1.O’Neil mention in his article, ‘The Language of Advertising,” advertisers create in consumers a sense of need for products. I think it is not ethical for advertisers to create such a sense when their products are generic and do not differ from those of the competition. It is common that consumers don’t have too much knowledge about the products that they are buying, and they relay on the information that are provided by the company. If the information is not accurate and correct, which mean the advertisers deceive customers to buy things. For example, some gasoline companies claim that their gasoline is more efficient than the other brands’.
Not everyone is a chemical engineer, who can check the formula of the gasoline to see if it is more efficient or not. Also, we often heard that from advertisements that bottle water is natural spring water, however, it that true? I am sure that there is not that much of natural spring water. We expect facts and not exaggerated lies from advertisers. It is understandable that advertisers are trying to sale their products, but there many ways to achieve their goal other than lying about what their products are.
2.O’Neill anticipate potential objections to his defense of advertising at the end of his article. Some of these objections are advertisements are reflections of society, they are the mirrors of the fears, quirk, and aspiration of the society, and encourage support for diversity. O’Neill claim that our society is not perfect, so as the advertisements that we created. I agree with O’Neill that the advertisements are the reflections of our society and people in our society.
We see many of the advertisements use the sexual element to attract consumers because sex is one of human’s natural needs. Other advertisements use the appeal of prominence because living in such a competitive environment everyone wants to be better than others. For example, companies who sell drinks might advertise their products to students and their parents and promises that if you drink their products you will be smarter in school.
We don’t whether their products will really make students smarter or not, but a lot of parents and students will buy it because they want to be on top of everyone else. By looking at the advertisements, we already know what our society is fear of and needs. Also, like O’Neill said we can’t just blame and charge the advertisements for all the bad influences because we are actually the one making the decision on buying the products or not. So people are also responsible for educating themselves so that we won’t just follow the flow and listen to the advertisers.
3.There are several ways that language of advertising differs from other kinds of language. Language of advertising is always simple and short because people do not have the patient to think and listen to a long and complicated advertisement. Also, using simple language also can help advertisers to target to variety groups of people. For example applying the Fox Index equation, we can tell which group of people (with different age and education level) can understand the advertisement. Not only do language of advertising is simple and short, but also it repeats a lot. According to Answer.Com, “the average person needs to hear something twenty times before they truly learn it.”
The advertisers want their slogan to play repetitively in consumer’s mind and convince people to use their service or buy their products. Advertisements also use well-known celebrities to represent their products, so people can relate themselves more to the products because people want to be as famous and beauty as those celebrities. Another characteristic of language of advertising that I can think of is that it use ethos and pathos appeal more than logical appeal. In other words, advertisements try to move people emotional with stories and other factors.
4.O’Neill claims that celebrity endorsement of products is “fault” logic. I think what he means is that people will associate the products with the celebrity who sell them, however, those products might not have the effects of what of what the consumers wanted. For example, “Britney Spear drinks milk. She is a hottie.” People might want to drink milk too because they look as good as Britney Spear.
However, people forget that the milk might not be the only thing that make Britney Spear looks good, and her appearance can be base on genetic not what she drinks. People buy products sold by famous people because celebrity are the people we “know” and like, so we trust them and trust the products they sell. Also, people always compare themselves with celebrities, and they want to be as perfect as them, which is also the reason why people would like to use the products that a celebrity sell.
5.I think O’Neill’s introduction paragraph is effective. He uses questions to hook the readers. Readers might start thinking about why advertisements are so powerful and what do advertisers used to make those advertisements appeared to them and impressed them. In paragraph four he lists a few famous advertisements, which “people who grow up in western world” suppose to be very familiar with, this indicate that his audience is people from the Western world with age of 15-50 (because some of advertisements or slogan was created 15 years a ago, but others are at least 50 years ago). The attitude toward advertising that created in the introduction paragraph is curious and neutral. The author basically analysis what advertisements is and hook the readers to think about his questions. He doesn’t tell the readers his position about advertising (at the end he did defense advertising).