We are conscious of what we attend to — and not conscious of what we do not attend to”. – William James, (1842–1910), American psychologist and philosopher.
Is the world being swallowed by brands? Or are Brands swallowing us, innocent consumers?
Cause at every corner one can see an invasion of some form of advertisement or the other. Be it on the skies, water or land. It’s everywhere. Persuading, informing, entertaining making consumers aware that it exists.
Advertisements are an ancillary medium, soon becoming a primary one. And I see no reason why? Holding my morning cup of coffee, I stagger down to the living room to read my newspaper only to be invaded with colorful, appealing ads. Turning each ad-dominated news page, I smirk at the irony of a newspaper being more of an ad-paper. Even the radio, television, online media have been raided by these ads.
One cannot ignore the number of advertisements on the roads. Billboards, plastic bags, sunshade covers for vehicles, vehicles themselves. It seems astonishing to believe that ads actually, unconsciously brainwash our minds.
Off to work or school definitely, no advertisements there. WRONG! For one, word of mouth by itself is a mode of advertising. A friend talking about how good the food is in a restaurant is indirectly an advertisement. In class or your workstation, having calendars and pens that bearing advertisements on them. So each time one goes to write something down on the calendar one sees an ad that is unconsciously etched in our minds. Similarly, when we reach our purses for a pen it is an ad we read.
However, most of us do not realize the mind games the advertisers has been playing on our subconscious minds for the past fifty years.
It’s a scary thought, really, when you realize the advertisers have gained control of our lives without us even knowing it. These talented advertisers really think about small but significant ways in which they can advertise their business. For instance, advertisements have not even been spared in bathroom stalls, which can be seen on the inside of the doors these days.
Giving heights to subliminal advertising, slowly and steadily consumers are getting, be it consciously or unconsciously brainwashed by these surrounding ads influencing our tastes, our decisions, our expectations.
Advertisers use these subliminal techniques to influence the second and third level of consciousness. They target the consumer’s fears and desires, manipulating them in ways never thought possible. On the other hand, advertisers present to the consumer on the conscious level a safe, neutral, naturally appealing ad to appease the consumer’s resistance to subliminal advertising. While glancing through an ad, the average consumer skims through paragraphs, barely noticing an ad that they have seem many times. When we are doing this, we are responding to our subliminal reception because the conscious mind is uninterested in the potentially offensive subliminal material.
Subliminal are inherently deceptive because the consumer does not perceive them at a normal level of awareness, and thus is given no choice whether to accept or reject the message, as is the case with normal advertising.
The epoch of raising or molding brands specifically through mass media advertising has just begun. But the difference unlike the old days being not how many consumers see my ad or the frequency of how often you see it, but rather finding ways to get consumers to invite brands into their lives. The mass media will be used as a stronger tool of communication as the time goes by. Wondering why, advertisers have got to get through so much, just to get their brand noticed. Well, for the obvious reasons, to get noticed of course, to stand out from the other same branded products. Advertisers already see the game today as making bold statements in design and wooing consumers by integrating messages so closely into entertainment that the two are all but indistinguishable.
Advertisers have taken a definite hold on our daily lives. Half of their dominating influence can be attributed to their use of subliminal advertising. They take advantage of the susceptibility in our subconscious minds. Especially with today’s high tech gadgets and latest computer technology, they have unparalleled resources to maneuver or influence each image to target a specific weakness in us.
How do we not fall into the advertisers trap? Is by attaining optimum awareness. Being Conscious is the way to fight back, if we have to avoid that influence which advertisers are trying to control us. The next time we make a purchasing decision, ask “Why am I choosing this product?” Buy a product because of its taste, its quality, and its price. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover similarly, never buy a product because its packaging looks good or because it is a name brand. Remember, it is the major companies that have the resources to do subliminal advertising. Thus as a consumer; Be smart, Think smart.
For now, keep a watch…observe more closely at our advertisement filled world because today’s world is truly becoming an ad, ad, ad world, just hope we don’t go m-ad with it.