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What influence have television commercials had on the American culture?

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Television commercials have had a huge impact on American culture. These commercials are sometimes as culturally relevant as the shows they interrupt. They are sometimes funny and sometimes poignant. A commercial is meant to be entertainment in and of itself, and even if one does not know exactly what is being sold, one remembers the commercial. The Super Bowl is nearly as famous for its commercials as it is for the sporting event.

Television commercials also promote American capitalism and the concept of wealth. By using beautiful people having fun in exotic locations, advertisers have helped the alcohol industry earn billions of dollars. Current car commercials always portray the car driving at unsafe speeds in unsafe conditions in order to excite the viewer. Tobacco ads in television's early days made smoking appear to be healthy—this advertising has cost tobacco companies millions in lawsuits. Television commercials are always a little louder than the shows they interrupt as well; this may give foreigners the impression that Americans like flashiness and loudness.

While advertising is currently moving online and in a more targeted format, the television commercial will probably always be around. Advertisers will strive to become more entertaining, and commercials will continue to either tug at American heartstrings or make Americans laugh.

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Television commercials have had a huge impact on our culture because so many people watch so much television.  This exposes them to huge numbers of advertisements.  They then absorb the basic values of those advertisements.  Let us look at the two main ways in which these commercials have changed our society.

First, they have helped to make us much more materialistic than we used to be.  When we watch commercials, we are being fed the message that our lives will be improved if only we would buy the newest car or go to the nicest resorts.  These messages make us equate the good life with material goods.  We have absorbed that message very thoroughly in the United States today.

Second, they have helped to sexualize our culture.  One of the truisms that we hear is that "sex sells" and the content of advertisements seems to bear this out.  We are constantly being shown messages that imply that sex should be a very important thing in our lives.  Sex is portrayed in ways that connect it to glamor, material wealth, and happiness. 

In these ways, television commercials have helped create an American culture that is very materialistic and very sexualized.

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