Advertising and how it influences our day-to-day lives

By Nikola Cameron

April 15, 2016

Linda Gallant remembers when her sons were little they would remember word for word the slogans for the cereals they would eat. They would sing them while they ate their cereal and ask her to buy the cereals and other foods they have seen advertised on television.

The mother of three living in Summerside, P.E.I. Children are the most prone to advertisements, she said.

“Even the food that you buy they want the stuff that they have seen on TV. And the toys that they ask for Christmas are stuff they all seen advertised on TV.”

Advertisements have a huge impact on our lives, more than we realize it. Since the day you are born we have advertisements and images thrown at us. It affects the decisions we make, the way we think and our life experiences, she said.

“From the time kids are little they know what they like and they know what they have seen on TV.”

Deanna Lowe is a mother of two children living in Charlottetown. Advertisements have a big impact on her children as well, she said.

“Having two children, I see advertising for all kinds of toys.”

She worries about what the negative effects advertisements have on women who struggle with self-esteem issues, and how it can be difficult for them to have images of other woman’s body’s thrown at them.

“Being a girl, and a girl who had always had self-esteem issues, any advertising that is related to how to lose weight or how to look better by doing this, I would jump on.”

Gallant said advertisements can even affect your life experiences because the places you choose to travel, colleges or universities you choose to attend, are all influenced through the advertisements you see.

“Products that I have tried, I have seen through television, advertisements. Movies that I have seen or watched because of the trailers I have seen,” she said.

“Trips that you have made it, is all through advertisements. Companies that you support, you support them because of the advertisements that they have done.”

When you go to the grocery store to get detergent, you remember the advertisements you have seen on TV, which will affect which one you, choose to buy, she said.

“I believe advertisements affect most things that we do from recall, from what we have seen and what we are familiar with.”

Ads influence decision-making. When something is in your face, you are more familiar with it. People often go towards something they are more familiar with, Gallant said.

Our society would be a lot different without advertisements and current advertisements show a lot about what the current world is like now. For example ads from the 1960’s look a lot different than they do now.

In the 60’s commercials were black and white and longer and didn’t have as many woman, terms that were not considered offensive would be considered offensive now, such as racist and sexist slurs.

Lowe said some people are more likely to be influenced by advertisements, for example, people with low self-esteem and depression could be more prone to being manipulated.

“Without advertisements, our society would be a lot different. I think advertising has positive effects and many negative effects on society, but it totally depends on the person’s life at that moment whether or not they look further into what is being advertised or not.”