Buy or not buy


Buy Or Not To Buy

When is the last time you saw your favorite advertisement of healthy food, perfume, bags, mobile services, computer and etc.? This morning? Every time? Right now? Yes…we are doing it every day. We pay attention to the “beautiful life”, we memorize slogans, we follow “the advertisement dream”; we are influenced by these colorful examples of how to live, how to study, how to look beautiful, but they don’t teach us how to be in harmony with our thoughts and yourself as well. Moreover young people cannot control their emotions to buy or get something. Let’s find some aspects that will help us to understand how media shows young people how to live and act throughout TV advertisement and how advertisement companies motivate teenagers to make their choice of buying something.

We can see different types of ads every day and it clearly shows us how to make a decision and how to live in a modern world. We, young people, believe that TV can always show what’s happening in the world, and we can watch the news and educate our selves; and here’s the reason why we tend to believe that everything on TV is really true. According to Laws, “The average teenager sees an estimate of more than 30,000 commercials a year – that works out to at least 65 commercials per day.”  For example, “The bright skin” shows us the effectiveness of the product, “the white teeth” draw our attention to the gum or toothpaste, and “the half-naked girl or guy” shows us the benefits of youth and carefree style of life.

Do you remember the young model Adriana Lima (Figure 1) who advertises the Victoria’s Secret underwear? Because she started her carrier in 15, young girls would like to look like her; they started to buy VS bras, corsets and pants, moreover after the pictures where she posed with cigarette in backstage, fans started to copy her, and they started to smoke. Victoria’s Secret’s advertisements, where young, hot, skinny girls walking on the street wearing an underwear make everybody think that “It’s sexy and hot”. In its turn it influences young girls to follow these clichés. Losing the weight to look skinny, using tons of creams to look natural and anticellulite lotions to hide some skin defects, drinking beer and smoking will never help to make millions of fans if the person doesn’t have own attitude and personality.

Fig. 1. Adriana Lima.


In 2010 Victoria’s Secret campaign slogan was “One gift. Thousand fantasies”. Ads educate teenagers to take advantage of their youth and sexuality by watching such scenes where young blond girl with thick lips lying on the bed or brunette teenage girl licking the finger in front of the mirror; it provokes to have sexual experience earlier than it supposed to be. It presented the carefree style of life where young girl [usually teenager] have to look sexy and don’t think about consequences. Young “not-well-educated girls” believe that wearing these corsets or beautiful “incredible push-up bra” give them a chance to look sexy, skinny, hot and be confident. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. study, “Not when one takes into account that female models and actresses are twenty-three percent thinner than the average American woman and thinner than ninety-five percent of the female population.”

The ideal of sexuality develops in guy’s mind as well; they start imagining Adriana Lima in purple corset on high heels or Gisele Bundchen in red strings and angel wings when his girlfriend buys underwear in VS store; their vision of reality will be destroyed by personages from magazines, TV and print media advertisement. They start to compare the “ideal” body and “real” body, and usually they don’t like the reality.

But buying the underwear is not enough to look confident and “feel and sell your sexuality” because “The obstacle to obtaining a dream job was my skin”, called one skin care company. Hundreds of young people look to the cover of magazines and want to find the “right” skin products and decorative cosmetics; they want to make their skin perfect. But the main reason for using a lot of decorative cosmetics and skin products is to be more “confident”; it means to look older and wiser than they [teenagers] are.  Teenagers don’t want to realize that it’s a hard work of make up artists, hair stylists, photographers and computer professionals. Dale Ahmadi, the web designer wrote in his blog, “People are ugly sometimes… They need a whole team and 10 hours to look perfect; if forty professionals will work with you, you will be perfect on the cover too.”

We always could remember TV ads where one girl was shy of her acne and her girlfriend suggested to use this “special cream” and “guy of her dreams” will look at her; it clearly demonstrates that if you want to hook somebody, you have to use this or that cream, at worst he couldn’t see your personality behind your acne. Teenagers believe that buying skin care product or using decorative cosmetics, they will feel more beautiful and perfect “Because you [they] worth it!” According to Marina Shoshina, the makeup artist, “Today 20% of perfume consumers are young people from 12-17 years old and 58% of decorative cosmetics.” Based on Tihomirova’s study “Young” cosmetics to youth”, “Every teenager wants to look older and wiser than his/her peers because it’s youthful maximalism [the tendency to exaggerate every situation]. Every second girl between 11-16 years old uses at least one decorative products such as lipstick, lip gloss or mascara.”

Besides “the perfect skin” and “sexy underwear”, young people want to look fashionable and follow an ideal look from the cover magazine or TV shows. The worst thing in TV ads is a provocation to teenagers to have sex, moreover to have same gender relationships. Armani Exchange ads campaign slogan in 2010 was “Share the love”. “The ads campaign was awesome, excellent and exactly what people want – sex. Models made me happy; they are so sexy and professional. What about clothes? I don’t care…” said Arseniy Pervakov, Russian media critic. Besides the pictures where you can observe “almost kissing” heterosexual pair or girl putting her hand into the guy’s pants, you can see gays and lesbians touching each other (Figure 2). Some people could call it as an art because we accept the hard work of professionals, light technicians, photographers, directors and etc., but young people couldn’t understand it; they accept only “the vision picture.” They want to act like these models; they want to look like them; they want to have perfect, ideal, standard blonde or brunette girl next to them. Ads call young people to act like models, lying on the beach, kissing, touching, demonstrate passion and show sexuality to your partner. Ads like Armani Exchange or Victoria’s Secret or millions of other companies destroy the moral development in teenager’s mind. They [companies] call them to wear like adults, act like adults, do some things like adults, but young people cannot realize that it’s the whole system of business, psychological tricks and billions and billions of dollars.


