Throughout virtually any magazine or image in the media, a reader will find more women than men shown in the advertisements. Some of these advertisements include women interacting with men in a sexual manner, women wearing the slightest bit of clothing, if any, and women posing in provocative ways to sell a certain product.
As it achieves this it will be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of non-western peoples and will prevent the peoples of the world from achieving true happiness.
Simply stated, our survival as a species is dependent upon minimizing the threat from advertising and the commercial culture that has spawned it. I am stating my claims boldly at the outset so there can be no doubt as to what is at stake in our debates about the media and culture as we enter the new millenium.
Karl Marx, the pre-eminent analyst of 19th century industrial capitalism, wrote inin the very opening lines of Capital that: Indeed, no other society in history has been able to match the immense productive output of industrial capitalism.
This feature colors the way in which the society presents itself -- the way it appears.
Objects are everywhere in capitalism. In this sense, capitalism is truly a revolutionary society, dramatically altering the very landscape of social life, in a way no other form of social organization had been able to achieve in such a short period of time.
In The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels would coin the famous phrase "all that is solid melts into air" to highlight capitalism's unique dynamism. It is this that strikes Marx as distinctive as he observes 19th century London. The starting point of his own critique therefore is not what he believes is the dominating agent of the society, capital, nor is it what he believes creates the value and wealth, labor -- instead it is the commodity.
From this surface appearance Marx then proceeds to peel away the outer skin of the society and to penetrate to the underlying essential structure that lies in the "hidden abode" of production.
It is not enough of course to only produce the "immense collection of commodities" they must also be sold, so that further investment in production is feasible.
Once produced commodities must go through the circuit of distribution, exchange and consumption, so that profit can be returned to the owners of capital and value can be "realized" again in a money form. If the circuit is not completed the system would collapse into stagnation and depression.
Capitalism therefore has to ensure the sale of commodities on pain of death. In that sense the problem of capitalism is not mass production which has been solved but is instead the problem of consumption.
That is why from the early years of this century it is more accurate to use the label "the consumer culture" to describe the western industrial market societies. So central is consumption to its survival and growth that at the end of the 19th century industrial capitalism invented a unique new institution the advertising industry to ensure that the "immense accumulation of commodities" are converted back into a money form.
The function of this new industry would be to recruit the best creative talent of the society and to create a culture in which desire and identity would be fused with commodities to make the dead world of things come alive with human and social possibilities what Marx would prophetically call the "fetishism of commodities".
And indeed there has never been a propaganda effort to match the effort of advertising in the 20th century. More thought, effort, creativity, time, and attention to detail has gone into the selling of the immense collection of commodities that any other campaign in human history to change public consciousness.
One indication of this is simple the amount of money that has been exponentially expended on this effort.
This concentration of effort is unprecedented. It should not be surprising that something this central and with so much being expended on it should become an important presence in social life.
Indeed, commercial interests intent on maximizing the consumption of the immense collection of commodities have colonized more and more of the spaces of our culture. For instance, almost the entire media system television and print has been developed as a delivery system for marketers its prime function is to produce audiences for sale to advertisers.
Both the advertisements it carries, as well as the editorial matter that acts as a support for it, celebrate the consumer society. The movie system, at one time outside the direct influence of the broader marketing system, is now fully integrated into it through the strategies of licensing, tie-ins and product placements.
The prime function of many Hollywood films today is to aid in the selling of the immense collection of commodities. As public funds are drained from the non-commercial cultural sector, art galleries, museums and symphonies bid for corporate sponsorship. Even those institutions thought to be outside of the market are being sucked in.
High schools now sell the sides of their buses, the spaces of their hallways and the classroom time of their students to hawkers of candy bars, soft drinks and jeans.
In New York City, sponsors are being sought for public playgrounds. In the contemporary world everything is sponsored by someone.
The latest plans of Space Marketing Inc. With advertising messages on everything from fruit on supermarket shelves, to urinals, and to literally the space beneath our feet Bamboo lingerie conducted a spray-paint pavement campaign in Manhattan telling consumers that "from here it looks likes you could use some new underwear"it should not be surprising that many commentators now identify the realm of culture as simply an adjunct to the system of production and consumption.
Indeed so overwhelming has the commercial colonization of our culture become that it has created its own problems for marketers who now worry about how to ensure that their individual message stands out from the "clutter" and the "noise" of this busy environment.
In that sense the main competition for marketers is not simply other brands in their product type, but all the other advertisers who are competing for the attention of an increasingly cynical audience which is doing all it can to avoid ads.
In a strange paradox, as advertising takes over more and more space in the culture the job of the individual advertisers becomes much more difficult. Therefore even greater care and resources are poured into the creation of commercial messages much greater care than the surrounding editorial matter designed to capture the attention of the audience.
Indeed if we wanted to compare national television commercials to something equivalent, it would the biggest budget movie blockbusters. Second by second, it costs more to produce the average network ad than a movie like Jurassic Park.In Sut Jhally’s article, Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture, advertising is seen as “the major structuring institution of contemporary consumer society” (Jhally ).Advertising began through the use of newspapers to transmit textual information about products.
Then as color images were being produced, magazines and color . Sep 19, · They have to include their product in an image, where the consumer might see anything he or she is longing for.
The consumer will associate those longing-desires with that product, and hopefully buy the product based on that interested feeling. News & Magazines. Sheet Music. Top Charts Back. Feb 22, · What aspects of our culture did the commodity-image system influence?
Sut Jhully discussed four impacts. First, gender became synonymous with sexuality, especially for women, because advertising took advantage of marketing products based on it. Communication scholar Sut Jhally applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman's groundbreaking analysis of gendered themes in fashion advertising to the contemporary commercial landscape.
Menu Media Education Foundation | educational documentary films The Codes of Gender. Identity & Performance in Popular Culture Format: .
Sut Jhall:Image based culture: advertising and popular culture advertisements that show how sex sells in the media. Throughout virtually any magazine or image in the media, a reader will find more women than men shown in the advertisements.