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Karen Donohue-Barrett

In his article, “A Short Prayer for Advertising,” Stephen Marche discusses the pomp and circumstance surrounding the commercials that broadcast during the Super Bowl when he states, “the triumphal march of advertising is also its squalid little funeral” (Marche 1). Initially, when thinking about Super Bowl commercials there is an underlying sense of excitement and anticipation, but at what cost? Super Bowl advertisements continue to show greater innovation and creativity, consequently raising the bar of what consumers expect at one specific time of year while also degrading an advertising agent’s abilities to a three-ring circus. In his article, Marche is encouraging advertisers to produce Super Bowl caliber commercials not just once a year, but all the time. I feel as though this plea is at odds with a previous statement Marche makes while addressing the consequence of quality advertising. Marche states, “Advertising works: Why do you think Americans are so fat and in debt” (Marche 2)? So, if advertising is a largely contributing factor to our waistlines and debt, why should we look for it to be even more persuasive?

In the Disney film WALL-E, the population of Earth is living on a space ship due to how badly humans destroyed the planet’s natural resources. One of the most prevalent themes of the film is that everyone became insanely overweight, using hover-round carts to move since they could no longer walk, all while being bombarded by advertising. Even on what is left of Earth the advertisements are still everywhere, suffocating the viewer. I don’t want this to be our future; no one should. Instead of demanding better more effectual advertising all the time, let’s view Super Bowl commercials as something to be enjoyed but on a limited time basis. A fine dessert to be savored for special occasions, not something to gorge ourselves on until it no longer means what it used to.

Beverly Gowton

Everyone who watches the Super Bowl expects to see amazing commercials. In the article “A Short Prayer for Advertising” Stephen Marche states “The integration of advertising into life is already nearly absolute” (Marche). For many Americans, anticipation of what the Super Bowl commercials will be over ride the actual anticipation of the game. Many viewers tune in to simply watch the commercials not for the love of the game.

Although this thought process may seem trivial, to the consumer it is paramount. Society today can’t catch a break “Everyone is a part of the promotional machinery, and we are submitting to this machinery in every aspect of our existence” (Marche). Americans today often spend money they don’t have on items they don’t need. We have become a frivolous society, one in which there is no spending restraint and advertisers are well aware of this change. “We've blamed the bankers and the government for the inability of Americans to keep within sustainable limits, but everything ordinary people do, from walking down the street to sending an e-mail, tells them either overtly or clandestinely to spend more” (Marche). Unfortunately, this constant bombardment is causing us to trade in our culture of saving and become a Nation of spendthrifts.

Guadalupe Escalera

Stephen Marche's " A Short Prayer for Advertising" depicts that "advertisement has become life, and life has become advertising." He states that "as advertising intrudes more and more surreptitiously into every aspect of life, it loses its once-essential glamour." I agree with Marche because I used to believe ads were there to sell a product not to force a product on a future buyer. It has lost its glamour and glory because now a days it is uncommon to not see ads because the day that occurs is the day people wont know how to react. Ads used to be scarce and free of multiple repetition and were mainly common only on paper; now it is everywhere in the media, books, stores, markets, and there is not one place where advertising does not exist. It might be true that advertisement "[is] a chance to see ourselves as we are and to confront our cravings and habits for what they are," but it is not the way we decided future decisions or base our life around ads just because they can pull at or professional and personal strings. "Advertising can be magnificent as surely as it can be annoying." Too much of it can begin to corrupt our minds and lead us down a dark road if we let it. Ads have more effect on us than we have on the advertisements themselves, we just have to know what ads to let into our minds and which to simply ignore.

Gabriella D

Over the course of man decades, advertising has truly been a main influence in the lives of people all around the world. With the up-and-coming technological advancements such as TV, phones, radio, YouTube, and Facebook, advertising is almost everywhere. Although it appears everywhere, it may not appeal to everyone. Oftentimes the only time advertising grasps the viewers attention through forms of entertainment is during major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, in which millions of people have their eyes glued to the television screen for a solid 4 hours.
So why don’t advertisers always use “Super Bowl Style Advertisements” as a way to display products? Stephen Marche believes that we should have more quality advertisement and that it should gain respect as an art form, in the ways that it has appeal to the people and manages to grasp their attention. In A Short Prayer For Advertising, Marche says, “It's a chance to see ourselves as we are and to confront our cravings and habits for what they are.” He believes that advertisement should be almost transparent in the sense that viewers would not even notice if it came on and appealed to them or not because it was that good of an advertisement.
I find his argument persuasive, but I believe that part of the problems in the world stem from this want and desire to have what we see on television. With the invention of DVR and TiVo, fast forwarding to the meat and potatoes of what you are trying to watch has become a breeze. I think that because of this, people would not stay tuned to watch advertisements on TV, because they are merely trying to watch their show. Also, if a commercial really is entertaining, and does happen to go viral, it will appear on YouTube and people can choose to view it or not view it for their own amusement whenever they want.


