The American Dream

The American dream. It consists of a family, house, cars, and other luxury items. How did it become the American dream? Why do we feel so compelled to pursue it? The reason is because we, the American public, have been convinced through advertising to acquire it. It is a very powerful way of persuasion. Advertising affects us so powerfully that it sometimes sets our views of society for us. We constantly absorb images of families, houses, and cars through commercials and magazine ads. It persuades us so strongly to the point that it can alter our social consciousness. Alter it to the point that we feel that the American dream is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity.

Today there is almost no way to escape advertisements. The radio, television, and magazine ads make sure of that. The more we view these advertisements, the more we are persuaded toward the American dream. With a television in almost every household and magazines an arm=s length away, advertisers basically have us on our knees. We must digest advertisers= views so frequently that you would think it was necessary to sustain life.

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Advertising=s main goal is to persuade. They want us to see the American way through their eyes. They tell us what to eat, drink, wear, drive, and think. Advertisers start this form of brainwashing on us at a very early age. They lay the groundwork of ideals early on because it is easy to persuade a child. Now, with the two income family, children are left to interpret not only advertisements but television programming as well without supervision. Children are forced to make their own evaluations and most of the time they go along with the views of what they see. How many times do children want something because they saw it on television? With the unending viewing of shows and advertisements who could blame them. By age twenty, Americans have viewed an estimated half a million commercials. Now that is a major amount of influencing on a young person. This is exactly what advertisers hope to accomplish with young people. They want them to associate advertisements to purchasing. !It starts out with toys and leads to the American dream. One day they want a matchbox car and a few years later they want a real Porsche. Do not all boys want a fancy car? Do not most girls dream of living in a big house? Is this a coincidence or a carefully thought out scheme by advertisers?Now, how is it exactly that advertisers get us to want the American dream. They do this by channeling into one of our most basic instincts, emotions. Along with emotions, advertisers want to make you feel three other things: connection, imagination, and desire. A connection between the product and a feeling is important. They also want you to imagine yourself in the experience with the merchandise. A strong desire for the product is another effect that the advertiser=s want you to feel. Take for instance any food commercial. They connect the food to a feeling which is hunger. They want you to imagine yourself eating the product. This produces a strong desire for the food. Advertisers hope that this will produce a sale. The stronger the feeling for these topics, the more likely you are to trust and believe that you need them. These feelings are supposed to affect you at a subconscious level. They are not exactly leveling with you. But would you buy something from someone if you! knew they were deceiving you.

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Why is it that most of us want a family? Well, for the past thirty years we have seen countless families in commercials. Advertisers usually show these families as fun-loving and happy. The message they send out is that a family is healthy. That having a family equals happiness. All of which spell the American dream. If you do not have a family, you are not a complete person and that is not American. Is this not evident through societies silent discouragement of single parents? Do we not think that there is something wrong with someone if they are not married by the age of thirty-five? Advertisers use this

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