Where is the line between advertisement and manipulation - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14803646
I have been thinking a lot lately about how invasive advertisement is become. I want to know others feelings on this issue. A few questions I have been asking my self are:
Were is the line between advertisement and manipulation.
How serious is this issue and if not regulated how far will these trends we see in today's advertisement go.
I have no experience in the advertisement world except from a customer perspective of cause. I would just like to get some other people's view on this issue especially from those with an experience with the business side of it.
#14803649
Ads are generally evil, unless you're like "this shop sells these items" in which case it's purely informative. Pretty much every ad you can watch contains some kind of lie, such as suggesting that the actors in the ad owe their whatever it is to the products, which they don't.

I am a little on the fence about funny ads that convey pretty much nothing, if I were Caliph or whatever I would ban all of the ads though :excited:
#14803652
What do you mean line? Isn't the purpose of advertising to manipulate? It manipulates your emotions, you form attachment to certain products, you encode them so that they're easily recalled, they burn into you brand recognition. But there's a hell of a lot more going on than what you see on a billboard or computer/TV screen.
A good first step would be to check out Edward Bernays - Propaganda to see how much goes into developing desire in people so that they feel that they wanted things themselves. The way we form our opinions and desires are very social and so you need to consider the way in which social relations and beliefs impact not only your subjectivity but your concrete behaviour.
Though it seeks to theorize how to stop genital mutilation in some countries, this piece does a great job outlining theorizing about social norms and beliefs and how they interact to create change.
Such understanding readily transcribes to advertising and getting people to buy shit.

But I think with the word manipulation it might have a stronger sense of something being intentional, in which case many things are intentionally constructed to propel people to certain ends but there's a lot of conflicting interests trying to have their way. So, if considering intentions murkies things, it could be better to just think of influences/forces upon your person that impact you and shape your behaviour.
But it is of some concern the extent to which the proliferation of technology has us so saturated in invasive messages than ever before. Its so extensive that there's no games about brand, logo and slogan recognition because people know companies and their shit so well.
To think of how influential somethings are, I sometimes reflect on how I know about things that I've done absolutely nothing to actively seek out. You hear shit about celebrities and products and you didn't even have to try and find them, because they find you.
And when it comes to add, though they can be explicit in someways in order to appeal to a particular demographic, because they know who they're trying to sell shit to, they can also benefit from ambiguity. So that a person can project certain meanings into them in the same way that a person projects their personal meanings into a song, because what often gives things meaning are derived from that which is in a person's own experiences and subjectivity.

And as an extra piece, although I think it doesn't do justice to trying to theorize about objectification, here is a good piecein considering advertising. From memory it relates well to my last part about the sort of meaning people put into things.
#14804170
The OP poses an interesting, complex question.

Since studying marketing, I have a different view on advertising.

Yes, it can be so invasive. The way ads are presented to us has gotten steadily more aggressive over the decades. I think back to the ads from the Madmen era (loved that show), the 80s, 90s and until the present day and the difference is so dramatic. In the past, presentations were more subtle or stylish but now they tend to be aggressive or loud or just very annoying.

I have a fondness for some of the old commercials back in the 80s and 90s because they were silly or funny, they felt like comedic skits. The ads I see now are either annoying or unreal due to all the special effects they use. So if we are wowwed, we will buy? I would not.

Some experts say that we have gotten used to all the marketing efforts so companies try to get our attention by being so loud or weird. But that only works until people are sick and tired of it.

I watch less TV now than when I was a kid so that I can avoid most commercials.
#14804280
For perspective I think it is helpful to step back from looking at TV ads and consider the wider context of human communication where advertisement and manipulation are as ubiquitous as in TV ad-land. Some samples at random:

- Army officer's rousing speeches before he orders his men into some highly dangerous situation. (playing on pride)

- Wife insinuating her husband isn't a real man if he doesn't do X,Y,Z for her. (playing on pride)

- Priest asserting everlasting torment for those that disbelieve in his self serving narratives. (playing on fear)

- Child harassing and annoying his or her parent in order to get some goodies from parent that parent had declined to provide. (playing on desire for peace)

- Leftist agitator implying to workers that their employers are cheating them by offering them paid work. (playing on pride)

- Politicians kissing babies in front of cameras in an ham fisted attempt to appear to be a "man of the people". (playing on peoples instinctive care for small children)

- Man acting up in order to impress a woman he is hoping to mate with. (playing on desire for a quality mate)

- Woman acting up in order to impress a man she is hoping to mate with. (playing on desire for a quality mate)

- Farmer using trained dog to maneuver herbivores around. (playing on fear of predators)

So yeah we all do it and have been doing it since forever. It would be weird if we didn't.
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