In today’s world advertising is an important part of our economy. Advertisers are hired by companies, to come up with ads that will sell their product. Advertisers and marketers say that the world of advertising is very important, because it helps run the capitalist society that we have in this country. They say that by advertising, it keeps the economy running. However, advertisers go way to far in trying to sell their product. They use a language full of euphemisms to try and trick the consumer into thinking their product is the best on the market. They use such ploys as applying their product to children, knowing that children are inexperienced in the today’s market, to try and sell their product. They also use things like color and coarse language to make the product appeal to the consumer. Advertisers go too far in their advertisements, in order to compete with their rival company, and to make money. Your job is to figure out exactly what each word is doing in an ad- what each word means, not what the advertiser wants you to think it means.” In this quote, William Lutz describes a form of language that is widely used in advertising. (Goshgarian 313) The use of doublespeak helps advertisers make their product seem as if it is a miracle product. In doublespeak advertisers, don’t use definite words. This makes the product have no definite levels of how good the product works. The only thing these words express is that the product has exponential or never-ending possibilities. In this way advertisers are able to show, legally, that their product has absolutely no flaws. Most advertisers try to make their product seem better then any other product that is on the market. With the use of doublespeak they may use lines like, “this product takes out virtually all stains”. (Goshgarian 303-304) However, what does virtually really mean? If the product can not get out all stains, what stains can’t it get out? If advertisers told people this in their TV commercials, and magazine advertisements, people would not want to buy the product. That is why they throw in words like practically, virtually, and almost, so that they are not telling the whole truth, yet they are not lying either. Lutz talks about other “weasel words” used in doublespeak in advertising. Words like “new and improved”, “acts fast” and “like magic” help advertisers in making their product seem better then others. (Goshgarian 304-306) When an item is new and improved, what is it improved from? What was wrong with the old version of this item? Also, if there was something wrong with the old item, what is to say that there will not be anything wrong with the new item? Still consumers travel down the aisle of different stores and see “new and improved” and they figure it’s has to be the best of them all. Let’s examine “acts fast”. When an advertiser describes the product with the phrase “acts fast” they try to show that the item will work faster then other products. However, what exactly does that mean? Does the product run fast, cook fast, drive a car fast, or speak fast? It is not known exactly what the product does. People assume that the product that “acts faster” is the best product for them. Sometimes advertisers use the word “like” in an advertisement. This stops the consumer from concentrating on the product, and exactly what it can make your life “like”. If an advertiser claims a certain tire makes your car drive like it is floating, people start thinking about their car floating. Personally, I would rather drive a car that floats, and so would most consumers. This makes the consumer want to buy this product, and once again the advertiser wins. Lutz makes a good point in saying that these doublespeak slogans help sell products. “Remember, the ad is trying to get you to buy a product, so it will put the product in the best possible light, using any device, trick or means legally allowed.” (Goshgarian 313) Another thing advertiser use in their commercials is the use of additives or accessories. In the advertisement of a product, an advertiser may say that the product has a high amount of a certain chemical that no one that uses the product actually has heard of before. If people hear things like “Certs contains a sparkling drop of Retsyn” (Goshgarian 311) Consumers hear this and say, “wow Certs is better then Tic Tacs because it has Retsyn!!” However, in reality, what on earth is Retsyn” For all anyone knows Retsyn is the leading cause of gum disease, who knows. Consumers hear scientific words like this and think that this is coming from a smart scientist that knows that Certs is better because it has Retsyn. Another example of advertisers trying to sell their product by any means necessary is the tobacco industry. On most cigarette advertisements, it shows a few good-looking men smoking the cigarette that is being advertised, and they are surrounded by a few great looking women. Advertisers find this to be a perfect way to sell their product. If they have their advertisements focus on children, then the kids, who do not have much experience as a consumer will believe every word the advertisement says. For example, if a child sees a commercial for a brand new toy on the market, advertisers will show the toy almost life size, running through real swamps (puddles) and climbing real mountains (a mound of dirt). In some instances the toy even takes human traits like language and movement, on it’s own. When a child sees this commercial he right away knows he must play with that toy. Children don’t usually have a job or a bank account, or any form of their own income, so they always go to their parents first when they want something new. If the commercial works correctly, the young child will be bugging his or her parents for that toy until one of them takes them to the toy store. Throughout this aisle, the child sees such items as Lion King action figures, balls, games, coloring books, videogames, CDs, and other paraphernalia. With the movie that the child had scene fresh in his or her mind. The toys remind them of the fun time they had at the movies the other day. They quickly find their mother or father in the store and try to convince them to buy the Lion King toys for them because they remember how much they loved the movie. This works for other products too besides toys. If a mother wanted to buy her child a new toothbrush, and they show their child a plain red one, and then one with Simba on it, with out question they will choose the Simba toothbrush. This is just another example of how advertisers use children to sell their product and make a lot of money. Types of images also have a part in how advertisers market their product. The use of colors in commercials and magazine advertisements appeal to the human eye. For example. In a McDonalds commercial you never see the color puke green, brown, gray, or blue. This is because the first color that the brain associates with food is red and yellow. This is why, in the McDonalds logo all you see is the “golden arches” with red in the background. This also may be why Coca-Cola sells more soda then Pepsi-Cola. The Coke can is predominantly red while the Pepsi can is blue. Damn is a word that has always been considered a borderline swear word. Nowadays damn is allowed to be heard on commercial television. When someone hears the word “damn“ on TV it is added to the subconscious of their brain. This message is stored in the person’s brain until the next time they need to go buy new tires. There seems to be no stopping advertisers as they continue to toy with our basic emotions to try and sell their products. Advertisers use euphemisms, color, and bold words to sell their stuff. Advertisements that lure children and “tough” guys, are things that help advertisers compete in today’s capitalist society. Consumers should start becoming smarter when it comes to deciding what items to purchase for their family.
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