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in Circulation Today: Using millennials and social media


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of Maryland University College



This essay shows how
advertising has shifted from companies creating their own advertisements, to focusing
on millennials and their use of social media. In todays society Social Media is
a very large influence to how millennials think. On a sociological level,
companies use the different roles of genders and relationship interactions to
make people feel the need to conform. They base their advertisements and
products off of what they believe to be popular in todays society. This essay
focuses more on the Social Media aspect of advertising instead of the basic
television and magazine advertisements. It concludes that companies pay special
attention to Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram users to indirectly
pressure them to conform to whatever their race, gender, cultural beliefs or
religion says that they should be doing.

Key Words: Millennials,
Social Media, conform, pressure


            In today’s society Social Media interaction is key.  Per the definition of Social
Media is “websites and applications that enable users to create and share
content or to participate in social networking.” Today the users are mostly
millennials and the content shared is not just personal information. However,
the personal information that is shared is utilized to aim specific
advertisements at the millennial consumers. Based on statistics on Blue Corona,
2017, “Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform,
with 79% of American internet users.”  Blue Corona also states that “the average user
spends two hours on social media sites a day (Blue Corona, 2017).” This essay will explore the way that
Social Media it used to promote a various array of products that are being sold

Advertisements Reviewed

            When reviewing the requirements for this essay, the focus
points used were basic Social Media applications. They were utilized to provide
a broad example of what millennials are exposed to everyday. The user in this
study randomly logged on to the following applications: Facebook, Snapchat,
Instagram, YouTube, and watched one cycle of commercials during a regular
television show screening. The time devoted to this review after logging on to
each application ranged from ten minutes to thirty minutes depending on what
was searched and/or reviewed. The table below provides what advertisements were
found and a brief summary of who they were aimed at.





1: Ten advertisements found on various Social Media Applications

Product Name


Time Devoted


Terms/Theories that Apply

Nationwide Insurance



this commercial it has a country singer Brad Paisley singing about major life
events aimed at men of all ages. 

fulfilling prophecy




this commercial it has a mother taking her child to school and eating a
Chik-fil-a sandwich. Independent single mom.

fulfilling prophecy

Sims 4



this commercial it shows a woman who is asking a man on a date (a sims) and
is playing catchy music in the back.

fulfilling prophecy




advertisement is placed on a YouTube video of a popular channel. It is aimed
towards people who are not technology savvy.

fulfilling prophecy




is a YouTube advertisement made by TABS24X7Official. This was made because of
a sponsorship deal so that they can get their product out cheaply and quickly
to today’s millennials.

fulfilling prophecy




McCarthy is an eco-warrior saving a various number of animals, traveling in a
KIA. An Eco-Friendly Kia.

Self- fulfilling prophecy

Miss Dior



Portman stars as a struggling lover who wants her S/O to prove his love. It
shows numerous scenes representing this. It ends with “What would you do for

fulfilling prophecy

Clash of Clans Royale



this advertisement there is a lot of comedy relief. It makes the game look
more hands on and interesting than it really is.

fulfilling prophecy




this advertisement there are three singers filming a music video and
traveling to the beach. However, they are doing so in a KIA with all of the
features of the vehicle popping up.

fulfilling prophecy




Placement in the show The Walking Dead. Within a post-apocalyptic world brand
new Hyundai vehicle are being driven. 

fulfilling prophecy


            In the above chart is listed the products being
advertised on Social Media and popular television shows today.  The main terms used to describe all of the
products are generic across the board. They all use basic Sociological Terms
that are focused at millennials today. They include; status, role,
habitualization, and self-fulfilling prophecy. These terms best represent these
ads because they are what most millennials today are basing their choices off
of. For example, status is described in our book as “the responsibilities and
benefits that a person experiences according to their rank and role in society
(Tischler, 2014).” However,
millennials are still trying to change these roles and make them more equal,
but they are still basic for the most part. Woman are more in touch with their
emotions than men, and men are stronger willed when compared to women. It seems
that females feel like there is a role strain and that there is too much that
is expected of them. In magazines they are photoshopped to look flawless and
skinny, but in reality, they look nothing like the picture that is supposed to
represent who they are. Celebrities are used due to their status and people
following them because they believe if they do what that celebrity does they
will be able to fulfill a self-fulfilling prophecy to better themselves.

            “Nationwide is on your side”, this is probably one of the
catchiest jingles around, and Nationwide Insurance knows it. How else will they
be able to target specific audiences besides a catchy jingle? Adding a famous
country into the mix, singing the jingle. Brad Paisley starts off the
advertisement with singing about a father and son waking up before dawn to
start a hard day’s work. The status of the man in this part of the commercial
is a hard-working father teaching his son the ropes. The commercial then shows
a man who wants a ‘man cave’ in his home, and is trying to convince his wife to
let him do so, he is a man who is the ‘man of the house’ and the wife seems to
be painted as a strict controlling wife. Brad Paisley says “good luck with that
Dave” and we move on to the next scene. The man spent his retirement fund on an
RV and runs over his bush in his yard, and his wife he standing there laughing
as he does so. This scene paints a self-fulfilling prophecy which may lead to
men believing that once they retire that they will also be able to buy an RV if
they purchase Nationwide Insurance. In conclusion this advertisement is aimed
at the ‘family man’ who takes care of his family. There are other Nationwide
commercials aimed at women as well, but the once spoken about above is aimed at