In Stephen Marche's article, "A Short Prayer for Advertising", he discusses his argument that advertising should have Super Bowl quality and that way it can less and annoying and more respectful. His reasoning for this is that it will provide us with the opportunity to sift through good and bad advertisments along with the fact that good quality advertisments give us the chance to make a connection or relationship with something or someone.
I personally have mixed feeligns about his argument. I believe in a way he his persuasive because I think having better quality commercials would make them more tolerable and easier to sit through. However, I think most people, and myself included, would just try to fast forward through them no matter regardless. In sum, I believe he has a good argument that commericals should have greater quality in order to be a bit more respected, but in the end I don't think it really matters.

Bee F.

In Stephen Marche’s Article, A Short Prayer for Advertising, he begins to praise the use of advertisement, feeling it should be respected more as an art form. Although I agree that coming up with new advertisement ideas need a creative mind, Marche’s argument seems flawed unsupported, and unpersuasive. He automatically jumps into conclusions saying that we as Americans live off these advertisements. I feel companies need to live off advertisements to make their products known; however, I do not feel like we, as consumers, need them. Commercials are the most common form of advertisement but many people do not watch television for the commercials, if anything, that is when people take breaks: go grab something to eat, or simply go to the bathroom. I do not feel like better commercials will attract more people to watch them; it does not change the fact that we are not watching television for the ads. Yes, advertising alone requires some talented mind, I do feel like it should be appreciated as an art form because some ads out there are pretty clever and make you laugh, some ads are even so affective it makes me want to go run and grab that product, but the bottom I do not agree with Marche’s reasoning.


Stephen Marche is clearly exaggerating the use of advertising and how important of an influence it is on our daily lives. He emphasizes the Super Bowl advertisements as this "ritual is by far the most important cultural event of the year." However, the reasoning that Marche uses for his article is simply by his own personal observations and opinion, not really providing support with statistics or research of any kind.

Although Marche seems to be against the advertising frenzy we have in this modern day towards the beginning of his article, he then switches his point of view at the end saying that not all advertising is bad because it allows us to "see ourselves as we are and to confront our cravings and habits for what they are." I definitely agree with both sides of the argument because while I'm in the middle of watching my favorite television program, there are certain advertisements that I find completely irrelevant to the product being sold, but there are also other advertisements which I find to be inspiring and possibly beneficial to my life. Thus, I become "sold" on the product.

Because our society is so bent on the idea of consumerism, it's hard for people's opinions not to be swayed regarding the purchase of "the next big thing." However, what people don't realize is that sometimes the products they are influenced to buy has no use for their own lives and they are just simply mesmerized by the effective use of advertising.


I disagree with Marche's view of how advertising should receive more respect in its art form because he basically shoves in the face of all people reading his article that advertisements has already worked. I feel that when he mentioned the rhetorical question "Why do you think Americans are so fat and in debt?" I believe it is just snobby that he believes Advertisements are the reason why Americans are so fat. I don't believe that his arguments are that persuasive for the fact being that he mentions a point and says how right he is without giving proper examples. For example, Marche mentions advertisements has always been a "bastard art form" but now it is "essential to life". All he mentions is how important advertisement is, without giving proper reasoning behind why. His arguments are weak and on a scale of 1 to impact of how his essay affected me, it would get a clear cut no. I always see how funny or great a commercial is, but the commercial really is not the reason I would buy an item. My personal decision is what I use to by the items I want, an advertisement has no impact on my decision. I would fast forward past an advertisement despite how good it is because I watch TV for the content, not to see how much money I could waste on an item.


When the super bowl comes the ads are part of the hype. Everyone knows that ads will be spoken about after like it was part of the football game. It puts the ads on a pedestal leaving people to judge each advertisement, as Marche says, “Which are the good ads and products and which are the bad ads and products?” To Marche advertisements have become a way a life and he already said that they lead to overconsumption and debt. Why turn it into an art form? He’s not very persuasive in the sense that it isn’t really necessary to make it an art form if he already said it does its job. Go ahead and make it an art form though, it would be more entertaining to see funnier, better, and interesting advertisements but it wouldn’t really matter to the public. If it turns into this “art form” he mentions then advertisements would just have the affect that viral advertisements have. After a while people will get sick of all this talk about funny ads that they become irrelevant. The public will be desensitized to the “art form” of ads.


