The Bad Impact of Advertisements


Besides of the TV programs like news, movies, and music programs, we can find information from the TV advertisements (ads). The major purpose of TV ads is to promote a thing or service. However everything has progressed day by day include the TV ads. TV ads not only as a media to promote something but more than it, TV ads can influence people to do or not do something. TV ads in Indonesia nowadays are more harmful than helpful for the audience aware or unaware.

According to Jeremiah O’Sullivan R, author of “the Social and Cultural Effects of Advertising”, persuasion is core mission of advertising. Advertising tells you how the product service or idea you are considering will improve your life. The ways people promote their product nowadays just make me ashamed as an Indonesian people. They persuade people to use one product by teasing other products. For example is herbal product is teasing another product. They are teasing each other by slogan, making joke to another product with change their product slogan. Yes, sometimes it is funny and entertain but the bad impact is people will tease another’s because it is familiar on TV. Teasing each other’s is not a big deal, because people will think it is funny and not wrong, and people will use it in daily conversation. We know that TV is the fastest media which can influence the society.

Freedom of choice and advertising-supported entertainment which is often a promoter of social change, are two important components of society that are both promoted through advertising. Because ads can give the fastest effect to social change, it is good if the ads are not identifying the racism. We know that Indonesia is a multicultural ethnic nation. We can see many colors in Indonesian life. We can see on TV that many ads usually hurting other tribes. For example is a cosmetic slogan “white is beautiful”. In my opinion this advertisement is not understand of their marketing object. It is inappropriate to Indonesian people, what about The Papua tribe which is born with black skin? Should they use the cosmetics to be beautiful? It is better if the ads in Indonesia show their respect to every tribe by making a very careful ads slogan on TV.

In fact, according to Megan Vande Kerckhove, a student at the University of Florida’s Interactive Media Lab, advertising is free speech, and it can work to promote free speech. TV ads usually use the rude word to promote their products, and it  influence people to use those words in daily conversation. Children will talk just the way they want to and not respectful. The creative teams of ads try to make the ads interesting by using the rude words. In my opinion, creative is not an excuse to be impoliteness. We have to realize that we are Indonesian people; we learn manners, norm, and religious.

Based on those facts it is logic when I say that TV ads in Indonesia are more harmful than helpful. Ads can influence people to use something or to say something. We need to distinct the policy of TV ads in Indonesia, to reduce the bad impact of TV ads. The good ads should not give a bad influence to others people, but giving a good influence to do or say something.

Morley, Miranda. The Effects of Advertising. (Online)
accessed on 16 May 2013

Stefan, tracy.  2007. Function and effect of Advs. (Online)
accessed on 17 may 2013



By: Krisnawati Sigiro, student of Brawijaya University of Indonesia

Popular culture is always defined, implicitly or explicitly, in contrast to other conceptual categories: folk culture, mass culture, dominant culture, working-class culture, etc (John Storey, 2001, p.1).  Watching television is one of popular culture in all over the world without limiting the ages and classes. Mass media have a big power to spread any information include news, entertainments’, and advertisements by watching television or read the newspaper, magazine and website. As people watching the television, advertisement always appear in television to promote either persuade people to buy products. The popular advertisement that the writer want to criticism is about Magnum Advertisement. Advertisements in Television which are contain the audio, visual, and also aim. The cultural text here are images, sounds, objects and practices are sign systems, which signify with the same mechanism as a language.

The History: Launched in 1989, MAGNUM was the first handheld ice cream targeted as a premium adult offering. Today, MAGNUM is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling one billion units annually worldwide, and it is the biggest brand of Unilever ice creams. Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries (

In the television advertisement, Magnum introducing the director of their product is Bryan Singer : the famous director who produced the famous movies such as Usual Suspects Movie, X-Men and Valkyrie movie.

"Avatar" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

The actress in this advertisement is the popular actress named Caroline Correa.Magnum-Gold-Caroline-Correa

Using the famous actors: academy award winneractor Benicio Del Toro. Magnum-benicio

The Scene in this advertisement show the high quality of movie. The actors did the dangerous
scene, like in the heroic movie to find the gold (gold ice cream).action

The slogan “as good as gold” giving the luxurious meaning such

“This ice cream will be giving the deluxe experience of ice cream taste”. magnum 1

Zooming the Ingredients’, its texture and tell the Ingredients are: the Madagascar caramel
with deep gold chocolate.blogmagnum

Simply, eating ice cream means when people eat some ice (every kind of ice cream and enjoyed it when they like the tastes) but this statement change the paradigm of people by the Magnum ad content . It is proved that cultural practices are commodified by large corporate culture industries. Since large corporate is the producer of this, the capitalism always exist into this.  In this context cultural study has been partisan in taking up the cause of change (BarkerChris, 2011).

What people think when looked at the magnificent advertisement are (based on the writer as a consumer) :

  • From its advertisement content, people judge Magnum as a luxurious ice cream

Idealism is one of key terms in mass media means that the media have a power to influence society by the technology effect ( McQuail, 1983). As explained above, the content of Magnum create with the highest effect by the producers and the actress.  The director of their product are : the famous director from famous movie such as Usual Suspects Movie, X-Men and Valkyrie movie. The actress in this advertisement is the popular actress named Caroline Correa. Also the actor is the famous actor, the award winner  actor Benicio Del Toro. As a famous actress the producer though to giving impression that their product are the best ice cream which consume by the popular people. Popular people identical with the luxurious things, include their food. Magnum as a luxurious ice cream will appear in people mind when looked at the advertisement. This thought spread by the television to the consumer quickly

  • The ice cream for middle-up class social class.

Magnum as a luxurious ice cream for people who able to pay for it. Indirectly this magnum advertisement make the class classification of its consumer by its content. People also want to taste the luxurious taste of this advertisement. As the paradigm of consuming ice cream change by the advertisement content itself, people have dream to consume and explore its taste. People in middle-up class can consume the magnum ice cream as much as they want. Because its appropriate with their taste, the specific ingredients which are expensive such as Madagascar caramel and chocolate were mentioned. But for people in middle-down class (income) have to think again to consume this product since the price of this product is more than the price of main food. But it is a common when people want to force their self to buy magnum when the magnum make the dream of consume it.

  • The ice cream increases the people prestige by consume it

Commonly when people using the famous products or expensive product, it will be increase the people’s prestige. By consume the magnum ice cream the prestige is not directly increase but giving impression that people have a good taste of ice cream. The people who consume the expensive food usually increase the prestige of those people. Unilever very serious to put Magnum as a first class product by open the Magnum cafe. This magnum cafe usually located in mall, or famous building in all over the world. In Indonesia the located of this building is in Grand Indonesia Shopping Town.


Barker, Chris. 2011.Culture and Cultural Studies._____.

Burton, Graeme. 1999. Media dan Budaya Populer. Jalasutra: Jogjakarta

Storey, John. 2001.Cultural Theory and Popular Cultural; an Intoduction. Pearson education limited. England

_______. 2013. Magnum Ice Cream Partners with Zac Possen. Accesed on october 26, 2014 on


Pictures are courtesy of youtube. Published on March 13, 2012

The pictures’ sources are from