A few weeks ago, my daughter picked up a copy of Teen Vogue to have something to read during an airplane ride. When she was done with it (within 15-30 minutes), she handed it to me. I was tired and thought that it would be a good break from the fairly heavy non-fiction book I was reading…
The first thing I noticed was the massive amount of advertising. In this magazine geared toward teen girls, the letter from the editor did not show up until page 70! Everything before that was advertising and index-type pages. Out of 228 pages, only 55 pages were advertising-free (and that’s being lenient – i.e., not counting clothes worn by celebrities, etc). My daughter even commented, “I wish they had more articles.” (I counted two real articles.)
Secondly, and even more disturbingly, I found myself wanting to go buy clothes while flipping through the pages of this magazine. Me, Ms. “Don’t-Buy-Anything-You-Don’t-Need!” I was heavily influenced by the images I saw even though I know all about how advertising works and what the advertisers are trying to do to me. Scary!
It was a good wake-up call to realize that I am still so easily affected by advertising. It’s good to be aware and on guard when confronted with advertising for products you don’t need (or maybe I really do need some of Mariah Carey’s Lollipop Bling).
Obviously, the best way to avoid massive amounts of advertising is to turn off the television and not buy these types of magazines. However, it’s still all around – on Facebook, in your Gmail, and on billboards, to name a few channels.
When you do feel influenced by advertising, take a deep breath and think to yourself: “Do I really need this?” or “What else could I do with this money if I didn’t spend it on this thing?” (The possibilities are endless!)
The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. ~Mad Magazine