Marche argues that advertising is basically an evil force taking over American lives. He claims that advertising is “Toxic” and is a big factor to why Americans are fat and in debt. I feel that Marche didn’t support his claim very well. He ranted for a couple pages and gave his “I say”, but there was no proof or evidence to back up his claims. I would have been more impressed if he gave some facts, for example, if he added that 4/5 obese people say they eat McDonalds because of the advertising it promotes, I would have been more persuaded. “Better commercials” doesn’t really mean anything to me. Commercial breaks are a time to run to the kitchen to get a snack or to tweet about the show I’m watching, I never pay attention to the advertising commercials so “better” ones wouldn’t make a difference.
Marche claims that Americans do not have the will power to say no to commercial advertisement, I disagree. Although I do feel that advertisement has become excessive, I don’t think we all run out to buy a burger on an impulse after watching two half naked girls on a Carls JR commercial. Many different ads appeal to many different people, whether or not we have the will power to put away the credit card and put down the cheeseburger is up to us as consumers. The advertisement’s job is to reel us in, our job is to simply say “no”.


Advertising is a part of the daily lives of people. In the short essay "A Short Prayer for Advertising", writer Stephen Marche makes the point that advertising is becoming an obnoxious form of past glory. Marche points out that not only does advertising not appeal to people, due to the quality of the the ads, but it is a part of life. For explain, one form of advertising is to insert a product into a television series. "It is perfectly normal for Staples to buy plotlines on The Office rather than commercials" (paragraph 2). This shows that ads have been integrated into our lives. In some tv series, the integration is so obvious that it takes away from the show. I agreed with Marche that ads should be made better quality because they are all around us and they do influence our choices we make in the marketing world. In the Superbowl, a major part of the experience is the high quality ads that can grab our attention. With better ads, we would be more inclined to watch the commercials just like the Superbowl.

gj ENG 104

In the article "A Short Prayer for Advertising", Stephen Marche talks about how advertising itself is an essential to today's life but in a way needs to become more improved and creative like super bowl commercials. Marche shows just how important advertising has become in today's society by saying that "advertising has become life and life has become advertising."(Marche) Without advertising, there wouldn't be a way to get people to buy or do things because most if not all people need a little persuasion to do something they hadn't really had in mind of doing. Literally everyone is seeing, making, or listening to an advertisement, making the value of it increase. Therefore, Marche says that "The triumphal march of advertising is also its squalid little funeral." (Marche)Because there are more advertisements in the world than ever, advertising can either get a good effect for companies or a bad effect. Depending on how creative and luring the ad is. If the ad isn't all that great, then people are less likely to get persuaded. So, in general, the main thing that Marche is trying to say is that all advertising is great but because of the constant use of it over and over again, it is constantly in need of improvement like the overly creative super bowl commercials.
Marche is right when he says that advertisements need to become more creative. Ads in today's society are overly repeated and not that luring. Instead of persuading the buyer, it makes people turn the channel or want the ad to hurry up and pass over. If companies had wanted more money or more people to buy their products, then they would have to put more effort into the ads that they create. Just like super bowl ads, they need to get the buyers attention but they don't, therefore needing improvement.
However, for lots of people, even with the improvement to the ads, most will never care or bother to look at them. Instead, during commercials/advertisements, it's when people go for a bathroom break or just walk away. Advertisements on bulletins or at malls are barely looked at because for the buyer, not only does it not call to them but it's just an ad. Most people would say that advertisements are a waste of time and changing them or not would have no difference in how many views or buyers a company gets.


In “A prayer for advertising” the author makes some solid points on the mass amount of advertising present in the world today. Although I agree with his idea that there an exurbanite number of advertisers paying a small fortune in order to was a percentage of your life, I felt the majority of his arguments were not well supported and that he jumped to conclusions that had more factors than he dealt with. He said that the reason for Americans being overweight and lazy was that the majority of people are sucked into mass consumerism by advertisers. Although this is one of the issues, there are other issues that address this such as easily accessible cheap food is very unhealthy, or that due to the lack of manual labor jobs Americans are expressing feelings of physical fatigue. Although the presence of ads is overwhelming our society and changing our decision making functionality there are other factors in affect.

Brianna U.

In “A Short Prayer for Advertising”, writer Stephen Marche praises the influence of advertising on American culture. He argues that in the world of advertising, companies aim to brainwash consumers into believing everything that they see or hear. Marche claims that advertising has made a significant impact and has greatly integrated itself into our daily lives. For the most part, Marche thinks that advertising has had a great affect on our personal thoughts and what appeals to us, however he also says that it has become an unhealthy obsession that will continue to haunt our minds and actions.

