Advertising executives and marketing experts more than likely hope that we remain oblivious to the underlying messages that ads contain and that we perceive their work purely from entertainment and consumerist perspectives rather than for the purpose of critical assessment.
We need to be aware of how advertisers appeal to us, and we should think critically about the persuasive messages we encounter to ensure we are savvy, not passive, consumers. Because consumers purchase products with which they identify, it is significant to examine the subtexts of advertisements as well as the role those subtexts play in determining what products guys and women choose to associate with their private identities.
Typically, the very first thing we look for in a photograph is ourselves. Advertisers recognize this fact and use it to their advantage. Because of this, we can learn a lot about a company’s target customer base by observing the people featured in its advertisements.
To what social class do you belong? How do you know? Can others tell by how you talk, dress, and act? By how much money you have? By your level of education? By your occupation? Despite the presumed cultural ideal of social equality in America, key markers such as income and education are often used for social classification.