Constant Evolution of the American Consumer Society

The other angle of an axe commercial is what does a

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The other angle of an AXE commercial is: What does a woman see? When she looks at an advertisement such as the “It Can Happen Anywhere” campaign she sees an idealized picture of who she should be. She should be skinny, with perfect beach hair, and a nice tan, and if we read into this advertisement more, her identity does not matter. Her face is deliberately not pictured so she could be anyone. This portrayed blatant disregard for a woman’s personality when it comes down to sexual desire is demeaning. On the other hand AXE still manages to enflame a fantasy in women, this helps target older men, since their wives could potentially see these ads and use the AXE product as an innuendo. The woman is generally still accepted as the one who is most involved in consumption, just as in the Victorian, Modern and Boomer period, the difference today is that advertisements can influence them form various angles not just the ideal “Mrs. Consumer.” The constant move towards a more liberal society, a more accepting and receptive audience enables advertisers to use their creativity. While certain products such as tobacco, during the boomer era mainly in the 1960’s, were specifically geared towards male buyers, and cleaning products were mainly sold upon their impression of facilitating a woman’s job of keeping the household clean, this has changed. Along
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with the more diverse portrayals of life in ads, the audience has become more perceptive. As a collective audience, when we view ads we see what they are trying to sell, we see that even if particularly we fall out of their target group, there is a clearly defined one. The decision to consume is not merely out of convenience anymore, well one may perceive it to be convenience but not all the items viewed as necessary really are, advertisements just make us believe they are. Imagine, life would go on being the exact same if the body wash you used just ceased production, it would not affect your health in any particular way, not would it affect your social standing we are just le to believe so through the ad-world. As a viewer I accept more radical forms of advertising and enjoy their ingenuity, the more controversy they pose the more interested I am in the product that is being sold. I will turn to a shelf at a supermarket and think of the advertisement as soon as I see the product. This interpellation that advertisements have with their repetition on every medium possible, day in- day out, is where we are heading as a society. We are surrounded and live in experiences and lives dictated and portrayed in advertisements, be those on television, in a magazine, on the radio, shown in street art or even sponsored events. We are identified as a generation through the products we consume, and how great of an influence that has in our lives. When one buys a can of AXE deodorant they purchase with it the stigma of a single male who is ready for all the women, they purchase a dream and an attitude. When one buys the new BMW 7 series they don’t only buy the car, they buy the status, the comfort and the image. At every purchase we become one with the product, thus consumerism is the leading part of our lives.
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Christopher Reinemann
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