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The Effects of Advertising and Consumerism (Ages 15-17)

The Effects of Advertising and Consumerism (Ages 15-17)

This playlist explore the ways in which the mass media are used to spread the message of consumerism. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments.

Films in This Playlist Include
Sexy Inc. Our Children Under Influence
TV Sale
The Bronswick Affair
This is a Recorded Message
All the Right Stuff
The Truth Merchants

  • Sexy Inc. Our Children Under Influence (Youth Version)
    2007|26 min

    Are children being pushed prematurely into adulthood? Sophie Bissonnette’s documentary  Sexy inc. Our Children Under Influence – Youth Version analyzes the hypersexualization of our environment and its noxious effects on young people. Psychologists, teachers and school nurses criticize the unhealthy culture surrounding our children, where marketing and advertising are targeting younger and younger audiences and bombarding them with sexual and sexist images. These stereotypes treat girls of all ages as sexual objects, and exercise a damaging the effect on their identities. Because they see degrading images of sexuality on the Internet, some children confuse sexual relations with pornography. Sexy inc. suggests various ways of countering hypersexualization and the eroticization of childhood and invites us to rally against this  worrying phenomenon.

  • TV Sale
    1975|10 min

    This animated short is an entertaining and incisive satire on some of the material that is disgorged via the "boob tube." The opening pitch of the television salesman establishes the tone of this pithy film: a solid-state model guarantees high-quality entertainment, and programs are always designed around products, not spectators.

  • The Bronswik Affair
    1978|23 min

    This funny yet serious short film demonstrates the effectiveness of advertising and the marketing machine. Its comic appeal lies in the characters and the absurd situations they find themselves in, but it also shines a harsh light on our tendency towards needless consumerism prompted by a steady flow of commercials.

  • This Is a Recorded Message
    1973|10 min

    This experimental animated short takes a critical look at consumerism in a material world. Thousands of cut-out ads are presented in increasingly fragmented, rapid succession. The film's disorienting and hectic pace seeks to interrogate the extent to which seductive advertising is a shockingly strong force in shaping our desires, needs, and lives in contemporary capitalism.

  • All the Right Stuff
    1997|22 min

    "I always have a good time. Lots of teenagers hang out at the mall. It's like walking around in a big TV set." Brendan, 13.

    All the Right Stuff is about kids, malls, media and money. This video puts the role of youth in today's corporate economy into perspective.

    Join Brendan on a tour through the local mall. With two hundred dollars of birthday money in his pocket, he's ready to do some serious spending on music, clothes, and video games.

    Teenagers represent a huge and lucrative market for advertisers. They may work in low-paying service sector jobs, but as Brendan says "I pay no rent. My income is one hundred percent disposable."

    Intercut with Brendan's shopping trip are interviews with shopkeepers, young people who talk about the pressure on them to consume and to sport all the right logos, and members of the bands Thrush Hermit and Hip Club Groove on how the music and clothing industries target young people.

    With poor job prospects and little access to the political process, teens come to see themselves primarily as consumers. It's a self-image marketers are only too happy to encourage and exploit.

  • Truth Merchants
    1999|45 min

    They are the sultans of spin. And in a media-driven age, they exert enormous power. Spin-doctors, lobbyists, flaks--they have become important and often reviled players in the shaping of public opinion. No major corporation or government body is without them. Truth Merchants enters the twilight world of public relations--part propaganda and part showbiz and advertising--and explores the symbiotic relationship between PR people and journalists. An executive gets lessons in public speaking from a communications consultant. NASA does damage control on an unsuccessful space mission involving dead lab animals. A PR agent for Starbucks receives an industry "oscar" for having carefully shepherded her client through a difficult period of public scrutiny. Truth Merchants provides a disturbing and intriguing and behind-the-scenes look at the growing influence of the PR professionals and the journalists they court--an "uneasy alliance."