            Chik-Fil-A is a famous fast rood restaurant, famous for
their chicken. This advertisement was found on the Social Media page call
Instagram. On this website millennials post photos and videos of their everyday
lives. A lot of companies sponsor popular Instagram users so they can make
their product seem like it can be used by everyday people. In this
advertisement there is a mom who seems to be taken her son to school, and she
is eating the newest Chik-Fil-A breakfast sandwich, while lifting a small
backpack like a workout weight. This advertisement is aimed at women. The
woman’s role in this advertisement seemed to be a single, strong, independent
mother. It is implied that she is this way because of the Chik-Fil-A sandwich
that she is eating. This is another example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, or
at least that is what they want it to be. This woman is strong and confident
because she is eating a Chik-Fil-A breakfast sandwich, any single mother can be
too if she does what this woman is doing. In conclusion this advertisements goal
is to catch the attention of women and mothers.

            The third advertisement is for Sims 4. This advertisement
was also found on Instagram. It was aimed at millennials. It is a very short
advertisement; however, it shows the self-fulfilling prophecy that Sims can
give people. Within the game Sims you choose your own destiny and you choose
how your characters interact with one another. This advertisement puts emphasis
on that aspect of the games. It shows a woman going outside of what a woman’s
role in the relationship by asking the man to go out, or by making the first
move. This allows women to feel like they are in control of the situation. In
conclusion, this advertisements goal was to attract woman.

            The fourth advertisement is for an application called Grammarly.
This advertisement was an ad presented on a YouTube channel. It is focused at a
specific social group of people with similar statuses. Those who are not good
at grammar, but would not like to seek help other than with an application.
Though aimed at people with similar statuses, it shows people with different
jobs at different levels. On scene shows a college male struggling with an
English class, and then another shows a female at work creating a memo. Even
though they are at different levels, they are both struggling with the same
thing. In conclusion this advertisement also uses a self-fulfilling prophecy to
pull people in. Use our application and you too will be successful.

            The fifth advertisement, was made by a YouTube star with
the username Tabs24x7Official. Her thumbnail features a picture of her in a
bikini, and the title of the video says Swimsuit Try-On Haul and Review! This
draws the attention of males who want to see her in a bikini, and of females
who are looking for cute bikinis on their ideal body. The name of the company
being reviewed in this video is CupShe. Popular users on this website get sent
items for free for positive reviews. Therefore, even if they hate them they
still say how much they love them. Not only did this YouTuber advertise CupShe,
but there was also an advertisement prior to her video starting! Self-fulfilling
prophecy to look just as good as her if you buy the bikini listed. The ads were
aimed at her YouTube followers, which are mostly millennials who have been following
her for years. In conclusion this advertisement was aimed at female millennials
for the bikini, and male millennials for the advertisement before the video

            The sixth advertisement is KIA commercial starring Melissa
McCarthy. She is shown as an eco-warrior driving around in an eco-friendly car.
At the time this commercial came out she was very popular. This advertisement
is aimed at people who are trying to be eco-friendlier without having to stop
driving. Self-fulfilling prophecy, once again comes into play in this
advertisement. Drive our car, and you can save the environment. In conclusion,
this KIA commercial tries to pull at the heart strings of nature and animal
lovers everywhere. All in an attempt to get someone to buy a car.

            The seventh advertisement is a Miss Dior perfume
commercial. Natalie Portman stars as a struggling lover who wants her
significant other to prove his love. It shows numerous scenes representing
this. It ends with “What would you do for love?” This advertisement is aimed at
women. Like the other advertisements it seems that it wants people to think
that once they purchase this perfume they will fall in love, be rich, and be
beautiful like Natalie Portman. “What would you do for love?” hopefully buy
this perfume. In Conclusion, this commercial does what the other ones do, it
uses the basic forms of Sociology.

            The eighth and ninth advertisements are similar to the
seven listed below. Therefore, we are now going to discuss the tenth advertisement.
It was mentioned, in the popular television show The Walking Dead. This show
has a sponsorship with Hyundai, and it is an obvious sponsorship. The show has
roughly been on for about eight years, and yet we are seeing 2017 cars being
driven within the post-apocalyptic world. Not just the cars, but perfectly
clean, and waxed cars. It is implied that this car is so good that it can
withstand the tolls of time, even in a zombie filled world. It is aimed at the
viewers of show, and not any specific viewer. In conclusion, out of the
advertisements listed this is the only one that is not featured because it is
the main focus, it is the only mentioned one.


            Upon review of ten advertisements on social media, it
seems clear that all of the advertisements have similar sociological terms in
them; Status, role, habitualization, and Self- fulfilling prophecy. In
conclusion of the review, it was also found that some of the advertisements
were subtle in intention while others were not. Most were aimed at millennials
who utilize social media. This essay highlighted the main sociological terms
that are utilized when making a successful advertisement. It provides examples
on how media today and convince people that they need items that they do not




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