We advertisers have so much power over the society, because we are such a big part of the media and the media is what controls the society. Therefore, we can be called responsible for many things, both good and bad, in the world.
People say that since we have such immense amount of power, we should use it wisely and try not to exploit it.
One of the things that we do is sponsoring television shows. So the horrible shows that keep occurring on TV are probably partly our fault. Like all those violent and sexually explicit shows that parents love complain about, for example.
But that is not the only reason why we should rethink about sponsoring them. Morality cannot always win arguments with the big business leaders anyway.
An experiment by Bushman and Bonacci from Iowa State University shows that violent and sexually explicit shows have a negative impact on the short-term memory of their viewers because of the distracting content.
A group of participants watched a violent, sexually explicit, and a neutral TV show that contained 9 ads. Right after the show, they recalled the brands and identified them on picture slides of supermarket shelves.
However, the next day the results were different.
Within 24 hours, it turned out that participants who watched a neutral TV program had better memory/recall of the ads than those who watched violent or sexually explicit shows.
A friend of mine who is studying psychology at NYU told me about this study and I found it very fascinating, so I wanted to share it with all of you.
To read the original paper from the study, click here.