Following rain delays, Baseball drops all three against San Jose State
The Santa Clara
February 21, 2019
If I were to personify an advertisement, I would immediately picture a pesky little critter, something akin to a bedbug or a termite. There are so many of them that they may be hard to see, but if you look closely there are millions crawling around everywhere. They’re in your televisions, in your phones, in your computers—the list goes on.
No matter how many times you press unsubscribe or change the channel, they are still present. And as of right now, it appears Netflix is one of the only safe havens.
There is a reason why advertisements are everywhere and why companies spend so much money on them. It’s because they work.
Look at our fellow Northern California resident Mark Zuckerberg. He was ranked No. 5 on Forbes’ 2018 list of billionaires. Without the wealth of these advertising companies, it is possible that Zuckerberg might not have ever been ranked so highly. His business is in advertisements.
Advertisements annoy me for a variety of reasons. It’s not necessarily the inconvenience of waiting for them to end or their desperate need for attention that bothers me.
Most mainstream advertisements we see today are irksome because they are unnecessary, rather manipulative and excessive.
I reached peak frustration with advertisements shortly after the New Year. Like most people’s resolutions, I am trying to improve my eating habits.
As fate would have it, one day I was watching television when I came across a commerical from Wendy’s. This one starts by saying, “If you started your New Year’s resolutions, look away.” This of course makes one want to watch the commerical even more. Wendy’s then shows an image of their new Bacon Maple Chicken Sandwich. There is no denying the humor in this commercial, but I also couldn’t help but find it somewhat repulsive.
Everyday, seemingly harmless advertisements tempt us to make unhealthy decisions and then profit from our vulnerability. Not to mention that sugar and fast food can be extremely addictive. In the United States, where obesity is an epidemic, these types of commercials might not be so funny to some.
For this reason, major multi-million dollar fast food corporations like Reese’s, McDonald’s and Taco Bell should not be allowed to advertise their products as frequently as they do now.
Let’s look at another example I came across recently: a commercial by Reese’s. Romantic music plays in the background and close-up shots of a Reese’s peanut butter cup is shown. Meanwhile, a sultry voice says, “Does this make you want a Reese’s? Oh how about this? Okay we’ll stop. Just kidding. We’re not gonna stop. Not sorry Reese’s.” Not really my idea of sexy, but okay.
This commercial is problematic for two reaons. First, we know these major corporations like Reese’s, Wendy’s and McDonald’s exist. I think it’s safe to say that almost every American knows what a Reese’s peanut butter cup is. There is really no need for them to advertise their products.
Second, these major corporations do not need to make any more money than they already are. As the famous rapper Kendrick Lamar says, “Sit Down. Be Humble.” Given that some people don’t even have access to a sufficient amount of food, advertisements are proving to be a real first world problem.
It’s not just food advertisements. As a relatively poor college student, the last thing I need as I scroll through Facebook is a reminder of the $100 jeans I was just looking at on Anthropologie’s website. I did not buy this pair of jeans in the first place because I had enough sense to realize I cannot afford them. So please Facebook, I do not need you to tempt me further. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have a shopping addiction in this day and age.
Don’t get me wrong, not all advertising is bad. With an overall decrease in the number of advertisements and the continuation of clever and witty writers, advertisements could be fun. This can be seen by how many people love to watch the advertisments during the Superbowl.
At this point, however, there are too many commercials to keep track of. Perhaps these major corporations should tone it down, step aside, and give smaller corporations a chance to advertise their own products.
It’s essential, however, to cut down on the amount of advertisements so that people are no longer being constantly bombarded in the ways they are now.
Celia Martinez is a sophomore political science and communication double major and is the Opinion Editor.