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MainStreet) -- Well-executed advertising can accomplish many objectives. It can introduce a product, create buzz, manage brand perception and encroach on a competitor's sales.
At its most successful, advertising, as part of a marketing campaign, can change culture.
If you are reading this story on your smartphone you are proof.
The technology behind all those
iPhones(AAPL - Get Report), as marvelous as it is, has been amplified by a media blitzkrieg. Commercials hammer into our collective brain that you
need not only have such a device, but that you must have the latest and greatest immediately upon its arrival. And, once you own one, you can't stop staring at it.
Similar to how
BlackBerry(RIMM) users once referred to the device as the "crackberry," recent research by the British Psychological Society has shown what was already suspected: We have become a culture addicted to smartphones, so much so that there is separation anxiety and phantom ringtones when we don't have our palm-held safety blanket.
Companies can indeed influence how society thinks and acts. We took a look at five examples of cultural engineering in the name of profits: