Recently, media has exploded in all directions, including the enormous increase of revenue throughout the advertising industry. Whether it is in newspapers, magazines, billboards, or online, print ads have become nothing less than second nature to the public eye. Due to this commonality, it is important that the advertiser is able to capture the attention of the reader, and provoke an interest or desire for them to purchase the product. Many companies have taken to provocative images, and arousing connotations of women to attract the buyer. A number of techniques are also used in advertisements in order to increase the overall attraction of a product. It is essential then, for women in society to develop critical media skills when viewing the content of an advertisement.
Critical media skills can be defined as the ability to view a product as a "use" rather than a "gratification." This distinction is of value to the female reader in order to identify advertising techniques used to coerce consumerism. The first of these techniques is hegemony. Hegemony is the means by which an elite class dominates the definition of reality causing their view of the world to be accepted by other classes as "common sense." This can be noted in advertisements as a stereotypical image or implication is received by the viewer. Today hegemony can also be seen as a way for men to dominate women throughout the advertising industry. Commodity fetishism is a term used to describe the almost magical powers or ambiance that is projected from a specific advertisement. Next, photomontage is the ability to multiple pictures and place them in an overlapping context to further depict a specific concept or change the visualization of the product. Lastly, the commodity of human relations corresponds to the way in which the reader is able to look at the advertisement, in other words the emotion or feeling that is tied to the image.