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Consumerism is the act of acquiring, consuming, or utilizing goods for play, eating, or other human needs. Money is used by society as a bridge between desire and fulfilment. Consumption entails devastation. Consumed things cease to exist, either physically or spiritually, according to Bauman. They are either physically devoured, such as food and clothing, lost, or become unattractive and are hence unfit for consumption. Everything in life has been influenced by consumerism. Areas that were initially unaffected by the market have also adapted to the new reality where consumers govern everything (Johnson, 2017). The influence of mass media increased along with the development of information technology. To support the profit based capitalist economy the ruling class, which owned means of production, had to convince the middle and lower class to buy to generate profit. That is when social media emerged. Advertising being the main engine of sales process. Advertising has played a major role in increasing consumerism and development. Adverts can be inform of newspapers, TV, and billboards or radios convincing consumers to buy and buy (Búriková, 2011).

The Media has also widened consumerism borders in terms of creating awareness internationally. With internet and TV satellites, anyone can see anything in the world. International consumerism is increased because of globalization, industrialization and information communication technologies. In western developed countries, culture is connected and dependent on consumption. Without consumer good the modern societies would loose key factors in production and representation (Búriková, 2011). Without consumer good certain acts of definition in this culture would not be possible. Politics, commercialization of culture and impact of social and mass media have influenced current consumerism. When people started having money, they consumed more. Consumerism is based on presence of money with little or no attention to needs, consequences and how durable they are as t is driven by advertising. Advertising creates this desire to follow trends in materialism.

Consumerism replaces normal common sense desire to have life’s necessities with insatiable and artificial search for things and money to buy them. Landfills are fully of cheap products that fail early but cannot be repaired. Some societies argue that consumerism cannot be destroyed or deleted completely. Some say that it is beneficial to the society. Consumerism tends to be very sick in terms of human rights. The more the consumerism increases, the weaker the incentive to manufacture quality and environmentally friendly products. By facilitating sale of every advertised product without proper examination of its quality, origin or traditions of manufacture, consumerism fuels the destruction of productive economy (Espejo, 2010).

Consumers’ rights infringe the rights of other living in the world. Consumers’ right is the right to have fair prices of goods, rights to have range and variety of products of satisfactory quality. Consumers in developed countries have been socialized to want more things to consume but have not be socialized to appreciate the impact of their choices on human rights. Businesses have always perfected their commercials to be effective for viewers for some years. Marketing has had some impact on people that can be more powerful to be both adults and children. Marketing is promoting for the best interest of people that is the product is driven illusion to get people interested. Businesses have successfully increased its profitability through creation of effective marketing strategies. Therefore, for consumerism to affect consumers the product must be advertised in a way that is appealing to the users (Espejo, 2010).

In a prosperous country, citizens have to go to the supermarkets to get all what they need to sustain their lives. The manufacturers or promoters of the products who encourage people to buy more influence the idea of consumerism where consumers are urged to purchase goods in larger amounts than required consumerism and more. Adversitisng is essential component in promoting consumerism. Advertising affects and influence human minds as it portrays products as necessary objects needed to keep ones social identity secure. Thus, advertising does not present wants instead; they create need for luxurious products (Espejo, 2010). The youth are the most targeted by the manufacturers making them most vulnerable to consumerism. Grown ups can often distinguish between what they want and what they need because they are critical thinkers. Since the world is creating aspirations to keep up with the modern trends, they are easier to manipulate  (Hogg, 2006).

Advertising creates desires. The modern society has become effluent with exceptional cases where people want to eat and enjoy better. Necessity in terms of basic need hardly exist. People struggle to have better cars and houses than their neighbors do do. Our economic struggle are not about eating food but eating in the most desirable restaurant. We create needs for ourselves. For our entire lives, we worked without iPhone or rather without cell phones, but nowadays, walking to work or campus without a phone cause nervous breakdown. Advertising plays an important role in need creation. An argument against need creation worry that consumers are converted into unhappy people, as they have no way of satisfying their desires. If your aim is to work to attain something that you have been told you are supposed to want, another company will come up with the idea that there is something else you need. Consumers are therefore caught chasing durable satisfaction they can’t ever reach  (Hogg, 2006).

The concept of advertising began simply as a means of generating awareness of the product and getting the company’s name of public. Before the Second World War, advertisement were kept simple and the only modes of creating awareness were through radios and newspapers. Today there are numerous ways to promote sales such as magazine ads, TVs billboards. Advertisement has become more less than luring people into buying unnecessary products. The media perpetuates the trends in consumerism (Johnson, 2017).

The society is at high risk of being influenced by the media. These images and messages that we are bombarded with by televisions shows, movies and magazines are what creates target market for consumerism. Companies to find out exactly what the consumers prefer recruit these targets markets. By doing so, they can effectively sell their products to anyone by understanding their demographics. The problem with today is that advertising tactics are negatively affecting the society. Advertisement today are loosely monitored and is cleverer than with companies coming up with tactics that target a broader consumer base. With the introduction of computers, with a lot of technological advancement, the advertising industry has boomed having new ways of receiving and processing data (Johnson, 2017).

