The Instigator
Crusader
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Mk616
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

The Importance of Advertisement

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Crusader
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,599 times Debate No: 17131
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

Crusader

Pro

*Before we begin I would like to clarify that this is my first official debate on this website and�I am still learning the ropes so I ask that you forgive me if I mess up on anything. Any corrections are appreciated.*

Since the the very dawn of marketing advertisement has played a crucial role in civilization as we know it. In this debate I will be arguing that advertisement is an important cultural aspect of modern society. My opponent will have to prove that it is nothing more than a method used to convince the public to spend money on something considered unnecessary, or in other words:

"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need." [Will Rogers]

Round 1 will be for acceptance. My opponent may also take advantage of this time to ask question and clear up any doubts.
I thank you(the reader)for your time and I also thank whoever my future opponent may be, good luck.
Mk616

Con

I accept your challenge. Welcome to debate.org! This is only my second debate here, so we're both fairly new to this. Thank you for posting this debate, and good luck to you!

Two questions:

Would I be correct in assuming that we will be disregarding semantic arguments?

Am I correct in assuming that my goal is to prove that advertising is only important for unnecessary things?

If you could, so my questions don't make you waste characters in your initial argument, please post your answers to my questions in the comments section. I wouldn't want to limit the space you have to make your argument with initial questions like these. Thank you, and again, good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Crusader

Pro

I. Introduction

I would like to once again thank the contender for accepting this debate. Before we really start I would also like to clarify that I shall be using my own definition of "necessity" as posted in the comments section. I am sorry if this will cause any complications but I do believe that this definition better fits the intended framework of our debate. I will be presenting this portion of the debate by explaining in detail several arguments that will support my idea that advertisement plays an important cultural, financial, and intellectual role in civilization.

II. Arguments

1. The Company, the Customer, and the Advertisement

There is a reason why advertisement is so common these days. The reason is that advertisement plays a vital role in general commerce. Though we may not think about it so much, ads are just as important for the consumer as it is for the supplier. For starters ads prove that a certain company or business is interested in pleasing the customer. Advertisements are also a good source of information for a potential buyer who may not know much about the company or the products it offers. It also let's people know about a resource or service they might eventually need. Ads also inform the customer about any new improvements to a product. I also believe that advertisement is the greatest tool and source of of expression a company can posses. Through advertisement a manufacturer can directly provide a customer with useful information eliminating the need for a middle man and allowing the customer to decide for themselves on what they want.

2.Advertisement's Part in Our Country
Advertisement has also been a huge part of our country's tradition and culture. Advertisement as a whole has opened many people's minds to new world views.We must also understand that ads only promote sales and business which is an essential part of any free trade government. Many public notices are used for moral and patriotic purposes as well. For example: during WWI a large percentage of the funds the U.S. obtained came from war bonds. The idea of selling liberty bonds was successful almost exclusively because of the amount of advertisement used to back it up.What would have happened if the United States had not advertised their bonds? Just as well most non profit organizations depend almost entirely on ads in order to be recognized by the general public. Most public service ads are important in educating and informing the people.In the same way advertisement plays an important role in our country's culture and history, America being a nation of consumers. Coca Cola, for example, has become synonymous with American culture and tradition.Advertising also Promotes advancements in commerce and allows wider use of a certain product in the future. I will use an example: Today cars are use by a great percentage of the American population. Yet this would not have been possible without Henry Ford and his Model T. Ford made buying cars possible for the common American family. But in order to accomplish this Ford had to transform Detroit into a massive publicity machine and he could not have done this without the help of advertisement.

3.Advertisement and the Economic System
Needless to say our system of publicity and advertisement help benefit our economy in every way possible.In a capitalist system of government the economy lives off private and individual trade and advertisement promotes this. Advertisement is also a factor that is vital in the growth of any business big or small, if America's businesses grow so will it's finances. Also in this difficult recession one of the most important factors of recovery is employment, so think about it this way:
* Advertisement and Publicity= Prosperous Businesses= Increase in Job Openings= Financal Recovery*

And let's not forget, if one company prospers it's competitors will want to catch up to it eventually causing a chain reaction and a huge outburst of competition ultimately favoring our economy.

So thats why I believe that advertisement does it's part in progressing a nation and it's people forward.
No matter how we look at it we need advertisement.

I thank you for your time(and I hope you pardon me for making any mistakes). I wish my opponent good luck on his next argument.
Mk616

Con

Thank you to my opponent for clarifying on the meaning of "necessity" for this debate. There shouldn't be any complications, and I thank him for his consideration of my suggestion.

My argument against the importance of advertising consists of two main parts: first, that advertising is unnecessary for things which are truly significant; second, that advertising causes harm within a society.

1) Advertising is unnecessary for that which is important.

