One of the key points that Stole makes in his/her article was that without advertisements, we, as consumers, would not know which brand we should buy. Ads are essentially supposed to inform the consumer of the different products and of any differences that exist from competitor brands. Instead, Stole explains that companies try to differentiate themselves from other competitors by devising elaborate ad campaigns that creates a desire for the product. An example that came to mind was paper towels. Why is Brawny better than Bounty or vice versa? They have the same qualities and price, yet Brawny is advertised as a burly, durable, and tough while Bounty is advertised as great for homes and families. Wait, what? Without the packaging and ads, the two brands are the same. Moving forward with how this is relevant to holidays, specifically Christmas, it has become evident that companies have used this holiday to tell that people’s loved ones NEED the newest iPhone for Christmas. What about the true meaning of Christmas? Advertisers have stripped away the actual meaning of Christmas and commercialized the holiday to conform to their constant drive for profit-making.
Corporate greed leads advertisements to deceive the consumers as seen in ads. From personal experience, online shopping can be generalized to be a modern loophole for false advertising. Whenever I shop and buy clothing, the model would make the shirt look really high quality and in a very nice color. The moment I get it in the mail, the shirt is cheap and looks ten shades uglier than what I saw in the picture that they advertised… not to mention that the shirt is a lot wider than it looked on the fairly thin model. With the introduction of the Tugwell bill and its reaction by advertisers, Inger Stole brings up an important point on the role and effect of advertisements for consumers. The Tugwell bill “empowered the FDA to prohibit ‘false advertising’ of any food, drug, or cosmetic. It defined any advertisement as false if it created a misleading impression ‘by ambiguity or inference’” (91). This is a response from the consumer movement that had their anxieties about the commercialized society that deceive consumers into buying ambiguously advertised products.
To tie these two ideas together, Christmas has become commercialized and we are being deceived that these invented traditions that advertisers have deployed are what we want. We are told what to buy for gifts and instead these ads are only reinforcing the status quo. The status quo is reproduced when ads create campaigns that targets a certain population but instills this desire of us and them. These ads and the culture to buy things to gain social status is exactly what advertisers are trying to tap into. My takeaway on this article was that we should really question the advertisements that we are being bombarded by especially during this holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday season but being a conscious consumer doesn’t hurt.