Marche uses the Superbowl as an example of a great advertisement opportunity, claiming that most people look forward to the ads rather than the actual football game. I believe that this is true, but on the other hand, I do not fall into the category of influenced consumers that Marche believes exist. Marche did not convince me any more with his knowledge on the topic. In my opinion, advertising has the ability to “stick” in one’s mind. This does not necessarily mean I will go out and try a product, and in most cases, I would overlook an advertisement because they can get quite obnoxious or annoying.

Stephanie T.

Marche claims that advertisement is a cornerstone of American life, but his reasoning is faulty. It is true that advertising has become integrated into everyday life, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people pay attention to it or appreciate it. Many people overlook advertisements or ignore them. He tries to support his argument with successful instances of advertisement, but neglects to acknowledge the vast expanse of uninteresting ones. Marche's opinion is not very persuasive, due to his failure to cite other credible sources and simply glorify his own ideals. I would personally like to see better commercials, but only because fast-forwarding isn't always an option. I do prefer humorous or entertaining commercials to keep me occupied until the end of the commercial break.

Jennifer L.

In Stephen Marche’s article, “A Short Prayer for Advertising”, he talks about how advertisements should be a lot more interesting and creative like the commercials shown during the Super Bowl. He points out statements saying that most commercials are boring and don’t really interest most viewers. Commercials should be more interesting and find ways to grasp the viewer’s attention, but I believe that even if commercials were interesting, I would still want to fast forward through them. Commercials are the most annoying when I’m getting very into a show and all of a sudden a commercial comes on. They’re also very annoying when I have to watch a 30 second advertisement for a video that’s only a minute long.

Angelica L.

In this article;Marche claims that Advertising works. he states that it should be conisdered as an art form; which in some case , it can be. I believe that in this article, he tends to make Advertising the the most important thing that people see and care about. Also that its the only way to get us to buy any product. Throughout his article, it seems like he describes that Advertising is used everywhere by everyone; such as in Politics, entertainment, sports and etc. These types of Ads are what attracts people. However, I do not find his Article persuasive; due to the fact that i did not quite understand what was his main postion. Also the fact that he was just jumping from one thing to another. I would rather watch less Commercials

Christian Moreno

I wouldn't like to see better ads. When I'm watching my favorite movies or tv shows, I could care less about what is being advertised. The less ads the better. I believe Marche when he says, "Ads have always been a bastard art form, looked down on by their proper artistic cousins.", but not entirely. Marketers think of all kinds of creative things. I mean they have a lot to consider when brainstorming ideas. Marketers take into consideration the songs that are playing, the people and situations being presented. Marketers are very successful, I think that in many cases its because they repeat the commercial over and over. Now-a-days with Facebook, marketers can now target their consumers in a more effective way. Marketers and even some TV networks such ABC7 giving people incentives (such as a chance to win $100 for gas), listen to that a CHANCE not even a guarantee, and really they promote these give aways to take away some of the peoples privacy. Hundreds of thousands of people get suckered into these types of promotions. Rest assured, once you've agreed to the terms and conditions and have clicked yes, they only have your basic information (which includes Name,Current City, Hometown, Education, Work History,etc.), all of your likes and the worst part about it is that there is no time limit ladies and gentlemen. They can go then come back and invade your privacy to better their strategy and convince to buy their products. The more these companies spend on advertising really goes to show you how good their product is. I mean people wouldn't invest a good chunk of money into advertising their product unless they were certain that their product is golden. Super bowl quality advertising is the perfect example. Companys such as Coca Cola, Doritos, Pizza Hut, etc spend tens of millions if not more on these superbowl commercials. I bet that has a huge payoff. I don't agree entirely with Marche when he says, "Advertising works: Why do you think Americans are so fat and in debt?" If anything, ads may be one of many factors in the whole decision making of what people consume. I do agree that people are in debt because of advertising. Listen to any rap song out today and chances are you will hear one of these four topics: talk of money, women, drugs & partying. This talk of money, women and drugs alone is bad enough, along with poor decision making. People get into a lot of trouble over this, that includes getting into massive debt.

Sebastian Siciliano

Marche's article says that there should be better advertisements and that it should really interest the people. Everybody loves advertisements from the super bowl because they are entertaining and fun to watch, but for some reason when you are watching regular television and all these random commercials come out and then nobody wants to watch them. Marche makes a great point that advertisements tend to bore people and maybe if they were funny or had a catchy slogan then more people would be interested. A lot of people do not really pay attention to commercials simply because they do not interest them so I feel that they are a waste of money. I would like to see better commercials on television just so I could be entertained while I am waiting for my program to start.