Human beings are acutely aware of what they need. A starving man will actively seek out food, or the means to acquire food. The same is true for people in social situations. If something is significant to a particular culture, a person who is a part of that culture is will invariably seek to acquire whatever it is that is culturally significant. A good example of this in our society is transportation. The need for mechanical transportation of some kind, whether by car, bike, or some other method, has become a necessity in our culture as our cities become more spread out and the need to traverse larger and larger distances as quickly as possible becomes more prevalent. As such, people invariably seek out efficient modes of transportation. This can also be seen in an ideological sense, particularly with regard to atheists and homosexuals in the United States. While some of these individuals never experience any particular drive to conform to the social norms of faith and "traditional relationships", the majority of atheists and homosexuals in America feel, at some point in their lives, a drive to conform to the culturally significant ideas of faith and "traditional relationships".

Now, what does this mean for advertising? Well, advertising is in many cases, argued to be a method of providing the public with information. However, if people are already seeking out the things that they need, advertising is entirely unnecessary for necessities such as food, water, power, and so forth. Further, if people are already seeking out what they need to be successful in a cultural, financial, or intellectual standpoint, advertising becomes even less important, as people involved in particular activities will already have knowledge of what is necessary for their particular field.

I can foresee my opponent disputing this point. After all, what about culturally significant items such as the iPod? It is entirely true that the success of the iPod (and similar items) was due in large part to advertising. However, at the time the iPod was released, would it really have been considered a necessity? It wouldn't have even been exceptionally significant in a cultural sense at that time. And this brings us to advertising's single aspect of importance: advertising creates "necessities", as my opponent has defined them. Advertising takes things which would otherwise be insignificant and/or unnecessary, and through marketing tools, makes these things into cultural "necessities". Advertising for food is unnecessary; and yet we see ads for food services every day. Why? Because the brands (McDonald's, Chili's, etc) are attempting to become "culturally significant", and in doing so, draw customers to spend money at their particular locations. There is no particular need to eat at McDonald's; indeed, there are more than a few compelling reasons not to eat there. However, their ads work to provide what is essentially propaganda for a particular product while ignoring everything negative aspect of the product.

Take, for instance, the Cheetos ad at the top of this post. Nothing in the ad gives you any information about the product other than that Cheetos are something which you consume. It presents little valuable information on the subject, but rather is intended to attach the idea of the brand to something entertaining. As such, we can see advertising at work, not providing information, or providing any particularly important service regarding the product, but rather working to get the consumer to spend their money on something which they have no need for. And any potentially useful information an ad provides about a product is also placed among a series of biases and marketing tools intended to encourage the consumer to buy one product in particular as opposed to a competing product. These biases and marketing strategies make it difficult to perceive particularly useful information, and result in ads which are often misleading, or at the very least, completely useless in determining differences between products.



2) Advertising does demonstrable harm

2a) Advertising promotes excessive and unnecessary spending

Do you really need to spend extra money on the iPhone 4 when you already have an iPhone 3? Do you really need that new car when yours still runs just fine? Advertising is aimed at one thing in particular: the consumer's wallet. If the consumer is not spending money, the advertising is not working as it should. However, for some products, this presents a problem. Consumers already have products which can perform the same basic functions as the newer products a company may be producing. As such, a company's ad campaigns must, at times, focus on not only promoting a particular product, but also to convince the public that the old product is obsolete. This ultimately leads to consumers spending excessive amounts of money to buy products which they do not actually need. Add that to hard economic times, and it should be fairly obvious why this unnecessary spending is harmful.

2b) Advertising promotes spending on harmful products

"I'm Lovin' It". The motto of McDonald's. The advertising for McDonald's tends to show exceptionally happy people taking a bite out of a Big Mac, or happily consuming a McFlurry. And all these people look healthy. And yet, if you go to a McDonald's, what you see is obviously different. The majority of regular customers at McDonald's and other fast food chains are exceptionally unhealthy. They tend to be overweight; many are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Most all of them are at high risk of heart disease. And they are all spending their money on food products (I use the term loosely) which are slowly but surely killing them. McDonald's advertising shows none of this. There is no warning that every Big Mac you eat gets you one step closer to a heart attack at the age of 30. Advertising for things like this is often misleading, and in the case of the food market, misleading advertising can be extremely harmful.

2c) Advertising is damaging to happiness within a society

What is the best thing about TiVo and DVR? Is it that you can re-watch programs over and over again? Or pause shows so you don't miss anything? These things are nice, but the greatest thing about DVR technology is simply this: the ability to skip TV ads. This was actually a major concern back when TiVo was first released (http://arstechnica.com...). But the fact is, most people don't want to view ads when they are trying to watch TV. The fact that DVR makes watching ads unnecessary has been one of the biggest draws to the technology, simply because people hate ads.

