Advertising, The Uneasy Persuasion: Its Dubious Impact On American Society

Category: Marketing & Sales
Author: Michael Schudson
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by cm2012   2019-05-31
Doubling of advertising expidenture (Which is a massive, sea change) would apparently make people 3% less happy. So basically it has a negligible impact on happiness even if this analysis is true.

I highly doubt it is true though. It's a purely correlational study, that says from 1980-2011, advertising increased and people in general got 3% less happy. They say they accounted for GDP when doing their regression, but so many other things affect advertising spend as a whole that wouldn't show there. More globalization coming to a country (as markets open up and global firms find advertising worth their while), changes in industry make-up, political election cycles becoming more heated, internet connectivity (which would be huge in the time period they studied, and would greatly impact ad spend numbers with it), etc.

It is really, really hard to actually change people's opinions with advertising. The closest you can do is convert their existing opinions into actions. There is a ton of good academic literature on this - here's a good primer:

by cm2012   2019-05-31
I'm on mobile, but is a great place to start. It summarizes hundreds of academic sources and includes them in the footnote. Certainly better research than the main study we're discussing, for reasons I've commented on elsewhere in this thread.