August 17, 2021

Resisting Advertising Mind Manipulation

Advertising - what it looks like.

Walter Dill Scott, the original American applied psychologist, published the first book on the psychology of advertising in 1903. The world hasn't been the same since.

Scott outlined what he saw as desirable traits in a population that could be exploited by advertisers.

In his book Advertising, he suggested people were "highly suggestible and obedient", then recommended ways this could be exploited to the benefit of advertisers. 

He believed that consumers were irrational, and therefore easily influenced, and I guess he has been proven right.

Scott spent his career researching methods of social control and human motivation, and showed how people with something to sell could use these to influence consumer behaviour. 

He advised advertisers to use Direct Demand Commands in their campaigns. Such advertising will always tell you directly what to do

"Use Our Product!" 

"Don't Wait" 

"Buy Now!"

"Click here"

"Act Now"

And we all know how much fun it is to be told what to do. 

Marketing specialists help advertisers guide the consumer into and through what they call the "marketing funnel". 

Yes, that is a thing.

“A direct response ad should always demand an immediate response with a clear call-to-action that compels the prospect to take action now.” 
- Stephanie Mialki

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be manipulated and funnelled by anyone. 

The concept brings about images of cattle gates funnelling animals into an abattoir. Or children being funnelled in orderly single files into the educational meat grinder.

The Funnel is a trap. Best to run, fast, in the opposite direction.

Back to the pioneering mind controller, Scott. 

He tells early marketers that, “a human has been called the reasoning animal, but they could with greater truthfulness be called the creature of suggestion.” 

Thus begins the "funnelling" of the beauty and complexity of what it means to be human down to docile creatures plopping out of the skinny end of restricted ways of thinking.

Harry Holingworth, another early applied psychologist, also worked for the dark side. 

When advertising was in its infancy he explained that good advertising had to do four main things:

1. Grab the readers attention.
2. Focus their attention on The Message.
3. Induce the consumer internalize The Message.
4. Cause the consumer to take action and buy, buy, buy.

Advertising - what it means.

Mostly what they want to create is our obedience and compliance to them and their self-serving system.

“For me," poet Charles Bukowski said, "obedience to another is the decay of self."

Allowing ourselves to be suggestible and obedient to the consumer model of exploitation is to give up the very things that makes us who we are. 

It is inhuman to its very core. It is anti-human, and anti-life.

A human needs very little to get by, and anyone that tells us differently has dangerous, selfish motives. 

They care nothing for our happiness or the health of the planet.

We should not wait -  the only answer to the rank manipulation of our minds and wallets is to resist now, and resist hard.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10/12/2021

    I'm currently reading "The Day the World Stops Shopping" by JB McKinnon -- excellent book and full of good things to consider. I, of course, think of the NBA community as I read. It is gratifying having only that which you love caring for, and nothing more. -Erin


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