What is Counter-Advertising?

Flickr / Alper Çuğun

Advertising is a huge business, not only across America but across the entire globe. Advertising is mainly used to make someone or something well and widely known nationwide. Depending on how you advertise, it can make or break your career. However, most people have never heard of the term "counter-advertising," nor do they know of its importance.  

Counter-advertising is when an advertisement poses an argument against a preceding argument in regard to a certain issue, person or product.

In other words, advertisements cannot only be used for promoting a product or an individual. Advertisements can also take stands against other advertisements in controversial topics.   

Basically, counter-advertising is exposing a previous ad and its product or products. Let's take fast food, for example. There are countless advertisements for . A counter advertisement would be an ad that would expose "the truth" about McDonald's and the health concerns the restaurant has.   

This actually leads me to my next point. Counter advertisements are easy to identify. They are the ads that target large corporations that produce products such as alcohol, cigarettes and fast food. However, one thing you will need to consider is the complexity of counter advertisements. Counter-advertising is, in actuality, not that intricate when you really think about it. The more difficult part of the ad is merely the research aspect of creating the advertisement.

 Once you finish your research, generating your ad will be rather easy.   

There are, technically, different types of counter-advertising. There is counter advertising for smoking. Many smoking counter ads will provide the viewers information regarding the dangers of smoking. Examples can range from the number of deaths smoking causes a year to the number of poisons each cigarette contains.

Smoking counter ads will also provide viewers information regarding the dangers of nicotine.  

You also have counter advertisements regarding fast food. As stated before, many counter advertisements regularly target fast food restaurants, particularly McDonald's, because of health concerns. Fast food counter-advertisements, however, don't just target McDonald's. They also target myriad other fast food restaurants, including Taco Bell (another main target) and Wendy's.   

One additional point that is important to consider in regard to counter advertising is the film industry. What I mean is a documentary can be an hour-long counter advertisement. Take Super Size Me, for example. Super Size Me is one large counter advertisement because the documentary/film opposed not only McDonald's but also essentially the entire fast food industry. The film provided detailed information supporting the cons of McDonald's food, including obesity and heart disease. The film also provided statistics regarding the percentage of people in America who are overweight/obese. Films and documentaries that target large corporations are basically large counter advertisements.   

Counter-advertising has already been ingrained in our society; we are just not aware of its presence yet.

We still think these are regular advertisements. However, they have a stronghold in not just America, but also across the planet.