Advertisement…..Spreading Awareness or Manipulating Opinion???

Posted by

ewf 01 apr b - Copy

Advertisements have proliferated our lives in a big way. Be it the daily Newspapers, the TV or the roadsides, all are flooded with advertisement campaigns, each company trying to do outdo the others. Huge budget is being spent by the business houses on advertisements with the sole aim of changing opinions. 

Life was so cool when there was no TV, no advertisement blitz to endure and the Newspapers actually carried NEWS with specific areas earmarked for the advertisements. Today, more than half of the Newspaper is occupied by advertisements or classifieds as some prefer to call them. In fact, the first thing which stares in your face as you open the morning Daily is a full-page advertisement of some brand. One got to literally search for NEWS in the maze of advertisements. 

We now live, not in a real but virtual world. Advertisement bring in hope and more often than not are the cause of despair when the aspirations are not met. With most of us too busy with our routine life and profession, having no time to go out, explore the markets and try things out physically our life is literally getting dependent on social media to such an extent that our habits, tastes, clothes, modes of entertainment, choices of schools, colleges get decided by advertisements. 

Manufacturers, business houses are in a sort of rat race to catch the attention of the customer. One product is launched and within no time the same company launches another advertisement claiming to launch an improved version of the previous product. Advertisements are not just restricted to glorifying the products but also softly aim at degrading the competitor. Which product is better, this decision, the companies should leave it to the wisdom of the consumer, they should only supply information. 

The main aim of the advertisements is to play with the psyche, to hit the mind of the target audience. They come out with catchy taglines like that of Raymond (The famous Indian dress material manufacturer) – The complete man (I have been a big fan of Raymond ever since) or Maggie Noodles- Mamma I am hungry (Every mom desperately wait to hear these magic words from their child). Mothers very well understand that Maggie Noodles cannot provide the nutrients required for the growth of the child but then they can’t let their child go hungry. Then the child is also armed by the information provided through the advertisement – every Maggie Noodle packet carries the nutrients equivalent to two pieces of home baked bread which is the normal diet of a child, and the argument ends in favour of the child. I, for one, never bothered about the nutrient content, I ate Maggie Noodles because I enjoyed the taste. Cosmetics have taken the advertisement war to an altogether different level with their claims of anti-ageing creams and turning the colour of skin from dark to fair in no time. 

Some advertisement campaigns do indulge in sexism and racism, manipulation and deceit, either inadvertently or intentionally. Women have to be part of most campaigns whether they use the product or not. 

Yes, advertisement do a whole lot of good to the society by not just spreading awareness of social causes and government schemes but also by making people, at large, aware of the options available and helping them compare before reaching a decision. However, one has to be careful and not believe everything being conveyed through advertisements on the face value. Various Regulating authorities set up by the government have to work proactively to ensure that the companies do not take the consumer for a ride by misleading advertisements. The onus should be on the companies including the advertisement agencies to ensure that there is no manipulation and stringent action be taken against defaulters. 

“Finally, it’s on the consumer to decide what he wants, to allow his opinion/ decision get manipulated by misleading advertisements or to be smart enough to read between the lines”


  1. I think that advertisements are a combination of information and manipulation indeed. Most times I want to say manipulation to get you to buy into what they are selling. It is always good to analyze what you see and hear for yourself.

  2. I find that Advertisers are truly manipulative. I’m sure the marketing director’s goal of each advertising campaign is to boost their product sale by having people think they need whatever the product is.

  3. I agree with you that advertisements can be used both ways. I try not to take them for granted and I analyse the information I get from them. Of course, we can always be deceived, but it’s good to be able to have your own opinion and not always follow the croud. 🙂

  4. I think it is easy to become over-reliant on social media. I saw that pattern in my life a few years back and stopped it cold. I still like social media, but I”m making sure I’m experiencing the brands I’m considering before I buy.

  5. Information overload is definitely evident in almost all arenas. Sifting through the smoke and mirrors takes time and diligence to make an informed buying decision and not be swayed by the best look or trend in any industry. Being in the business of influencer/product reviews I can relate as I study this for a living. Great post.

  6. Generally, advertisement will spread awareness, be it negatively or positively. And in today’s world of social media, people misuse advertisements and tend to manipulate issues.

  7. I’m not sure manipulation is necessarily what I would use to describe advertising. I would definitely use that word to describe propoganda. I completely agree it’s on the consumer how they interpret the advert. As long as people are being transparent and don’t try to post an advert without disclosing.

  8. I really like the way you give your opinion to the reader. I totally like your end words that it is up to the audiences. If the audience takes it as awareness than advertisements are really good and helpful.

  9. This is true. I do not like watching ads because it has a great impact. Sometimes we see things that we do not need but ads make us believe that we need it.

  10. This was truly an interesting read. There is always room to read between the lines. I shop for benefits and styles, I am truly a label reader and my family is also. My best friend while by anything here fav celebrity has, lol.

  11. Many of the ads I have seen are already manipulating people’s stand. It is easy to be swayed by something if it’s presented to be so cool, even if it’s wrong. 😦

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.