Monday, March 21, 2011
The Real World in Advertising
This is an advertisement to raise awareness of a horrific issue--female infanticide. In India, female babies are killed because they are considered undesirable. A male child will grow up to work and have an income, and can be viewed as being able to support his parents when they become too old to work. A female child does not have as many opportunites to make money, and also bears the burden of preparing a dowry (a sum of money or goods given to the bride's family). Even if a dowry is prepared, if it is considered too small, the bride may be killed by her husband or her husband's family. The hardship of supporting a female and preparing a dowry lead many families to kill their female children.
But we don't hear about this in the media. The advertisements we see are geared towards grabbing our money--buy this, subscribe now, you must have this amazing new product! The advertising industry is about making money and drawing attention to a product or service. The real issues in our world are covered by makeup, cars, designer clothes, and perfume samples. It's hard to think about the deaths of thousands of women when everything you see in the media is focused on looks or technology.
Those ads that thousand of people see every day as they drive to work or browse Facebook could be reminders of what challenges we have to overcome, whether in our own country or halfway across the world. But in the world of advertising, it doesn't go deeper than your next trip to the mall.