Advertising and American Culture

Essay by intention04High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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Growing up in a materialistic society, teenagers are influenced by the latest and most expensive contrivances. The most common item for teenagers to have, perhaps, is the cellular phone- a phone that people may take with them wherever they go to use for whatever purposes. Clearly, it is not just a communication device. In the beginning, cellular telephones were representations of wealth and societal standing. However, their usage has developed and they are now a standard accessory for most teenage students. The race is no longer who owns these precious extravagances; the competition has become something much less acceptable- it is now which phone has the most expensive features and is the most attractive.

When my parents decided to buy me a cell phone at the end of eighth grade, we looked around for good deals on rate plans and phones. I wanted what every other teenager wanted- the hottest new style from the hottest brand.

In our society, that was the only acceptable phone. At the time, the best phone out there was Motorola StarTac. Another thing that drew me in about in to the StarTac was the rhetoric of the advertisements, which stated, "Buy a StarTac- become a star!" This specific advertisement was a paradigm of how executives do whatever necessary to sell the desired product. By owning this phone, they are telling me, I will become a superior human being. What kind of person would fall into this? Needless to say, I was enthralled; my parents and I jumped into the car and went down to the Verizon Store.

The phone was heavenly- it had potential to serve as an idyllic retreat whenever I had to make those imperative phone calls regarding who hooked up the previous evening, or who is in a fight with...