People now accept publicity images as part of the environment. They perceive such images as dynamic, or constantly in motion. publicity expresses certain ideas about freedom, including Western notions of economic free enterprise and consumer choice.Publicity images are distinct from the real benefits of the products they sell.Instead, publicity celebrates the future buyer and the glamorous life the buyer might have a life that may cause others to envy them. Therefore, publicity isn’t about items but “social relations.” It promises people they will be happy because others will envy them. Advertisements often use images from oil paintings and sculptures of the past. What makes art so useful to advertisement. publicity like oil painting celebrates consumerism and the principle “you are what you have.” Berger views advertisements as the last form of post-Renaissance Europe’s visual art. Since advertisements must “sell the past to the future,” they have to use the language of the past. Secondly, publicity images often use historical or mythological references, relying on a viewer’s education.
The relationship between oil painting and publicity images, which has been obscured by cultural prestige. Publicity images often make direct reference to past art, either by copying it in some way, or by incorporating the art into the publicity image. This ‘quoting’ of art achieves two things. Art is associated with wealth and beauty, and the publicity image benefits from this. Art also has cultural authority, which makes it superior to mere materialism. This use of art allows the publicity image to promote two almost contradictory things, spiritual or cultural refinement and consumerism. Publicity understands the link in oil painting between the work of art and the spectator-owner and uses these to flatter the spectator-buyer. There is, however, a much deeper link to oil painting.
Berger compares the envied to bureaucrats to show that usually advertisements don’t try to relate to the consumer but attempt to show them what they want to be like. Otherwise, if people are able to connect with the advertisement on a personal level, they wouldn’t have envy and would realize they don’t need the product that is being sold to achieve happiness. Berger’s ideas are applicable to modern day society and I feel that the relationship between publicity and happiness demonstrates an ongoing cycle of selling and buying. I think that advertisements often cause people to feel inadequate and that there is something missing from their lives. A main goal for many people is to have glamour and be envied by others but they are never able to achieve this so they keep on buying things that give them the illusion of glamour. These products don’t give people satisfaction or make them truly happy so advertisements continue to convince them to buy more things that the consumer believes will get them what they want.