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    Advertising Can Increase Happiness—New Studies Reveal All

    MarketingMarketing NewsResearch

    Everything You Need To Know in 50 Words or Less

    Despite years of criticizing advertising for promoting materialism and being expensive, a new study shows that advertising helps people by teaching them about products so they can satisfy their wants and needs with innovative and affordable products. Advertising also helps build competition as companies share creative ideas with consumers. 

    Tell Me More

    Researchers at several universities worked together to release an empirical study showing that advertising improves happiness around the country. So despite years of agreement on the problems with advertising, the industry appears to be doing good things in countries. 

    Negative Effects of Advertising

    About 100 years, Fred Clark at Northwestern University critiqued advertising because: 

    • It’s expensive and wasteful
    • It encourages materialism
    • It raises prices
    • It leads to unnecessary purchasing
    • It wastes money

    Clark’s critique held as marketing schools around the United States debated the pros and cons of advertising. Generally, marketing schools agreed that advertising was a destructive force that encouraged people to spend money needlessly. 

    However, the newest study about advertising flies in the face of Clark’s theory. Advertising encourages innovation and competition while educating consumers on the benefits of products they need and want. At the country level, consumers appreciate advertising, making them happy. 

    Unfortunately, some advertisers continue to use deceptive practices that target unsuspecting consumers. Marketing programs believe in regulating these practices to protect the most vulnerable populations. 

    Proving the Harvard Business Review Wrong

    The study examined advertising spending levels and how those levels affected happiness in political, social, and regulatory environments. In addition, the newest study responded to a 2020 study in the Harvard Business Review about the negative relationship between advertising and happiness. 

    The newest study showed the 2020 study did not have a control population and relied on an underspecified model that excluded some institutional factors. 

    Why Advertising Makes Consumers Happy

    In the newest study, free-market advertising functions well when they meet customer needs through explicit communication. The researchers looked at 34 countries and their happiness levels from the World Happiness Report. They also used information from the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index and self-enhancement levels from social psychology.

    The researchers found a relationship between country-level happiness and advertising spending. In addition, they found increased happiness and advertising spending correlated with countries with strong laws that citizens respected and followed. 

    Questions about Advertising and Happiness

    The rule of law shows that advertising helps inform people of their societal roles. Advertisers share details about products and services they need. As a result, consumers purchase these products, improving their lives and increasing happiness. 

    However, the research shows that more is required, as marketing schools should learn about other ways advertising affects emotions. 

    The research about happiness and advertising creates more questions about consumer behavior and emotional responses. 

    Researchers wonder how advertising affects country-level employment. They also want to know if the reactions to advertising are consistent in the global market. In addition, the newest research created questions about how advertising relates to fuel consumption and wasting natural resources. 

    Sources: Forbes

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