If you need more convincing that ads are damaging to a society's happiness and well being, take the example of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2007, the city banned almost all forms of outdoor advertising. Despite this, the city is still a booming metropolis. And the population of the city has overall been pleased with the results. The elimination of outdoor ads even brought attention to more pressing problems in the society, such as the prevalence of shantytowns in some areas of the city. (http://www.adbusters.org...)

In conclusion, advertising is necessary to our society in the same way that cancerous cells are necessary to a person with cancer: the person wouldn't be the same without them, but really, would that be such a bad thing?
Debate Round No. 2
Crusader

Pro

http://m.youtube.com...

http://m.youtube.com...

I thank my opponent for responding and accepting my terms. I will form my argument by attempting to refute the contender's principle points and statements.

1."If something is significant to a particular culture, a person who is a part of that culture is will invariably seek to acquire whatever it is that is culturally significant. A good example of this in our society is transportation. The need for mechanical transportation of some kind, whether by car, bike, or some other method, has become a necessity in our culture as our cities become more spread out and the need to traverse larger and larger distances as quickly as possible becomes more prevalent."

I agree with my opponent on this. But even if you look at it that way advertisements are still vastly necessary when trying to acquire something culturally significant such as a mode of transportation. Advertisements help�you know what you need exactly, it aids you by providing certain necessary information you may need in the search for that specific item. For example; let's say I'm in the process of purchasing a pickup truck, but I can't decide between a Ford or a Chevrolet. After obtaining the useful information I needed from several reliable ads, I was able to make my decision. This is a process which is always occurring, advertisement helps and affects us constantly. If you are searching for a specific product an ad can do nothing but help you, in fact all it's doing is providing you with additional information. So one of the only ways a person can know how to obtain what is culturally significant is through advertisement.

2."advertising creates "necessities", as my opponent has defined them. Advertising takes things which would otherwise be insignificant and/or unnecessary, and through marketing tools, makes these things into cultural "necessities". Advertising for food is unnecessary; and yet we see ads for food services every day. Why? Because the brands (McDonald's, Chili's, etc) are attempting to become "culturally significant", and in doing so, draw customers to spend money at their particular locations. There is no particular need to eat at McDonald's; indeed, there are more than a few compelling reasons not to eat there. However, their ads work to provide what is essentially propaganda for a particular product while ignoring everything negative aspect of the product."

All McDonalds could be trying to do is show you the benefits of eating there, you are not forced to go. And visiting McDonald from time to time without spending over your budget will, like I had said before, �only help our country's financial position eventually helping us. Advertisement does not "form" necessities it only provides information. On all accounts fast food restaurants are only businesses trying to get ahead. Ads help these businesses by giving useful information to their customers.

3."Take, for instance, the Cheetos ad at the top of this post. Nothing in the ad gives you any information about the product other than that Cheetos are something which you consume. It presents little valuable information on the subject, but rather is intended to attach the idea of the brand to something entertaining. As such, we can see advertising at work, not providing information, or providing any particularly important service regarding the product, but rather working to get the consumer to spend their money on something which they have no need for"

Undoubtably that Cheetos ad caught your attention in some way, so hypothetically speaking maybe tomorrow you decide to buy a snack, but you don't know which one to get, then you remember that seemingly insignificantly amusing Cheetos commercial. Since you have no better idea you decide to go on and buy the bag of Cheetos. So if you really think about it at the end everyone benefits from ads. But not all ads are like that Cheetos ad. Not all ads are aimed at the consumers wallet and if they are then they are proving to be important at least in the country's finances. Watch the 2at the top of this argument, these commercials demonstrate greatly useful information. These ads may someday even save lives. If that is not important I don't know what is.

4. 2a) Advertising promotes excessive and unnecessary spending

Do you really need to spend extra money on the iPhone 4 when you already have an iPhone 3? Do you really need that new car when yours still runs just fine? Advertising is aimed at one thing in particular: the consumer's wallet. If the consumer is not spending money, the advertising is not working as it should. However, for some products, this presents a problem. Consumers already have products which can perform the same basic functions as the newer products a company may be producing. As such, a company's ad campaigns must, at times, focus on not only promoting a particular product, but also to convince the public that the old product is obsolete. This ultimately leads to consumers spending excessive amounts of money to buy products which they do not actually need. Add that to hard economic times, and it should be fairly obvious why this unnecessary spending is harmful.

Like I said before all that advertisement does is display information on a product or service for you to consider if you spend over your budget or if you feel "forced" to buy it because everyone seems to be doing it then that is entirely your fault.Ads are not personalized what may work for some may not work for others, maybe you already have the iPhone 3 and you don't have the money for a more advanced iPhone 4. But maybe someone else is considering the purchase of an iPhone, so maybe they would like to know the advantages of owning iPhone 4. This can greatly affect their views on what to buy, the consumer deserves the information.

