You will prepare and submit a term paper on Virginia Slims Advertising. Your paper should be a minimum of 500 words in length. Advertising typically creates a picture of perfection and goals of happiness not only to make its product desirable but also to create anxiety within its target market where its product can position itself to be the panacea. Advertising also appeals to our sense of vanity that certain product can make us beautiful that could make us happier. All of these are of course created perceptions to serve a certain marketing objective which is induced and/or create demand for a certain product.
This is the marketing thrust of Virginia Slims to induce women to smoke by inducing anxiety among its target market then later provide Virginia Slims cigarette as the panacea to relieve the women of its distress through the use of beautiful images in their advertisements. As a product, without the gloss and twist of advertising, Virginia Slims was really nothing but just a cancer inducing tobacco which causes bad breath, cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. But with the fuzzing or altering of the target market’s perception, the product suddenly became desirable where its smokers became an epitome of class, sophistication, confidence and seems to be happier.
Virgina Slims does this by distorting reality through the use of beautiful images in their promotional campaigns whereby they associate that such beauty, class and sophistication can be achieve by smoking their product of which we know to be untrue. It is an unhealthy advertising because it creates discontent to make or induce the market to become receptive of its harmful product.
The pervasiveness of this kind of advertisement that uses beautiful images of men and women to sell harmful products lowers the self-esteem of the target market. It is because the audience of these idealized beauties inadvertently compare themselves to these images that are unrealistic where the models themselves will have hard time achieving without the aid of computer enhancement. It also makes the audience frivolous because these idealized images inadvertently makes an individual tie up his or her self worth to physical appearance which is not a healthy gauge of one’s sense of self. It is also unhealthy because it makes the audience strive for an idealized concept of beauty that has no other value than its aesthetic worth. It benefits none except those who purveys those idealized beauty because they profit from it. It also breeds discontent and unhealthy personal disposition because it induces its audience, men and women, to strive for something that is not only unrealistic, but also of no use to better one’s life, society nor does it contribute to a common good except to enhance the profit the client of the advertiser.
This idealized concept of beauty that advertisers capitalized on can even be used to manipulate one’s psychological make-up to serve a particular end that does no good to an individual. In a study by Duan, it was reported that these sense of beauty which is ingrained in western society as a pre-requisite to be desired or loved is used by companies to induce its consumers to get hooked on an unhealthy habit of smoking to sell its product. It capitalizes on using women’s image as models which are considered to be beautiful and made it an archetype of confidence and beauty that women must feel compelled to meet (2003) when in fact it can only make them weak and sick in the long run. It is troublesome because the effect of this kind of advertising makes its prospective target market dig for his or her own grave.