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Today, modern society is exposed to a vast amount of media; it’s inescapable. People may not even realize how often simple advertising appears in their daily routine and, as a result, takes root in their minds. It’s quick. It’s effective. It’s subconscious, and it’s everywhere. The average North American is exposed to 3,000 ads per day (Media Awareness Network, 2010). The question may be, however, how are these ads truly affecting society? Surely people can make up their own minds as to how they feel and think towards media. The truth is, eventually the concepts portrayed within advertising create ideologies, which can alter peoples’ perception of things like beauty, class, value, and much more. Stuart Hall defines ideologies as, “those images, concepts and premises which provide the frameworks through which we represent, interpret, understand and ‘make sense’ of some aspect of social existence” (1981). Hall supports that ideologies contain three main ideas; that they are a chain of meanings not separate from concepts, that they formulate our intentions within ideology and not individual consciousness, and that these identifiers allow people to relate to themselves (Hall, 1981). Media is complex. On the surface of an advertisement, ideologies like sexuality may be portrayed through visual simplicity, taking advantage of “pleasing” ideals. However, beneath the surface, there are other ideologies, including objectification and control that can be analyzed to help understand the true effects of advertising media. Through the example of a Gucci advertisement, this paper

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