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  1. #1
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Default Marketing and Media Literacy

    I was watching TV today and I saw an ad for something (I can't remember the ad right now but I'll try to remmeber it!). The ad was obviously pushing a product, making it look appealing and satisfying. However, my reaction to the ad was that it was really saying the opposite -that it would probably be bad to get this product because of some of the things it does. However, due to the way the guy said it, and how when you see an ad you are concious of it being a promotion, you tend to see the product in a positive light, even if you arn't actually interested.

    A year or so ago I was reading The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond and he mentioned that after living in a media-free society in tribal New Guinea, his initial reaction to the advertisements he read in a maganize on the lfight back to L.A. was also negative.

    This has me thinking about media literacy. At my high school they teach us about media literacy; knowing what ads are doing and how they are created to be appealing so we would know what ads we are really interested in. I'm thinking now, does this "media literacy" stuff really just unintentionally teach you to identify the ad and digest it's message rather than identify an ad and chose if you wish to believe it? This isn't suppose to be "our corporate masters are brainwashing us in our schools!" paranoia, it's just a thought about the side effects of learning about media.

    One example of an add that this could be applied to (although its not the ad I was initially thinking of) is the weight loss ads that promise you can lose weight without exercise and while eating specially made servings of "your favourite foods", such as hamburgers, pizza, lasagna, ect. The promise is that you can do soemthing out of nothing. My reaction was immediately that that would be undesirable because as soon as the program ended you would immediately gain the weight back because you did not disciplin yourself to be healthy and active. The product seemed like a poor alternative to the other choices it was trying to beat (diet and exercise) because it did not emphasis health or a change in lifestyle yet promised what would result from a change of lifestyle. Or maybe I'm thinking too hard, but that was my initial reaction.

    Marketing in general is fascinating to me. My dad was watching golf today and all the ads were golf themed, even if the product was not. When you flip the channel, you will see the same product being advertised with different values attached to it. One minute the product is golf related, the next minute it isn't related to anything else, then the next minute it's hockey-related. Then there are demographics and everything... and gender advertising, blah blah blah. As Paul Simon at Woodstock would say, its one giant mind-fuck. Marketing can make a useless product appear revlutionary!

    What do you think the psychological factors behind media and marketing are?

  2. #2
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3u6Qh099AK0

    Thats exactly what I'm talking about! Ha!

    Thanks Geoff.

  3. #3
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    What do you think the psychological factors behind media and marketing are?
    Find a way that the product appeals to a basic need and you can sell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  4. #4
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Psychology has been used for promoting product for ages... I guess it's good to know about the basics so you don't get too taken in by ads...

    Hmmm basic rules...

    1. association <- product used by famous/successful people or pairing with symbols of wealth and power.
    Readily seen in cigarette ads with men smoking a particular brand shown with pretty girls in arm and driving fancy cars.
    2. repetition <- seen those ads that keeps on playing over and over again? Repetition helps drive the message into our minds...
    3. originality <- ads with the unexpected. It's been well documented that things that are unusual/unique sticks out in our minds.
    4. Appeal to logic <- this one is the most difficult to do as it requires people to pay attention to the ad and think!

  5. #5
    Senior Member OctaviaCaesar's Avatar
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    The basic motivation behind advertising is to get people to want things and then spend time and money on them, when they may not have wanted or needed the things in the first place. That's why it seems so sick sometimes: advertisers are out to get us to consume moreandmoreandmore even if it's wasteful or unnecessary. Advertisers don't care about us. And they are betting that we will respond emotionally to their stimuli and not put time into evaluation of the buying choices that we make every day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Alchemist's Avatar
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    Ouch Caesar! Well, I work for a marketing firm and as far as I'm concerned, I'm not "out to get" anyone. We do market to target audiences, but if a product can be meta'd into something else easily, we'll do it too. Personally I think you have to be at least a little interested in the product, or similar products, to be influenced by the ad. We're not here to convert the world. I mean, really: if you were to market male enhancement pills, do you expect it to sell to females? Maybe in some cases they'd buy it for their partners, but ultimately the target audience is men.

