（Contributed by Takashi）
Do you buy products because of advertising?
Yes, advertising does affect what I buy in unexpected ways. It sometimes makes me want to buy things I was not thinking about buying moments ago.
For example, when I was coming home from work the other day, I saw a poster ad for a magazine in the train.
As I read the headlines of this week’s issue of that magazine, I was enticed to read more about some of its articles.
So, I ended up buying a copy of that magazine at the kiosk as soon as I got off the train at my station.
I never knew I would buy that magazine when I got on the train. I think this example demonstrates the persuasive power of advertising.
Do you think there are too many ads on television?
There are many ads on television but I don’t consider them too many because, thanks to them, we can enjoy free entertainment on television and radio. On balance, ads are good for us in my opinion.
Yes, I do think there are too many ads.
Advertising makes us buy things that we really don’t need. That is a wasteful use of our scarce resources for both those products and the energy used to produce and air those ads.
Ads are threats to environmental sustainability.
What is a commonly advertised product in Japan?
I think the most commonly advertised products belong to two categories.
There are two categories of products that most frequently use advertising.
The first category is fast-moving consumer goods, including packaged foods such as snacks and drinks, and toiletries such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste.
The second category of goods and services are those that need to develop strong brand images in order to position the products against competitors in the market.
Examples in this category include automobiles, cosmetics and more recently tourism.