Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel

Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel

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by Jean Kilbourne
     
 

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"When was the last time you felt this comfortable in a relationship?"

-- An ad for sneakers

"You can love it without getting your heart broken."

-- An ad for a car

"Until I find a real man, I'll settle for a real smoke."

-- A woman in a cigarette ad


Many advertisements these days make us feel as if we

Overview


"When was the last time you felt this comfortable in a relationship?"

-- An ad for sneakers

"You can love it without getting your heart broken."

-- An ad for a car

"Until I find a real man, I'll settle for a real smoke."

-- A woman in a cigarette ad


Many advertisements these days make us feel as if we have an intimate, even passionate relationship with a product. But as Jean Kilbourne points out in this fascinating and shocking exposé, the dreamlike promise of advertising always leaves us hungry for more. We can never be satisfied, because the products we love cannot love us back.

Drawing upon her knowledge of psychology, media, and women's issues, Kilbourne offers nothing less than a new understanding of a ubiquitous phenomenon in our culture. The average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day and watches three years' worth of television ads over the course of a lifetime. Kilbourne paints a gripping portrait of how this barrage of advertising drastically affects young people, especially girls, by offering false promises of rebellion, connection, and control. She also offers a surprising analysis of the way advertising creates and then feeds an addictive mentality that often continues throughout adulthood.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Susan Faludi author of Backlash Jean Kilbourne's work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture: advertising. We owe her a great debt.

Self magazine Backlash meets The Beauty Myth....a scathing attack on the powers that tell us what, how much, when and why to buy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451698411
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
06/26/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
348,012
File size:
95 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Jean Kilbourne,Ed.D, is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. A widely published writer and speaker who has twice been named Lecturer of the Year by the National Association for Campus Activities, she is best known for her award-winning documentaries, Killing Us Softly, Slim Hopes, and Pack of Lies. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read a chapter of this book for a politics of fashion class and shortly thereafter rented the book out of the library for months on end and then finally bought it myself. I would consider this necessary reading for anyone, males and females included. The current world is one dominated by advertising and what this book attempts to do is open eyes to WHAT it is the advertisements are attempting to sell, which most often is a certain lifestyle or characteristic that they link to the product and not the actual product function. This book is one of the few books I've read that I would consider genuinely life changing. That is to say, after every chapter I felt like my perception of the world and my experiences within it had to be re-evaluated. I'm not saying you should take everything she says as hard, unchanging truth, because one of the great things about this book is that it encourages the reader to think, to be mindful of their life and environment, and this ultimately (I believe) allows one to live happier than before. This definitely isn't an impartial book, but part of what makes it so interesting is the passion you can feel in the writing that Jean feels for the work she does and the topics she covers. Don't agree with her? Form your own opinion! But most importantly, look and THINK. I've recommended this book to friends, I've recommended it to family, and now I'm recommending it to the internet, because really, it deserves all the praise it can get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We can't set foot out of the house without exposure to advertising, even if we don't watch TV, use the Internet, or read fashion magazines. Advertising is everywhere, from billboards and posters to clothing to shop windows. It is an inconvenient truth that we are indeed affected by advertising and commercialism, even if we don't believe it. This book is as much a psychology book as a sociology book. Using examples, statistics, interviews, and her own life experience, Kilbourne covers the connections between advertising and addiction. Ads talk directly to addicts in an attempt to make the addiction look like normal and accepted behavior. She addresses how we reach for material things in a futile attempt to find comfort. In an over-consumerist society that is destroying the planet, advertising encourages us to consume more and more and to replace interconnectedness, relations, and communication with material things. A car doesn't argue with you, so it's easier to buy a car than to communicate with people. Can't Buy My Love is a very important book for all Americans to read, so that they will be able to see advertising with a critical and conscious eye and not be fooled. It will also enable Americans to protect their children from the conditioning that advertisers, including those of the tobacco and alcohol industries, consciously attempt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jean Kilbourne has some important points to make in this book. Yet, thanks to her ability to use similar tactics of the ad industry to get her own agenda across, the inclination is to believe her rhetoric as much as her opponent's (i.e. the 'bad' ad industry). Were 'bad habits'and other disorders truly forced upon her by ads when she was young? And do they explain her own modus operandi now? Ads certainly may appeal to our own personal myths, aspirations and be useful tools to promote our own denial and insecurities. But their role as tools or mediums should not be confused with the actual agent or culprit in initiating and continuing deception and denial. Thus, reading her book gave me the impression that Kilbourne was still struggling -- trying to find her own way out of an all encompassing cosmetic world in which she actually, deep down secretively, believes too literally.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like to think I'm not greatly affected by advertising, especially since I've long given the media's presentation of women a critical eye. But as author Jean Kilbourne writes, many people think they aren't affected by advertising -- but advertising is everywhere and how can we really ignore it? Reading this book, with its many reproductions of ads -- lots of them shocking -- will increase anyone's awareness. Though at times Kilbourne is a bit too strident, I still highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book about the effects of advertising I have read. If you don't think that ads effect you, or that you just 'tune them out,' you need to read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should be read by everyone! Its that good. Don't think advertising affects you in any way? Think again, I didn't think so either until I read this book. Not only does advertising affect every person, but it affects our society in a bigger way than we think! She talks strategies ads do to get their message across, how its harmful, and how ads lie to us. She has pictures of ads in the book and analyzes them, but some of them are very sexual and really gross to look at. I'm very conservative so that's why I only give this book 4 stars.