The Role That Consumer Behavior Plays on Advertising and Cancel Culture

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Society has been conditioned into a consumer culture by advertising outlets since the beginning of time. Advertising in mass media is common to all in America. The mediums for advertising include television, internet, radio, print media and mobile app platforms. Through various marketing methods, advertising campaigns influence the American consumer. The advertisement is a subcategory to the promotional portion of the 4P’s in the marketing mix, which includes product, price, place, and promotion (Dr. D. Prasanna Kumar & K. Venkateswara Raju, 2013). As a marketing technique, advertising is a noteworthy strategy in making a service or an item resonate in the psyche of a potential consumer. In doing so, an advertising campaign creates the emotion of the need to buy in the American consumer. The role that advertising has on the American consumer is demonstrated through how brands connect with consumers and individuals in society.

Advertising creates a desire for consumers to connect with their society on a more personal level. One study defines advertising as “ a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, information or services, etc” (Dr. D.Prasanna Kumar & K. Venkateswara Raju, 2013). One of the roles of advertising is being a significant influence on the way Americans interact with their brands and favored businesses. Also, the emotional impact that advertising has on the American psyche, affects the consumer buying power over time. American businesses and their marketing campaigns must consider many demographics within their advertising methods in order to profit from the consumers. For instance, an H&M ad with an Afro-Sweden, adolescent boy, wearing a hoodie with a monkey on it with the words “Coolest monkey in the jungle,” became an international controversy. The backlash of this Swedish advertisement affected H&M sales in America. “The brand has been battling with a $4.3bn mountain of stock which did not pass chemical tests”(Tamsin Blanchard, 2019). The advertising campaign was perceived as lacking in awareness and cultural sensitivity, which created a widespread uproar over the internet. The contents of the advertisement was found offensive to the African diaspora in America. “It was a shocking admission that white companies still saw Black consumers as a degrading and ugly stereotype” (Wang, 2019). Afro-American consumers have been fighting a battle for equality and the eradication of the systemic racism that is deeply rooted in America’s social society and its mass media institutions. They account for half of the American consumer culture and are subjectively concerned with a brands image and how they are engaging with contemporary audiences through advertising. Ultimately, this advertising campaign affected how the American consumers viewed H&M as a brand.

Another form of how advertising campaigns influence America’s consumer culture is shown in Generation Z. Since Generation Z utilized social media to create a “cancelled” phenomena, many consumers are more suspect of which brands to trust or no longer purchase from. Cancel culture boycotts controversial brands, businesses and people through social media. For example, “luxury brands Prada, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana have all had high-profile incidents where, between them, they have managed to alienate more than half the world’s population”(Tamsin Blanchard, 2019). Twitter users shed light on the aforementioned brands negative advertising and their stocks have also been a victim of cancel culture by American consumers. Advertising campaigns ability to leave an emotional impact has created a hyper-sensitivity within the American consumers. But, however when there’s a lack of cultural sensitivity America’s consumer culture will take to social media, to have their feelings heard and prominent brands canceled..

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Furthermore America’s consumer culture is also being affected by advertising campaigns in a positive way. Advertising has saturated America’s consumer culture to the point where an individual will make an effort to eat based on what everyone else in their social network is eating. For instance, if one American individual wants to become a vegan, with one-click on any social media platform there will be an advertising informing or creating a desire that motivates a consumer to become a vegan. “Highly involved customers think more about product choices than consumers with low involvement.Their deep understanding involves support arguments and / or counter arguments”(David L.Loudon & Albert J.Della Bitta,1993. For the most part, an advertising of this caliber emphasizes a notion that shapes American consumers to buy based off an undaunted pressure of their society.

As the information era continues to expand, advertising plays a great part in shifting the behaviour and attitude of consumers towards the products presented in these advertisements. These advertisements not only change the way goods are consumed by the American individual but change the position with which they see the brand. The advertising campaigns in America has set the precedent of what’s to come in the future. It is a ubiquitously accepted fact that advertising invokes needs and desires from a product, that it in the moment, American consumers may feel they lacked otherwise without. In this regard, advertising plays an important role in shaping American consumer culture behavior. Traditional methods of advertising like T.V and radio have shifted in a form of influencers. With attention to prominent women like Kylie Jenner or Alliyah Jay, who have advertised a lifestyle that many American consumers yearn to have. This desire to be a billionaire or a makeup mogul has been advertised frequently by influencers and for some consumers have been obtained through buying.

For an average American consumer when undergoing life’s tribulations, advertising can touch the emotional capacity which creates a sense of euphoria after seeing the advertisement. For example, when you go on social media, advertisements captures the attention of an individual by relating to them with things in their life that they want such as travel tickets, and if your a millennial health care for parents. The advertisements in America have also played a highly motivating role in helping individuals start a new journey. Ultimately, advertising plays on fleeting American consumer desires, satisfying a moment of social and personal experiences.

Therefore, advertisements role has been to keep the moment going through different mediums, and socially connect individuals and for some, be able to trust certain brands, products, or services. Advertising builds a global community where one will feel a moment for a lifetime. As long as an individual feels self-satisfaction in buying things, advertising will find a motive to create the need to feel interconnected and embed a reason to buy in American consumers. 

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