An essay written by Rebecca Centanni ’13 is the winning paper for the Advertising Educational Foundation’s inaugural Alfred J. Seaman Award for Best Undergraduate Essay on Advertising and Society.
Centanni says her entry, the essay “Advertising in Life Magazine and the Encouragement of Suburban Ideals,” was also her final research paper for Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Jennifer Scanlon‘s course Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl.
“My paper discusses advertisements in Life magazine in the post- WWII period and the impact that these ads had on the development of the suburbs,” says Centanni, a chemistry major and economics minor from Hingham, Mass.
“It was really interesting to see how the social unrest characteristic of the time period really played a role in the desires of the people, and allowed for advertisers to sell products by appealing to society’s need for a return to traditional suburban values. Additionally, I think the topic is something very relevant today, as advertising relies on appealing to the social desires of the people.”
The award will be presented at the Advertising Educational Foundation’s annual Honors Night event May 24 at the University Club in New York City.