"2b) Advertising promotes spending on harmful products

"I'm Lovin' It". The motto of McDonald's. The advertising for McDonald's tends to show exceptionally happy people taking a bite out of a Big Mac, or happily consuming a McFlurry. And all these people look healthy. And yet, if you go to a McDonald's, what you see is obviously different. The majority of regular customers at McDonald's and other fast food chains are exceptionally unhealthy. They tend to be overweight; many are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Most all of them are at high risk of heart disease. And they are all spending their money on food products (I use the term loosely) which are slowly but surely killing them. McDonald's advertising shows none of this. There is no warning that every Big Mac you eat gets you one step closer to a heart attack at the age of 30. Advertising for things like this is often misleading, and in the case of the food market, misleading advertising can be extremely harmful."
Once again McDonald is only demonstrating what could be enjoyable about their food if you have doubts then it is your responsibility to obtain more info. I don't find any McDonald commercial "misleading" they are not saying that their food (like any food by the way) won't possibly cause some health disorder if consumed excessively.

6.2c) Advertising is damaging to happiness within a society
If you need more convincing that ads are damaging to a society's happiness and well being, take the example of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2007, the city banned almost all forms of outdoor advertising.

Sao Pablo cannot be compared to the U.S. it is know especially for it's terrible economic state and gang violence. America is the #1 economy in the world and part of that success is thanks to all the advertisement we see daily. Major advertising gained popularity in the 1930s since then America's financial state set off on a gradual but stunning climb (http://upload.wikimedia.org...)

My opponents comparison of advertisement to cancer cells is exaggerated and untrue. Ads can better be compared to workers in a factory, common but important and all work together in order to accomplish something good.

It is as Winston Churchill once said:

"Advertising nourishes the consuming power of men. It sets up before a man the goal of a better home, better clothing, better food for himself and his family. It spurs individual exertion and greater production."
Mk616

Con

I'd like to apologize for the brevity of my final argument, but I simply don't have time to post a full response to my opponent. I would have put my argument together earlier, but I've been at work, making posting this problematic.

With 6 minutes left to respond, I will have to make my points very simply.

1. People don't usually buy vehicles based on ads. Instead, in order to make an informed decision, a consumer must actually take the time to do research on the vehicles. The ads are far too biased to provide reliable information. Same for the McDonalds point my opponent made.

Sadly I only have 2 minutes left now. I'll make this quick. Thank you to my opponent for the debate, and thanks in advance to the voters. I apologize for not managing my time more effectively, but there's nothing I can do about that now.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Crusader 2 years ago
Crusader
Thanks for your suggestion I will give it some thought before posting my argument.
Though we should remember that this debate is about the importance of advertisement itself in civilized society. But I do strongly believe that my definition on "necessary" will work out better for the purpose of this specific debate. I will post my next argument as soon as possible, if there are any other doubts you feel you should clear up then don't think twice about asking before we start. Thank you for your cooperation and I'm sorry if there have been any misunderstandings.Thanks again and I wish you the best of luck.
Posted by Mk616 2 years ago
Mk616
Alright, thanks for the clarifications.

I would suggest a change to the definition of necessity. Saying something is "significant" would not necessarily make it a necessity. The Obama family's choice of a pet, for example, could be considered "culturally significant", considering the media attention it received, but I would hesitate to call knowledge of that event a necessity.

My suggested definition: A necessity is something which is required for either a) basic human survival (food, water, etc.); or b) effective interaction within a given society (transportation, networking, etc.)

If you'd like to stick with your definition, that's fine by me. Just figured I'd offer an alternative. We shouldn't spend too much time discussing that though, as time is running out in the debate. So when you post your argument just let me know what definition you intend to use. Again, for the purposes of the debate, I'm good with either one. Thanks, and good luck to you!
Posted by Crusader 2 years ago
Crusader
I absolutely agree, thanks for pointing these things out :)

Firstly, in this debate, by "necessary" I mean something culturally, intellectually, or financially significant in today's society.

And as for your other inquiries:
1. Yes, we will be setting aside all semantic arguments
2. Your ultimate goal in this dispute will be to prove that advertisement is unnecessary(based on the provided definition of the word necessary) and that it causes more harm than good in our culture.

If any questions arise please feel free to ask.
Posted by Mk616 2 years ago
Mk616
Also, we should probably define "necessary" before we start...doesn't do us much good to debate the necessity of advertising if we don't agree on what constitutes a necessity.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 2 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
CrusaderMk616Tied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had a solid round, Pro's rebuttal was lacking but Con conceded essentially in the last round. 3:2 Pro and excellent first debate.