The goal of this course is to make undergraduates more aware of how advertising operates in society and how we live within consumer culture. This course addresses questions such as: What information, ideas, and values are communicated in advertising? What role does advertising play in television, movies, magazines, and other media? How do manufacturers and retailers create "brand-name" products, and why do we care about these brands? Is consumer culture a form of democratic action, or can it actually inhibit democratic participation? What do the objects we use every day say about us? What do advertisers know about consumers? Do marketers and advertisers use tactics that encourage people to separate themselves into distinct groups? Is it possible to live in the modern world without adopting the values of consumer culture? Should we maintain certain spaces in society that are free of advertising and commercial messages? In short, students examine the intersection of advertising, consumer culture, and the media, with an eye toward understanding the history, goals, strategies, and cultural roles of the advertising industry.