and above, the average American consumer has great preference for the expediency of particular products. In essence, they have a preference for products that not only solve needs, but also sort out problems faster. In this regard, IKEA has been instrumental in using the media to present its products as being associated with innovation as well as expediency. In this regard, the American market has been targeted by presenting the products as being not only effective, but also efficient. This is because it takes just a couple of minutes to assemble and dissemble IKEA products, thus increasing their portability as well as efficiency.

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