Fig. 2. Armani Exchange ads campaign.


Psychologically young people are not ready to assess their actions of choosing the merchandise. As the result advertisement companies use it to increase the number of consumers and profit, which increases the efficiency of the nation’s economy. Companies use psychological tricks by using “magical” words as “wealth”, “best”, “life”, “better” and etc., by sharing phrases as “Because you worth it!” (Maybelline), “Share the Love” (Armani Exchange), “Be a Pepper!” (Dr. Pepper), “The best a man can get” (Gillette), “The daily diary of the American dream” (Wall Street Journal) (Figure 3). These “magical words” direct us to our dreams, to things that we expect from life. According to Russian Youth Association, “The first consumer starts to form his vision to “reality” in first six years of his life”. Slogans, colorful pictures and video ads play the main role of forming the idea of environment.

Figure 3. Key words in commercials.


Advertisement companies show us the ideal life in two floors house, couple of black and color cars, two kids and beautiful wife; they didn’t want to sell the certain products, their goal is to sell this specific style of life. They manipulate people “to buy” happiness in BMW car, cosiness in the furniture salons, family in the modern apartments or houses. Pursuing to “the right life” people spend hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars to reach this happiness, this comfort, this family and this life.  For example, in Calvin Klein commercial, Scarlett Johansson said, “Just one moment can change everything”. She positions the simplicity in choosing the partner, and it could negatively influenced young people because it will be easy to kiss and have the different partner every time like in their favorite commercial.

Some slogans as “Just Do It!” (Nike), “No bottles to break – just hearts” (Arpege Perfume) or “You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine” (Charles Atlas) can mean a lot to people who are desperate or unsatisfied from their style of life; they motivate people to buy and reach what they miss. For example, if teenagers [boys] are bulled in high schools or other public places, they tend to fill their “soul” by video games, clothes or computer devices; moreover, girls start to lose their weight, use make-up and buy more accessories and clothes to look “cool” among peers. According to the Teenage Research Unlimited, teenagers spent $140 billion in 1998, which is 14 percent more than in 1997 (Berkowitz & Evangelista, 1999).

Because young people spend more time alone [because of working hours of their parents], advertisers successfully use it in their products; for examples iPhones “sell” closeness to parents or friends; refrigerators [Samsung] and furniture [IKEA] “sell” cohesion between family members; perfume and accessories “sell” easiness of finding the partner. Every product in commercial can give us everything what we want, but it’s only our choice to pick the right one from the million of products. Because of the lack of tenderness and family warmth people tend to fill emptiness by buying sometimes, unnecessary products instead of connecting with the “real products” – people.

In most cases, young people don’t want to “buy” this certain merchandise; they want to buy this style of life, “this look”; they want to impress others and get a talent. Take athletics, for example. Nike ads are accused of implying that their shoes will give a consumer athletic ability, right form of his body or popularity. Teenagers believe in it and start to buy it. Using celebrities in commercials is a great trick as well. Consumers would like to buy the product from the famous person who advertises it than from the person they don’t know. Because you see this character in the movie or TV show, you tend to believe them more, said psychologists. It clearly shows that companies use a lot of tricks to increase sells. But the powerful trick is “selling the life”.

Advertisers sell the certain style of life; for example, Irina Shayk, one of the most beautiful and claimed models in the world now, posted naked to American Exchange campaign, and doubled the profit of the company. The interesting thing in this print and TV commercial [pictures] that she was naked, but she advertises clothes. The most powerful thing in advertisement is consumer’s vision acceptance. Most of young people follow clichés and stereotypes to be like the general mass; they buy the goal not the product.

Thanks to advertisers they presented the ideal life of the person, and some of young people want to follow and get it no matter of the price; they sell ideas, images and other stereotypes that connect with the product.

When young people make a decision of purchasing the product, they rely on availability heuristics (commercials, prints or news). Because of frequencies of commercials, children and teenagers tend to remember some facts, slogans and stereotypes about some product, and this fact play the key role of buying the certain item. Advertisers companies work in a pair with psychologists, sociologists and marketers and now it’s not a big secret that selling is the whole business pyramid where products are tools and consumers [teenagers] are almost free “not-well-educated or not-well-understand-ed” money.


To avoid clichés of carefree style of life or easiness in finding the partner, we have to follow some rules. We have to understand that buying the “super magical” product doesn’t solve our problems; moisturizing cream will never give us the youth back or food meds don’t burn our fat. Understanding of “right” using and purchasing some offers, can help us to avoid illusion and save time and money.

We have to think twice before “swallow” promises, beautiful and colorful packages and discounts. It’s absolutely a psychological trick to increase profit, and we should never forget that the whole team of professionals could make something “magical” from nothing.