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Advertising in the 1920's

            After the horrors of the first World War, the 1920s proved to be a time of great optimism and prosperity. The 'roaring 20s' was a decade of unprecedented affluence which enable the advertising industry to successfully generate more freedom for consumers, in the pursuit of happiness. The demand for thousands of consumer goods was inspired by advances in technology and cultural changes. Leiss, Kline, Jhally and Botterill state that "this was advertising's golden age, not merely because advertisers had grasped its almost unlimited transformational capabilities, but because society as a whole almost completely agreed with its key premise, that the road to happiness was paved with more goods and services". The claim is supported by the way advertising of the 1920s served as an engine for shaping the opinions of consumers and influencing the buying patterns of the public.
             The industrial expansion of the 1880s enabled mass production during the 20s, lowering costs in manufacturing consumer goods. This meant that more goods and services were available to the public at lower prices than in previous decades (History Matters). Economic growth post world war created an affluent consumer society where the urban middle class and upper class had more purchasing power than before. The unique culture of the 1920s flourished due to the abundance of consumers in a burgeoning economy which steadily generated (Marchand 21). The United States of America was at the forefront of this progression and individualism thrived after years of despair. Everyday life had become transubstantiated by new technologies such as radios, better automobiles. Modern consumer goods became extremely appealing as they made life much easier and provided high quality entertainment. Vacuum cleaners and washing machines meant women did not have to spend several hours carrying out burdensome household chores. Men could brandish themselves with ostentatious items like gold watches and expensive vehicles to heighten their reputation Consumer goods became abundant and American culture cascaded into materialistic zest (Marchand 33-42).

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