The best psychologists and profilers in the world are hired by advertising firms to get into our heads. Nothing in an ad is accidental, and it is all designed to manipulate us, to mold our behavior and make us consume. We’re manipulated by our very environment to consume. Advertising uses several methods to get into our heads.
AppealsHumans have certain needs that never go away, no matter the time. We have a need for food, companion ships, shelter, and many basic things. Advertisers study and exploit these needs. They appeal to our most basic psychic needs to make us want to consume. Below is a list of several basic needs we have; several things they appeal to
Appeal to Nostalgia/Shared Memories
• childhood memories: childhood television icons, older advertisements, and even old war propaganda.
Appeal to Belonging
• We all want to belong to a larger social group and acceptance: large families or groups of friends come together to show off clothes, drink beer, eat McDonalds, or even have a soda.
Appeal to Love/Sexual Satisfaction
• Blues Brothers, “everybody needs somebody to love”: happy couples,couples engaged in sex or suggesting sexual promiscuity.
Appeal to Status/Power
• We are all motivated by ideas of success: cars or luxury items such as watches, nice homes, or expensive vacations.
Appeal to Safety
• We all want to feel safe: SUV or set of tires will protect our family, or home alarm will save us from break ins and even terror itself.
Appeal to Sustenance
• We need food: great photos of delicious food late at night!
Appeal to Feeling Attractive/Healthy
• We wan to be fit and attractive: Subway guy loosing weight, sexy people wearing clothes.
Many of the propaganda devices below sort of overlap with the basic appeals from above. These techniques have all been developed in the past century, and most of them were made during World War I and World War II in war propaganda. They were effective enough to get women to join the workforce and men to volunteer to die. If they are this powerful, they can surely get us to go get a burger or buy a coke from a vending machine.
• “Just do it” slogan. This propaganda technique is amazing at fostering brand recognition.
• Coke attacks Pepsi, Tide attacks Joy, Crest attacks Colgate. They don’t prove how good a product is, but how bad another product is instead.
Glittering Generalities/Faulty Logic
• “Better Formula,” or “Improved.” These are incomplete comparisons. These are general and vague, but make us feel that a product is better or improved in a real way.
• Celebrity: Michael Jordan’s Ball Park Franks or Beyonce’s Pepsi,
• Sex: Often, these are print ads for clothes, liquor, or smokes.
• Miraculous: "Running shoes which let you run on water." This basic technique lets you know that a product is more than good—it’s divine.
• Patriotism: American flag waving behind the CNN news logo, or a country singer praising Ford F150’s as being American.
• Uncle Sam, Coke's fat Santa, Taco Bell Chihuahua and the Geiko lizard...
• If something makes us laugh, it stands out over the hours of boring ads we digest.
• Sexy supermodels, bright colors, and interesting lettering in print ads. If we are drawn to an unusual ad, we commit to it, take it in, and remember it.
• 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Crest, so it must be good, right?
• Sexy people, sexy music, sexy cars, subliminal sexual images (picture Britney Spears being hugged by a giant snake…). Sex sells, and it’s everywhere. Either explicit or implicit, nude or semi-nude models of either sex will sell.
There are many other ways that advertisers get to us (Demographics, the VALS system, subliminal advertising, etc.), but this is plenty for this project's objectives. These techniques seem a bit obvious and over the top once you read about them, but they work. They work on us every day and every night. Millions upon millions of times each day, these basic appeals make corporate America billions of dollars.
Info by: J. David Moton