Sam Lee

Marche exemplifies how advertisements need to improve. He believes that "as advertising intrudes more and more surreptitiously into every aspect of life, it loses its once-essential glamour." Marche gives a lot of examples of good advertisements, the Super Bowl being the best ones, and shows how advertisement is an art form. I do not find his article to be persuasive and I would still fast forward through advertisements even if they were improved. I do agree that advertisements have an impact on consumers; however, I disagree that advertisements are an art form and would make an impact as much as the Super Bowl ads. One ad cannot satisfy everyone because everyone has different tastes.

Kathy Lee ; ENG104

In "A Short Prayer for Advertising", Stephen Marche talks about how advertising is not only working but also dominating the public life. He believes that the advertisements need to improve and grab the viewers attention. I do agree that advertisements need to grab the viewers attention because if I were to see an interesting commercial I wouldnt skip through it, I would watch it. Marche also believes that advertisment is a different form of art, I however do not think of it as art. Sure, people can get creative with it, and does serve a similar purpose to grab the views attention, but I belive that commercial advertisments are simply to sell the product or spread the word to the general public.

Chau Trieu

Marche makes a claim saying that everyone is part of the marketing game because the people that promote it are the players and the consumers are the objects. He also claims that advertisement is becoming an epidemic because everywhere you go you would see advertising. The article is very persuasive because it is true wherever you go you would see advertisement. For example my friend and i went to the mall the other day and we saw an advertisement for mr.popo potatoes and that made us want to go look for it and try it. Another factor that is persuasive is that advertising is becoming a toxin, it is spread out everywhere for example through TV, internet, or through people. Yes i would like to see better commercial where it is not based on sex appeal, i would like to see more originality in these commercials. Even if the advertisement is very good, i still would not watch it because it because I find it to be a waste of time. But in conclusion, somehow advertisement is sneaking into our daily lives whether we want them or not and it is making an impact on our choices.


In “A Short Prayer for Advertising”, an article written by Stephen Marche, Marche advocates for better advertising in our everyday life and asks for more respect to be given to advertising as an art form. Marche, however, does not give solid reasoning for his claims except for his own opinions. For that reason I do not find his article very persuasive, I feel that in order to make such an absolute claim, Marche should use some sort of statistical information or opinions from other established people to help support his claim. Although I do enjoy commercials, especially the ones on during the Super Bowl, I think that we should focus less on advertising in our daily lives. However, I do not think that this will happen because the advertising industry is so massive in this country and it helps keep up our economy. I do not see the advertising industry shrinking or lessening their amount of advertising any time soon.

Devin R T

Stephen Marche explains that advertising has become a cornerstone of American life. Mister Marche advocates for better advertising, Super Bowl quality advertising, in daily life. He believes that advertising plays as important role in society and its quality should match its significance. However, even with better quality advertisements, would any of us actually bother to pay them any more attention than we do now? I think not. Mister Marche downgrades the average American’s intellect to a brain-dead monkey (I’ll admit this is a bit of an exaggeration) when he claims that we do almost everything we do because of advertising. Maybe it’s because I’m a college student and I’m required to use critical thinking in my many assignments and papers, but the “all-powerful advertisement” has little hold over me. Maybe I’m just assuming that the rest of America is like me and actually thinks instead of becoming mindless zombies controlled by the television and radio and billboards. To me, this article is nothing more than a single man’s opinion. Yes, he only wants advertising to become better quality for all the time we spend watching and listening to them. Instead, I suggest he get TiVo or some equivalent if bad quality advertisement bothers him that much. Then he can fast-forward through the commercials like the rest of us.

Jonnah d.R.

Stephen Marche portrays his claim through his article "A Short Prayer for Advertising". Stephen claims that the "Super Bowl offers the possibility for a new relationship with advertising" because he believes advertising controls the people's choices and influences them to do specific actions such as buy something we've seen on T.V. such as the snuggie. Marche states that "Advertising works" however he does not portray any support, instead he just states his claim and assumes his audience will agree with him. By doing so, Marche’s article is not really persuasive however it does point out some good points.

The commercials on television take up too much time in between shows. I usually just fast forward through the commercial or I take a potty break just so i would not have to see the commercial. I think the commercials on television are a waste of time. There is only a small handful of commercials that I think are actually entertaining or ridiculous. For example, the commercials for certain medicines where more than half of the commercial talks about the side effects while the people in the commercial run around with smiling faces. Even if the commercials were more entertaining I believe people would still fast forward through the commercials anyways because they just want to watch their favorite television show or a movie.

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