SOSC 218

Week 7.5 Lecture

Reflecting on Our Course and Revisiting the Impacts of Advertising

In Week 7.5 we’ll review some of the key concepts from the term. Throughout our weeks we’ve address a diverse set of topics. From defining mass media and social media to analyzing advertising, this term was one of growth, development and application. Below you will find the key objectives that we addressed in our class:

  1. Analyze major ethical issues in social and mass media.
  2. Evaluate impact of day-to-day social media and mass media exposure on interpersonal relationships.
  3. Examine the potential of social media and mass media as forces for social change.
  4. Apply ethical principles and theories to social media and mass media advertising.
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Earlier in the course we examined some of the types of advertising and the ethical implications associated with them. We learned that persuasion is a common advertising technique. The purpose of these theories are that, “the more people learn and remember from an ad, the more persuasive an ad will be” (Unknown, 2003). In old cigarette ads, we often see images of a doctor explaining why smoking is relaxing, safe or beneficial to one’s health. This can be considered to be a lie of influence. This is when an advertiser tries to sway public opinion with positive statements or endorsements (The Balance). We know that the use of a trusted of a figure can have a major impact on how the public perceives the product. The ethical dilemma comes when we are left to wonder just how honest these claims are.

Take a moment and think about an advertisement that you find to be interesting, intriguing or controversial. Who do you think is the target market for the product you picked? A target market is the demographic (or group) that a product or service is marketing towards. For example, a sweet children’s cereal like Lucky Charms is targeted towards a young demographic. The box is bright, the product is sweet and the advertising is centered on a cartoon. Are there any ethical concerns with this?

For information on advertising, click the following links.
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As we discussed throughout the course, the media has a far reach of influence. We can use social media to connect on both personal and professional levels, mass media to expand our world view, and integrated media to customize our experience. That said, we also learned that digital media can pose a risk of separation and social isolation. They key takeaway from this is learning to create balance. There’s a wonderful saying of “All good things in moderation”….it applies very well to our new media experience. Our digitally rich world provides us with both opportunity and challenge. After working through our weeks, I’m confident that you are equipped to utilize these methods to your advantage.
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Over the past weeks we talked a great deal about the ethical issues and implications that we might encounter. Mass media and social media usage is wrought with “grey areas” of moral ambiguity. As you navigate these concepts in the real world, keep in mind the old saying that we should “question authority”. Just because something is written, doesn’t always mean that it is true. The media is not an omnipresent, all seeing, all knowing being. Rather, we see that the media can be a reflection of society, a forum for personal agendas and sometimes a catalyst for social action. Aim to exercise strong character, good ethical judgment and solid critical thinking skills in your interactions with new media. It can be a complex jungle but one that we can learn to navigate.
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You’ve made it! Our course wraps up very soon. I would like to thank each of you for your hard work, focus and kindness to each other. It is my sincere hope that you will apply what you have learned to the world around you, your career goals, and your personal objectives. It was a pleasure working with each of you. I’m sure you’ll each achieve all that you set out for.

Key Points

  1. Analyze major ethical issues in social and mass media.
  2. Evaluate impact of day-to-day social media and mass media exposure on interpersonal relationships.
  3. Examine the potential of social media and mass media as forces for social change.
  4. Apply ethical principles and theories to social media and mass media advertising.

Challenge Yourself

  • Consider the key points from our course. Which did you find to be the most interesting?
  • Locate two resources in our Virtual Library (or from an online source) that relate to the key points you selected.
  • Reflect on the connections you find between these resources and your own life/career goals.
  • Discuss your findings with a friend, family member, or co-worker.

References

Text:
Author Unknown (2003). Persuasion Theory. Advertising Age. Retrieved on September 17, 2016, from: http://adage.com/article/adage-encyclopedia/persuasion-theory/98959/

Images:
Lucky Strikes. Digital Image. DesignTaxi. DesignTaxi. Web. September 17, 2016.

People Holding Hands. Digital Image. LearningFirst. LearningFirst. Web. September 17, 2016.

Question Authority. Digital Image. NorthernSun. NorthernSun. Web. September 17, 2016.

Thank You. Digital Image. FreeLargeImages. FreeLargeImages. Web. September 17, 2016.