We also desire to master our own bodies and the surrounding environment. Because of this value, we spend tremendous amounts of money on deodorants, shampoos, colognes, and cosmetics in order to improve or hide our true bodily features, while we buy detergents, cleansers, waxes, rug shampoos, room deodorizers, and electric bug killers to conquer the dirt, germs, pests, and odors that surround us.
Another aspect of this value is that we have long viewed the world and its numerous environmental and diminishing resource problems. On the positive side, a growing ecological orientation can be seen in the market place. Some manufacturers are using recycled materials to produce new items (such as glass and paper products) and more biodegradable products are being marketed (such as laundry detergents) many believe the 1990s will be the decade of green products – product designed packaged and marketed with a strong environmental perspective. In one recent survey 90 percent of Americans were concerned about the impact on the environment from products they purchase. Most said they would be willing to pay more for a product packaged with recyclable or biodegradable materials. Another environmental survey of consumer found that 60 percent are already doing something (at least recycling) to alleviate the problem.
Religious and Moral Orientation: according to various Gallup polls over 90 percent of Americans believe in God and over 60 percent believe in Life after death. In fact, the United States is found to be more religious than any other industrialized country in the world. More than twice as many adult Americans consider religion to be very important to them, as compared to western Europeans, for example. According to one recent study that investigated major aspects of American life – community involvement, political and moral beliefs, personal relationships, and work – the level of religious commitment was found to be the factor that most consistently and dramatically affects the values and behavior of Americans.
Thus, we are religious and our Judeo- Christian heritage has imbued us with a strong moral and ethical quality. Consequently, we tend to view the world in absolute terms and tolerate few gray areas –that is, we judge things in terms of good or bad, right or wrong, ethical or unethical. This value results in a strong evangelistic spirit among Americans. We are rather ethnocentric, believing that our culture and way of life are the feeling that it is our duty to bring others around tour way of thinking and acting.
Humanitarianism: Americans have a strong sense of personal concern for the rights and welfare of others. We provide aid in mass disasters, have a large philanthropic system, and feel that we should give our money and / or our time to such organizations as the United Fund, Red Cross, CARE, and the Peace Corps. The operation of religious and other charitable institutions is a huge business and draws good support even in unfavorable economic times. In 1990 $ 122 billion was given to America’s 200,000 non profit charity groups by individuals, corporations, and foundations. The ad shown for the Red Cross appeals to humanitarianism values of citizens
Youthfulness: Young people set much of the tine of our culture and have been a growing force in our society as their proportion has risen. Because Americans want to look and act young, we consume great quantities of those products that hold promise for achieving these ends. For instance, hair colorings for men and women are very much in demand as are preparations to do way with wrinkles, flab, a and spots caused by the aging process. The available array of vitamins and others supplements (such as Geritol) is another indication of our youth orientation.
Marketers have played up the theme of youthfulness in numerous product and service promotions with slogans such as you’re young as you feel and for those who think young. An effective twist on this approach but accomplishing the same result was a successful slogan or Clairol’s Loving Care hair coloring “You’re not getting older. You’re getting better”.
Underlying the youth theme pervading our culture is the implication of romance. The younger you look presumably the more attractive you are, especially to the opposite sex. The weakening of sexual prohibitions in our society has led to product promotions with more playful, thinly disguised appeals to romantic and sexual motives. This creative eroticism is reflected in many products and promotional slogans. However, a recent nationwide survey found that 84 percent of women and 72 percent of men said TV commercials placed too much emphasis on sex. As a result there has been some de-emphasis in it to sell products ranging from cars to beer.
Other evidence of the strong romantic emphasis in our culture is the fact that more than 20 million Americans weekly follow the dozen or more daytime television soap opera. In addition more than 1200 romantic novels are published each year to be pored over by avid readers.