Advertising : The Magic System

786 Words4 Pages
Commercial Culture

Williams, R. (1980). Advertising: The Magic System. 170-195.


1. While this article focuses on British history, Williams argues that the nature of advertisement has changed from a system to attract “specific attention” (similar to modern day classifieds) to a system that broadcasts “commercial information and persuasion” (p. 170, 184)
2. This change in advertising methodology is paralleled to changes in social and economic structures (p. 170, 177-178)
3. Through capitalism, the minority will increasing get involved in cultivating culture and values of the masses through advertisements (p. 184, 187-188).
4. Advertisement is the art of capitalism and continues to organize artists and writers (p. 184-185, 189-190)
5. In order to for advertisement to stay relevant, advertisements will add “social meanings, values, and ideals” to their products (p. 185-186).
6. According to Williams, “Advertising is the consequence of a social failure to find means of public information and decision over a wide range of everyday economic life” (p. 193)
Key Terms
1. Puff - When a claim is exaggerated in an advertisement
2. Quack Method - A method of deceitful advertising that originated from medicinal advertisements
3. Magic - Any emotions, values, or ideals that comes with a product
4. Consumer - Unlike a user of a product, consumers are a means end to the manufacturing of a product
5. Fantasy - The idea that decisions that were created by corporations are the
Open Document