According to Berger, publicity influences consumers “images of an alternate way of life”. These images pose to present the consumer a reward of a higher quality existence if we were to buy these items. They persuade consumers that they will become admirable, which will make them more contented. It is significant because we see these images everywhere we go, and even if we don’t recall these images, they still manage to impact our daily decisions.
Berger explains that oil paintings like publicity images both revolve around the concept that “you are what you have”. Oil paintings, however were used to enhance the self-image of its owner. Publicity images are intended to convince people to buy belongings. These images present inaccurate assurances of greater contentment in life, from better relationships to a better home. To attain this happiness, one needs the finances to obtain it. These images are all generated to magnify the self-centered greed that is ingrained in human nature.
One of the dreams that Berger alludes to, is the skin dream. Representation in magazines, TV, and now on social media offer a dream of allure by buying their products. It manipulates consumers to be convinced that if you buy them you too will share the allure of having unblemished skin and in turn be more appealing. This fraud is given advancement by technology, far off that of the lighting and cameras of Berger’s day, and has developed to include digital tools that amplify the image to be more visually pleasing than the reality could ever be. This technology has sanctioned anyone with a computer to enjoy manipulation of images to sell us their own experiences online.