This experimental study draws on cultivation, dispositional materialism, and schema theories to test the effects of commercial media viewing on material values and welfare support. Data were collected from a cross-sectional British sample using a web-survey priming methodology (N = 487, ages 18–49). Findings suggest that (a) materialism and anti-welfare orientations operate through associated and contiguous cognitive-affective mechanisms that can be triggered by momentary exposure to materialistic media messages (MMMs). (b) Heavy consumers of television shows that valorize and regularly portray wealth, fame, and luxury are significantly more materialistic and anti-welfare than lighter consumers. (b) Chronic attention to MMMs may indirectly increase support for the governmental enactment of punitive welfare policies via cultivating self-enhancement related schemas, which when instantiated, decrease dispositional orientations toward empathy, altruism, and communality. This research contributes nuanced theoretical and experimental insights into how ubiquitous commercial media potentially undermine prosocial development and societal well-being.