Through its artful engagement with consumers, advertising subtly shapes our everyday worlds. It plays upon powerful emotions -- envy, fear, lust and ambition. But the industry itself is far more subtle and complex than many people might assume. Through an innovative mix of business strategy and cultural theory, this pioneering book provides a behind-the-scenes analysis of the link between advertising and larger cultural forces, as well as a rare look into the workings of agencies themselves. How do advertisements endeavour to capture real life? How do advertising agencies think of their audience: the consumer and their corporate client? What issues do agencies have to consider when using an advertisement in a range of different countries? What specific methods are used to persuade us not only to buy but to remain loyal to a product? How do advertisers fan consumer desire? An incisive understanding of human behaviour is at the core of all these questions and is what unites advertisers and anthropologists in their work. While this link may come as a surprise to those who consider the former to be firmly rooted in commerce and the latter in culture, this book clearly shows that these two fields share a remarkable number of convergences. From constructing a Japaneseness that appeals to two very different Western audiences, to tracking advertising changes in the post World War II period, to considering how people can be influenced by language and symbols, Advertising Cultures is an indispensable guide to the production of images and to consumer behaviour for practitioners and students alike.