Masters Of Desire The Culture Of American Advertising Analysis

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Summary & Response In "Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising", Jack Solomon studies and analyzes advertisements in order to show that advertisers and big companies make use of what they know about the society and culture in order to manipulate us into buying a new product or using a service. According to the text, while we may believe in equality and equal chance, we also find that we desire "rising above the crowd", in which we compete for "privilege and distinction". This is where the American paradox lies. Furthermore in the article, "The contradiction is between the simultaneous desire for social superiority (elitism) and social equality (populism) that lies at the heart of the American Dream". Simply put: the American…show more content…
Using powerful language, Jack Solomon stresses that advertisers do not persuade us, but they manipulate us into buying what they're offering. They don't offer us product information, but they exercise "behavior modification" : "Pleasing to our subconscious emotions, rather than our conscious intelligences, ads are designed to exploit the discontentments by the American dream, and also the constant desire for social success and the material rewards that accompany it” page 530. Advertisements say a lot about different people and what ideas are important at the time. In America, society is obsessed with status. Therefore, status symbols are very important. Companies worldwide manufacture status symbols because American consumers want them. In the summary of “Masters of Desire”, a Cadillac example was used as a status symbol. It was explained how the Cadillac fell behind in the European market for prestige cars but when they came out with advertisements for a new car called the Allante, they priced it as a top of the line Mercedes Benz automobile from Europe. Mercedes Benz was known for its luxury cars really well since the 1960’s. It's a powerful status symbol you can associate with the other key

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