The Paradox of Hedonism: Investigating the Media's Inducement of Deceptive Desires & it's Effects on Television Viewers


  • Rao Saboor Zafar University of the Punjab, Lahore
  • Sehreen Far Bukhari University of the Punjab, Lahore
  • Hafsah Javed University of the Punjab, Lahore.


Deceptive desires, Hedonic advertisements, Compulsive buying, gratification,


The study analyses the relationship between the exposure to television advertisements and its effects in creating deceptive desires among viewers. It also investigates the interconnection with higher materialistic tendencies in buyers with their favorable attitude towards hedonic messages shown in advertising. Drawing upon the theoretical foundation of utilitarianism, it suggests that by portraying products in a hedonic manner, advertisements lead the viewers towards compulsive buying resulting in false sense of fulfillment and immediate gratification from the viewers. The data was collected through a closed-ended questionnaire from a sample-size of 300 participants in Pakistan. The results confirm that media, through hedonic advertisements, develop false desires in viewers with the intention of driving immediate purchase decisions. Moreover, with the desires being deceptive, the false sense escapism is created in viewers. Findings show a significant level of P-value as 0.05 thus both the study hypotheses are approved.