Negative & Positive Effects of Advertising

Searching for a better understanding of advertising as a communication model has led to some interesting research. As an engineer, I naturally want to apply science and mathematics to the equation. Newton’s third law of motion combined with the Chaos Theory comes to mind when analyzing the findings. The question “what are the positive and negative effects of advertising on the world” is still the motivation. I’ve tried to include information to serve as a starting point for the unpublished research. So far, I’ve discovered one consistent anomaly and constant feedback loop. The viewing audience’s free will is still a measure of incalculable value. Yes, marketers and advertisers have a surplus of tools to help nudge, persuade and even influence a person’s buying habits. From the classics like data derived from demographic, geographic and ethnographic sources to more forward thinking solutions like facial recognition, body language biometrics and even genetic profiling.

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Social Benefits

Economic Benefits

Since the late 1800’s psychologist and scholars alike have been studying the ways in which advertisements can affect a person mentally and emotionally. The effects that advertising has on society have a long and heated debate, with a wide array of opinions on the subject. Opinions range from the advertising executive, who believes that their company is doing society a favor by providing them with valuable information, to the market researcher, who admits to their sneaky practices. Members of society, ranging from the parent to the psychologist, all have their reasons to back up why they believe that the prominence of advertising affects some sectors of society (be it children, a woman’s image, or a consumer society) in some way, negatively or positively. John E. Calf, a former Trade Commission Economist, argues the point that advertising is beneficial to society. He admits that the main objective of advertising is to persuade the consumer to buy a particular product, but Calfee believes that the communication between sellers and buyers are useful to the consumer. He references specific ad campaigns as examples to demonstrate the ways in which advertisements deliver what he believes to be “useful” information for the public. Calfee describes the ways in which companies bring certain issues to the public’s attention in order to get the public to realize the benefits that a certain product possesses.

Public Health

Comparative Advertising

Free Entertainment

Capital Investment

Company Image

Mass Communications

Universal Appeal

Now for the flip side of the advertising coin.


False Images

Unrealistic Expectations

Promotion of Harmful Products

Political Influence

Corrupting the Youth

Environment Threats

Consumer behavior which is motivated by affective desires has been termed “hedonic consumption” (Holbrook and Hirschman 1982, Hirschman and Holbrook 1982). The basis of this approach is that the search for emotional arousal is an important motivation for individuals when selecting products to consume. Implicit to this perspective is the assumption that consumers consciously or unconsciously utilize the buying process to manage their moods.

Final Thoughts:


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“The Positive Effects of Advertising.” The Positive Effects of Advertising | N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.

“Criticism of Advertising.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Jan. 2017. <>.

N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2017. <>.

“Political Advertising: What Effect on Commercial Advertisers.” Political Advertising: What Effect on Commercial Advertisers. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <>.

“Information for Consumers (Drugs) — The Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising.”Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. <>.

“The Effects of Advertisements on Consumers’ Mood States: An Interactive Perspective.”The Effects of Advertisements on Consumers’ Mood States: An Interactive Perspective by Ronald Paul Hill. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

Bonnie, Richard J. “Alcohol in the Media: Drinking Portrayals, Alcohol Advertising, and Alcohol Consumption Among Youth.” Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. <>.

Inventive, Advertising, Engineer, @robotads @greendroneads @oohphotographer