5 Ways Business Changed Us for Profit

BOSTON ( 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 Droids ( MOT) and iPhones ( AAPL), 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:

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