2.c.14 – What binds advertising and unconscious?

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March 1, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

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What binds advertising and unconscious?

We said in our minds that there is a management system that can automatically update according to the experiences we do in our lives; in other words our unconscious is updated by itself following criteria of its own and, in particular, the new ideas are accepted only if they do not destabilize the system of beliefs that is already formed; another aspect of that principle is that the old opinions, well consolidated, will not be put into question if it is not really necessary, but how do we evaluate when it is necessary? One of the key factors seems to be the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction that such beliefs bring when used: we have all accepted, or at least it seemed to make sense, the theory according to which man is a being superior to animals, being more complex, more evolved, the most recent and modern product of evolution; but if someone proves that there is an insect or a worm appeared from few millennia with a much more complex anatomy of us, here the juxtaposition of complexity -superiority would now look less reasonable, because it should recognize the superiority of the insect and this would absolutely not be gratifying; we’d immediately afterwards say that the superiority depends by intelligence or any other thing lacking in our rival. Here’s how an old cliché may be immediately removed when it is unsatisfactory for our self-esteem.
Another important factor are the emotions; we all know that a big fear had during a car accident can compel us to review the value of prudence and confidence in ourselves at the wheel. Strong emotions and strong feelings remain engraved for long time in our memory, often forever.
The basis of learning, experience, it is more or less incisive according to the intensity of emotions and feelings; it was shown that this effect is also given by the repetition of the same experience and in fact all of us are pretty good at what we do every day; the awareness of the repetition of experiences leads to reassess the educational meaning of rituality.
The modern psychology has deepened these arguments showing that process can also be culturally activated by telling fictitious experiences, narrating frightful or romantic stories, describing exotic places and giving interesting material to our mind to build its models of the world. The results are in all forms of advertising that beset us every day: If we look with a critical eye TV commercials, we will see that they tell us little about the product and even less about what makes it different from rival products, but then what is the use of all those elaborated pictures and complex soundtracks? Why seeking the best directors for these movies? We need to communicate, but not with our conscience; sounds and images are a language of sensations, a language understandable directly by the unconscious because advertisers and their psychologists know that this is the dominant part, the seat of our will, the party to convince; once met the goal of stimulating an unconscious desire, the purchase is warranted, because our conscious part, as always, will execute the order; this is why advertisements are full of beautiful women, people smiling, beautiful landscapes with harmonious music; the association product-good life must be formed, an association that to our minds seems more secure with greater frequency of repetition, here’s why advertising is so obsessive, it is a subtle manipulation of our hidden mind, that in modern language is so simplistically defined persuasion.

 

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