Advertising changes people, and it changes cultures. It might be more accurate to say that it destroys traditional cultures while it homogenizes us into a singular mass of non-descript consumers.
Advertising is everywhere. It plays to the ego's eyes and ears and creates a new narrative in our minds. Over time it becomes difficult to tell the difference between our original, real desires and goals, and the ones put there by the marketing industry. First Nations in the Canadian north provide a case in point.
Inuit elders realized the destructive power of southern-based TV and advertising when transmissions became available for the first time beginning in the late 60s. Some communities, such as Igloolik, initially voted to refuse television fearing irreversible damage to their lifestyle.
Television and advertising did fill the air waves of the north, and the people felt the effects almost immediately. TV is not solely to blame for the social transformation of Inuit life, but it has played a large role.
TV advertising, and the promotion of the lifestyles of the industrial south, had effects on Inuit language, culture, and day-to-day life in traditional settlements. Today's Inuit youth are no longer socialized within a value system that emphasizes the importance of mutual cooperation and sharing.
Many Inuit, some have noticed, have become more materialistic, and therefore desire highly paid jobs in the industrial world rather than engage in traditional forms of subsistence.
And the advertisers, the world re-arrangers, laugh.