Media: Then & Now
Everywhere you look you are bombarded by an advertisement. Advertisements are ways to attract audiences to many different products. Most products sell because of their advertisements on billboards, in magazines, on television and on the radio. Whether you are enjoying a day of shopping or driving to work, advertisements surround you. It seems we never get a break from this publication, we see them so much that we have grown immune to their presence. Over the years, advertisements have changed rapidly. How have they changed? There are many different ways. By reading Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death; he has mentioned how advertisements and campaigning has changed with the use of media.
“The written word endures, the spoken word disappears; and that is why writing is closer to the truth than speaking” (Postman 21). During the early 1900s, advertisements were much different to what they are now. By looking at the 1910 underwear ad, they have given what they are trying to sell with multiple paragraphs about one pair of underwear. Back then, companies were trying to get their point across very clear while the newer ads have no words whatsoever. The words were longer and the advertisements had one to two paragraphs. The ads had long paragraphs because many people didn’t own a TV at this time, so they turned to magazines and newspapers for information.
The wording became shorter for the clothing ads in the mid 1900s. Now the clothes advertisements in magazines have little to no words at all. Clothing advertisements remain the same in the way that they advertise the need for escape. By looking at the underwear ad of 2009, the people are not wearing much clothing in the picture while in the older ad as if they are fully clothed. As time has gone by, advertisements for underwear have gotten more and more revealing. Both advertisements have little color.
“It is also true that by 1885, the photograph and telegraph had been invented, the advance guard of a new epistemology that would put an end to the Empire of Reason” (Page 48). The graphics in clothing advertisements in magazines have also changed drastically throughout the years. In the early 1900s, the clothing magazine ads had mostly females in them. The women wore a lot of jewelry and had fancy hats and clothes on. The people in the ads in this era were looking away from the viewer’s eye and focusing on their own life. In the mid to late 1900s, men began to show up more in the ads. A lot of the graphics were also hand drawn. The ads were more interesting in this era, in my opinion, because I get a glimpse of what life was like back then.
Since the mass majority of people interact with brands and companies on social media networks, most advertisements have switched from flyers, ads in newspapers, and in phonebooks to mainly online and in pop-ups online. Since smart phones came out, the use of social media has grown. As long as advertising continues, which it will, or nothing will be able to be sold, things will always change.
Politics have changed over the years but in some ways they are the same. “Meanwhile, former President Richard Nixon, who once claimed he lost an election because he was sabotaged by make up men, has offered Senator Edward Kennedy advice on how to make a serious run for the presidency; lose twenty pounds” (Postman 4). To win a president election, the president needs to make him looked well or other wise people will not even consider voting for him if they look “obese or dirty”. If you don’t the media will tear the person who is running for president a part. The candidate needs to look clean and thin otherwise they will have a hard time running.
As time goes on and on, whether it has to do