Manipulation, Not Persuasion
"The contradictory nature of the American myth of equality is nowhere written so clearly as in the signs that American advertisers use to manipulate us into buying their wares. "Manipulate" is the word here, not "persuade"; for advertising campaigns are not sources of product information, they are exercises in behavior modification. Appealing to our subconscious emotions rather than our conscious intellects, advertisements are designed to exploit the discontentments fostered by the American dream, the constant desire for social success and the material rewards that accompany it" -Jack Solomon "Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising" Advertisers go to great lengths to manipulate the American people. There are many different methods used to manipulate, confuse, and trick us, and they’re all used to captivate us. From weasel words to sexual persuasion, we explore the tricks marketers use to reel us in. Perhaps their greatest trick, first and foremost, is making us believe they don’t exist. It seems absurd to claim, but the vast majority of people believe we are uninfluenced by advertising. We like to view ourselves as individuals, even as we buy the products directly marketed toward us, and even in the face of a multibillion dollar marketing industry. According to a paidContent.org article, a total of 646 billion was spent on advertising in 2011. I must ask why corporations invest so much in something that many believe has no power. Quite the contrary, corporations bank on the false thought that advertising doesn’t influence the people: none are more defenseless than those who believe there is no battle. It may be that advertisers play with our emotions rather than appeal to our intellect that make us believe they aren’t there as we make our decisions. It could also be that we think of all the ads that aren’t affecting our purchases. There are many factors that make us believe we’re immune to advertising,...
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