The media are the major means by which we construct an understanding of the lives, values and levels of other individuals. Advertising is one of the most ever-present manifestations of popular culture, and yet it has seldom been examined as a form of popular culture in its own right. This essay will examine how advertising companies manipulate us, as a consumer. At the White House one day in 1992, then President George Bush impulsively took charge of a visiting group of schoolchildren and took them on a lengthy tour of the interior.
When the children finally exited, reporters immediately adhered around them and quizzed the youngsters about their special tour, and its singular guide. “He kept going and going and going,” responded 1 1-year-old Lonnie Thomas, and then finding himself in the middle of an advertising slogan, he finished with- “just like an Energize bunny” (Rosenthal, 1992, p. 140. ) The Energize bunny; are there any people left who do not carry in their minds a picture of the pink rabbit, marching everlastingly to the beat of its own bass drum?
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Through a mammoth and successful advertising campaign that began in 1989, the Eveready Battery Company and its advertising agencies, have managed to insert an unforgettable image of the icon into the consciousness of millions of people all over the world. Sensing a general awareness of the Energize bunny, young Lonnie could be assured that his characterization would be readily communicated not only to those correspondents immediately visible to him but, through them, to the lions of distant newspaper readers all over the world.
Some concerned with the roles of advertising and popular culture in everyday life might be troubled with the connotation of Lonnie Thomas’ particular choice to describe his president. For Eveready, they have created, and displayed, and advanced a symbol that has perhaps rivaled other symbols and metaphors. Of all the conceivable toys that might have served their purposes, Eveready chose one that came with an extensive, and for this duty, largely useful set of links.