Another reason for consumerism is the idea of permanent acquisition of goods, which has become dominant in both adults and adolescents; lack of skills to maintain resources. Since most of the youth does not earn the money themselves, they are unaware of the value of money. Even adults would rather spend on expensive suit than save the money. Peoples priorities have recently changed (Hogg, 2006).In the past, consumers were unable to purchase luxuries because they focused only on their needs. A number of factors facilitates the spreading of consumerism ideology, most significant being overexposure to advertising and lack of skills to maintain their own resources.

Advertising uses the most three important aspects to persuade people: Ethos, Pathos and Logos. Ethos means the credibility of an argument. If an advertisement has good ethos, we respect them and will be more willing to believe. The best kind of ethos comes from an expert, for example if one wants an advice about medicine they would rather ask a doctor than their immediate neighbor. Pathos is persuading using emotions. Emotions vary from happiness, fear, anger, sadness and happiness. Many advertisements are affected by pathos especially through humor. Humorous advertisement give us positive emotions that can cause us to have positive feelings towards the product being advertised. Logos. Ability to use logic reasoning. If an agreement uses logos, we are more likely to see the logic behind it and we are more likely to agree with it.

Old spice advertisement is an example of product that influenced consumption because of its advertisement. The Old Spice Advertisement. The man Your Man Could Smell like. Old spice is a major company for men’s hygienic products. It has very appealing and humorous advertisement. The products are designed to eclipse other lines of men’s body wash. The Old Spice advertisement implies that by using the product the man will be like the Old Spice Man. The advert captures men by reaching out to needs of a woman, how a man should be and how a man should smell (Ellwood, 2010).

In the current society, the most effective way to sell a product designed for men is to reach out to the needs of a woman. Women have their opinions that deal with men’s products because they can opt to either buy themselves or convince men to buy. In Old Spices campaign. There are series of events using different persons that re very fit and good looking. Mustafa comes out of the shower in a towel, says in deep voice hallo women, and then tell women to look at him and compare him with the man sited next to him for comparison (Ellwood, 2010). The series then continues showing Mustafa as more appealing to women. In short Mustafa reminds the woman viewers that their men can be more appealing like him if the us e the Old Spice body wash.

Another contributing blogger to this website is Daily Femme. These two adverts are meant to appeal to women who do not want their man to smell nice only but also have a sense of humor about absurdity (Peters, 2012). The commercial appeals to women not rely on attractiveness but a humor that is based on it. Humor is advertising is appealing to both sexes but especially powerful to women. Both attractiveness and humor in an advert demonstrates that the producer acknowledge that women are important audiences. Not only does commercial adverts targets women but also men. The ads presents how an ideal man should look and smell and appealing to their women. The Old Spice Guy is a perfect example. Mustafa shows that a man can do everything better that a woman will find appealing. You can smell like ‘Ultimate Guy’ or the slogan you can “Smell like a man, man”. The adverts go for men emotionally by saying that currently they are not men their women are expecting unless they use Old Spice that is when they become men their women will want. The adverts makes a man to react emotionally and appeal to his masculinity and other aspects to be able to attract and keep a woman happy (Peters, 2012).

In addition to being appealing to women and men’s emotionally needs to smell like a man, they ad use old reliable advertising strategy-sex sells. A sexually themed commercial can be appealing to both men and women. The sexual content grabs people attention and help them to remember the ad. Old Spice by being appealing to woman and affecting men emotionally by wanting to be what their women want to smell like and using old sexual appeal has managed to create a successful advertising. Many people are paid to come up with commercials that are more attractive to people and make everyone remember their products.

It is clear that there has been shift in marketing tactics used in different industries to broaden consumer base. Advertisers use a wide range of tactics that target certain demographics that I inclined in having needs. It is concluded that advertising is one of the factors that has contributed to consumerism sometimes because of exaggeration causing people to create desires.


Búriková, Z. (2011). Consumerism in Slovak Catholic Homes. Religion, Consumerism and Sustainability, 137-151. doi:10.1057/9780230306134_8

Ellwood, I. (2010). Wonder Woman – Marketing Secrets for the Trillion‐dollar Customer20103Wonder Woman – Marketing Secrets for the Trillion‐dollar Customer. Palgrave MacMillan, Great Britain (Printed and bound in Great Britain by Cromwell Press Ltd, Trowbridge Wiltshire)2008226 pp.$49.95. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 27(6), 565-566. doi:10.1108/07363761011078325

Espejo, R. (2010). Consumerism. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Gage, K. (2013). Power up for profits: The smart woman's guide to online marketing. Wilmington, DE: Thomas Noble Books.

Hogg, M. K. (2006). Consumer behavior II: The meaning of consumption : Possessions, brands and the self. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Johnson, M. (2017). Consumerism.

Peters, G. (2012). ALTERNATIVE INSPIRATION: WHY CURRY SPICE AND OLD SPICE ARE THE NEW MANAGEMENT MODELS. Business Strategy Review, 23(3), 63-65. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8616.2012.00876.x

March 10, 2023
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