    As for marketing psychology, Nightning's right on. We use symbols of social status, repetition, and strong emotional reactions; logic is kinda rare these days because we want things brief and snappy. Also a lot of marketers know the effects of certain colour combinations on the psyche, as well as music. If you go deeper, you'll even find some types of hypnosis being used (hypnosis can't force you to do anything against your will though; I hate that urban myth).

    I think a lot of bad rep. on marketing is because people have strong emotional reactions to the ads. they detest. I know the feeling. Some ads. make me want to strangle whoever came up with it.

    -A
    "Je ne craignais pas de mourir
    Mais de mourir sans etre illumine."


    "I was not afraid to die,
    But to die without being enlightened."

    -Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte-Trinisophie

  7. #7
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    What colour combinations are used to get what effect, and how is hypnosis used?

    I once read soemthing about how sound is mixed in TV ads. In music, the sound mixing generally aims for a balanced sound with a good range of tone and volume. This makes the music more interesting and it allows the ear to listen for longer periods of time without fatigue. TV ads generally have the sound mixed to the top volume with little range of tone and volume. The effect of sound mixed to all highs with little range in tones is that it catches your attention very well for 30 seconds or so, but then your eye gets tired and bored of listening to it. This works perfect for marketing because ads are generally that length.

    Its kind of sad though; a lot of music is beginning to be mixed that way as well because thats the best way to catch attention on radio and when someone sets their iPod to shuffle... but thats another story.

    What do you think about media literacy and it's possible side effects I talked about in my original post?

  8. #8
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    I think my negative reaction is due to the fact that most advertisements are simply not very creative.

    But I think the overriding objective that marketers strive for is brand awareness - and this is something they achieve regardless of how bad their advertising is.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Find a way that the product appeals to a basic need and you can sell it.
    Or rather creating needs that didn't exist yet (new products).

    Most of marketing is targetted to some group of people so that would explain partly why all advertising is not applealing to everybody.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Alchemist's Avatar
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    To address your original post, I don't believe people are really "forced" to believe or do anything. You might hear it and process the message, but ultimately it's up to you if you outright object, accept, or put it as "maybe". No one is forcing you to buy a product. I don't know if it's just me, but when I learned to break down marketing tactics, I became a critic of advertisements; with it came a sort of immunity. I like to gauge how effective an ad. is in relation to the target audience, decipher the underlying themes, and pick out anything minute about the ad. It's entertaining for me.

    In media, I see and hear a lot of a certain brand of hypnotism called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). It uses language in order to offer suggestions which speak directly to your subconscious. Again, these are only suggestions and in no way are you being forced to do anything against your will. That said, NLP is an alternative therapeutic method that is mostly used to cure phobias and rewire the brain to work more positively and productively.

    As for colour combinations, the basic rules of art apply. The colours themselves have impressions on the nervous system and psyche (like green is easier on the eyes, which relaxes the nervous system and lowers blood pressure, and also makes things look farther away), as well as a cultural meaning. Depending on what you want to achieve, you combine colours in order to direct the eyes and control the emotional vibe of the advertisement. You can Google for the basics of colour psychology.

    Whether many of us are creating needs or meeting them is up for debate, and I'm sure it's been debated plenty. In my mind, products aren't really products. That's not what consumers are buying. Consumers buy emotions, and everyone (most everyone) has emotional needs. People buy things because they believe that it will make them feel better on some level, or make their lives easier. If a lot of consumers realised that things aren't really a replacement of a genuine emotion, we'd have a lot more satisfied customers since they wouldn't believe that their happiness is dependent on something else. I expect the consumer to read enough about several products to see which one suits his needs best. With those two things combined, people wouldn't feel like they've been "sold" more often than not. People love to buy, but they hate getting sold. That lesson is burned into my head like a mantra.

    And *that's* the straight talk. *points finger*

    -A
    "Je ne craignais pas de mourir
    Mais de mourir sans etre illumine."


    "I was not afraid to die,
    But to die without being enlightened."

    -Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte-Trinisophie

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