Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
The whole point of advertising is to encourage us to buy things we don't need. Advertisers are in the business of making money for themselves and their clients. If they manage to sell us something that's good for us too, that's fine, but their primary goal is profit.
Children are first exposed to advertising while watching commercial-laden Saturday morning cartoons. Over and over again, children see images of toys and games. They see other children who are having the time of their lives. They watch these children and are told that if they want to have that much fun, then they need to buy those things. Thus, at a very early age, we're introduced to two ideas: that we want to be like everyone else, and we want to have what everyone else has.
This continues throughout our lives. In trying to keep up with the lifestyle of our peers and neighbors, we continue living and supporting the trend of behavior that advertising advocates. We buy the latest model cars, have all the latest gadgets in our homes, and live a lifestyle beyond our budgets. Advertising encourages us to define ourselves by what we own rather than by who we are. It encourages a competition of false values and shallowly measures true value in our lives.
Advertising is mostly damaging; however, it is also one of the ways in which our economy keeps growing. People need to buy products in order for other people to have jobs manufacturing, transporting and selling those products. Advertising also keeps us informed about new products that may actually help us in some way. For these reasons, you could say advertising is a necessary evil.