--More to advertising than simply talking people into buying a product.

--Advertisers have no official authority in the economy, but they do have control over consumers, which gives advertisers unofficial control over the economy and the citizens.


Psychological appeals and tactics used in advertising:
  • sex appeal
  • self-preservation
  • self-esteem
  • personal enjoyment
  • imitation
  • genetic fallacy
  • black/white appeal
  • begging the question
  • weasel words
  • dangling comparison
  • buzz words
  • self-definition
  • guilt by association

  • --Advertisements help set the standard for "the good life" or the "American Dream" life that is extremely appealing, but also unattainable.

    --In mass societies like the U.S., advertising standardizes people's ways of thinking, dressing, eating, as well as spending.

    --Advertising is geared toward certain social classes:
  • Very few products geared towards the socially elite.
  • Main advertising focus is the middle class, average family.

    --Advertisers aim to:

  • Expose consumers to their information being presented
  • Increase the consumer's amount of attention devoted to the info.
  • Monitor how the info is processed (if the consumer buys the product).

    --FCC determined that an ad is unfair and unhealthy if it promises emotional fulfillment or anxiety relief

  • Not even medications can make those claims.
  • Lures consumers into a false sense of security.

    --Visual ads that prompt consumers to read the text hold the consumer's attention longer than just visual ads or plain text.

    --Memory plays an important role in the subconscious of consumers, which is why companies are always reluctant to change their logos.

    --Advertisers used to be openly expressive and even brag about advertising being very mind controlling, but now it's very hard to find someone to actually admit to that.

    --Most of the advertising in the 1950s was print based advertising.
  • Advertisements had a simple picture with a lot of detail about the product, and usually a little jingle at the end.

    --Many psychologists like John Watson left the academic world for the corporate world to use their psychological knowledge for advertising.

  • Advertisers started attaching emotional values like friendship, love, and social status to products.
  • Taught advertisers about stimulus and response.
  • Taught advertisers how to use the classic psychology experimental design with variables and controls when constructing new ad campaigns.
    --The Psychologists also helped advertisers learn effective interaction rules and the stages a consumer goes through after seeing an advertisement or hearing a sales pitch.

    Rules salespeople were taught for effective interatcions:
  • Always respect the customer's intelligence
  • Express the exact wishes of the customer
  • Listen and talk effectively
  • Show an interest in the customer as an individual. Talk about family and life.
  • Best respectful
  • Be cordial even after the customer refuses to purchase.

    Stages a consumer goes through after seeing an advertisement:
  • attention
  • interest
  • desire
  • confidence
  • decision
  • action
  • satisfaction

  • --Advertisers in the 1950s thought that advertisements should have spiritual undertones, but not be directly religious.

    --The APA added a Consumer Psychology Division in the 50s.

    --Advertising became a legitimate scientific process that was considered integral to the successful functioning of the economy.

    --Early 60s there was too much supply and not enough demand. Why?

  • All products were the same, so consumers usually bought the cheapest.
  • Psychological appeals helped advertiser's products stand out and appeal to the consumers, which caused price wars and a boost in demand and in the economy.

    --Most of the advertisements during this period were anti-ward ads, propaganda, and advertisements on the corruption and decline of the typical American family and its values.

    --By the late 60s, advertisers were loosing faith in their science because of the social upheavals taking place.

    --Confidence in large corporations dropped from 70% in 1970 to 15% in 1978

    --Public felt manipulated by ads.

    --Outdated views from the 60s were still being advertised, trying to appeal to a generation that had passed and changed a great deal by 1970.

    --Feminists and environmentalists were big activists during this time period.

  • Women opposed the outdated ads showing women as the typical homemaker and wife because many women had started becoming established the workplace.
  • Women viewed the outdated ads as a sign that the corporate world was trying to hold them back, didn't support their independent success, and didn't favor equal gender rights.

    --Educational activists also became vocal about demanding noncommercial television and educational programming for young children because consumers began to catch on to the ad agencies psychological techniques.

    --Ignorant bliss soon became over conscious awareness.

    --Late 70s -- started new ad campaigns that focused on freedom, new technology, individualism, the new image of the middle class family, health, equal rights, and ecology.

    --Advertisers struggled to redefine themselves and their ads.

    --Mark Fowler became the head of the FCC and began a large scale deregulation of advertising.

  • Opened the door for longer ads and formally taboo ads.
  • Helped boost public interest and appeal in advertising again.

    --Advertisers began focusing on how to hold consumer's attention span, invade their memory, and change their beliefs.

    --In 1988, only about 5% of commercials used digital effects.
    --In 1993 90% used computer technology to alter, enhance, and create fake pictures

  • Pictures are loosing their credibility, but consumer appeal keeps going up with the increased technology.
  • Consumers operate in a "seeing is believe world."
  • Digitally enhanced photos creates them image of a perfect person (usually a woman), which everyone (specifically women) should strive to be, which leads to negative self opinions, lowered self-esteem and eating disorders.

    --Just about every large corporation and ad agency has a team of research specialists.
  • Psychologists
  • Behaviorists
  • Child Psychologists
  • Anthropologists.

    --New advertising concept was introduced during the early 90s.

  • Ads started incorporating consumer's resistance to the ads.
  • Sprite's "Image Is Nothing, Obey Your Thirst" ad campaign.

    --Researchers began measuring EEG activity of learn about attention in consumers.

  • Print ads are left hemisphere dominant
  • Video ads are right hemisphere dominant

    --Brain activity is higher during new commercials than during older ones, and they have more impact on a person's memory and cognition.

    --The more extravagant an ad claim is, the larger the sales.

  • People think 'it can't really do that,' so they buy the product to test its claims.

    --Advertisers use color to associate products with moods and feelings of the consumer.

  • Black = sophisticated
  • Green = professional
  • Red = active
  • Violet = passive
  • Blue = happy
  • Yellow = cheap

    --Today's advertising is multimedia based and highly technical.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.

    --Questions are still the most popular pitch statements used in advertising because they require the consumer to stop and think about the answer and the product.

    --Advertisers today avoid using command statements because of the backlash in the 1970s.

    --Ad agencies today compliment and praise the consumer for being able to see through their fallacies and manipulations in their ad campaigns.

  • By doing so, the consumer feels like they have a saying in advertisements, and they feel worthwhile.
  • Consumers buy more of the products because they feel like the companies understand them and appreciate them.

    --The average 30 second commercial's shot length is only about 2.1 seconds.

  • The brain cannot process the info fast enough, so it creates "keys" of important info to remember the next time the ad is seen. The consumer then remembers the ad when he or see sees it again and fills in the missing gaps.
  • Aids consumer's memory skills.
  • Makes consumers want to buy the product just to see what they are missing or what all the hype is about.

    --Children are the most interested and easily influenced by ads.

  • Gender bias is stared early through commercials (boys play with trucks, girls play with Barbies).
  • Early advertising prepares children for a life of being able to distinguish rich/poor, working class/lower class, exciting from/boring and gender stereotyping.

    A few examples of advertisements from each time period:

    1950s
    1960s
    1970s
    1980s
    1990s
    2000s
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