Comments

  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    if any one us wants to see ourselves as not enchained to simplistic psychological profiling, then we have to also ditch the idea of ourselves as passive receptacles of ads that inexorably hit their mark.csalisbury

    More germane for me would be to ditch the idea that we are unified individuals and take the analysis from there. There is a part of us, at least, that is passive and receptive and that's what ads aim for.

    (and I'd add that I'm more liberal than conservative - I'm just suspicious of the grand visions of both)csalisbury

    The term "righty" was meant generally. I've never thought of you as a conservative actually.

    And that brings me to 'cool' - 'cool' is a very complex feeling. For one, the very idea of cool is often tied to not "selling out" so that , in placing a product in conjunction with someone cool, the cool person can be drained of his coolness, and so become incapable of associating the product with coolness.csalisbury

    To a point, as your example shows. I would still contend though that in most product/target market combos, at least, the cool celebrity association is not too hard to pull off.

    But in any case 'cool' runs up against all sort of psychological defenses so you cant simply beam cool+pepsi to any one who sees the ad. Tho of course you'll hit some targets, I never claimed everyone is invulnerable to every campaign.csalisbury

    Sure, and I'm not claiming the opposite, that we're vulnerable to every campaign's aims. The campaign may even make us hate the product. But that's an intellectually driven orientation, which kicks in to override what, if we are lucky, is just a fleeting inner conflict. My issue is not so much that we actually do what the marketers want us to do but that they plug into a part of us that works in ways we are not fully aware of with consequences we don't fully understand.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda


    I'm familiar with the story. I thought it a bit unfair that suicide victims were trapped in trees and scourged by winged demons with not even a stick of gum to relieve their stresses, whereas Satan himself, though immobilized in ice, at least got to chew on Judas.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda


    That's fair enough. The points you raised do apply to many. It may be that I'm too keen not to be seen as a commie.

    Educate The People about the side effects of capitalism till the cows come home--it won't make any significant difference. Capitalism is a remorseless system, and it isn't going to play nice. What is it about providing an ever increasing flow of profit to shareholders don't you understand?Bitter Crank

    By side-effects, I meant more specifics like information about how advertising works or the kind of stuff MU was posting. Don't underestimate the potential of education. Give me the boy, I'll give you the man and so on. But that's more for un's new discussion when I can get round to it.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    And on that bombshell...unenlightened

    I guess that's the climax. So, if this was a Hollywood movie, everyone would do hugs now. Right?
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    And it's pretty mainstream. Baden mentioned Hollywood and how much he hates it.jamalrob

    I was being somewhat hyperbolic. I'm quite looking forward to the summer blockbuster, Virgil vs. Baden, for example.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Isn't it easy enough to avoid movies? Are you surrounded by people who have movies blasting continuously? Is it like Clockwork Orange where you live?Mongrel

    Yes. No. Yes.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Let's take the example of cheap flights, mentioned in the song. "Cheap flights", at least in the UK, is middle-class code for loutish working-class lads and lassies heading to the Costa del Sol to get drunk and have a lot of sex. But this is a stereotype. In Marx's time my forebears were poor uneducated rural labourers, and maybe some of them were recent arrivals in the cities, where they went to find work (it's mostly the upper class that can trace their ancestry with any certainty, so I can't be sure). It's unlikely they ever set foot outside Britain and Ireland. But here I am now in sunny Spain, having been to several countries in several continents, writing about politics and philosophy even though I haven't studied them in a university. I would never have been able to travel without cheap flights, and I would never have been able to read Kant without leisure. I'm pretty sure this is a cultural as well as a material enrichment, and it was made possible by capitalism.jamalrob

    My pointing out the negative effects of the push towards consumerism doesn't mean I don't recognize the positives. What I'm looking for is education regarding the side-effects of capitalism (to continue the medical metaphor) rather than an excision. I would hope that would lead to more controls in the area of advertising among other things, so that, for example, ads would have to be mostly informative rather than emotive. There would be some cost to that, but I think it would be worth the sacrifice of some economic and even some technological growth in order that human growth be focused on more. I could go on about what I mean by this. But I won't. Maybe in un's upcomng education thread.

    I admit this is impressionistic and emotional, but--something about it just stinks. The critique of consumer culture and the influence of corporations appears to be often motivated by a contempt for the masses, or at least a superior paternalism, not to mention a snobbish distaste.jamalrob

    More psychological analysis. How can we know for sure what others or even ourselves or motivated by? I'd rather concentrate on identifying problems in order to solve them. I think the way advertising works is problematic. I think the solution is more controls.

    There is a simplistic sanctimoniousness in the suggestion that we are mere puppets of the advertisers, and for me it's reminiscent of my heritage of Presbyterian sobriety.jamalrob

    I don't remember anyone saying we are mere puppets of the advertisers. I did say advertising affects us in undesirable ways, and that it's designed to. The chain of reasoning for a business is hardly more complicated than "Doing X will result in a greater profit than doing Y>>>Doing X is not good for consumers>>>Consumers are unaware we are doing X>>>Doing X is legal>>>Do X." So what's your stance here? That we are not emotionally manipulated in ways that are not good for us? Because if it's just that we are not "mere puppets", I'm sure we all agree.

    But come to think of it, this kind of Protestant puritanism is actually a real thread in the development of radical thought, from the English Revolution onwards, so maybe it's not quite true to describe anti-consumerism as a regrettable reversal--it's been in the Left the whole time. It's just that this is not the Leftist tradition that I have sympathy with. It hates capitalism for the good it has done, not only the bad.jamalrob

    Take me out of that jar on the shelf marked "Capitalist hater". Anti-consumerism has levels and criticism is not hatred.

    But wait. Did I just hypocritically denounce Leftist snobbery after having held myself up as an exemplar of the culturally enriched in contrast to the loutish working-class lads and lassies on the Costa del Sol? Not quite, I don't think. I've been on holidays like that myself. That's the point about stereotypes and caricatures: they are unfair generalizations. Thanks to cheap flights, people--non-rich people--travel now for all sorts of reasons.jamalrob

    I don't do anything but cheap flights if I can help it. Does anyone with a brain?
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda


    Indian medicine. They make you feel bad first and good later. Unlike Hollywood medicine, which does the opposite.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Catharsis and such.Mongrel

    Glad you brought that up. Where that's done well, a movie can work and be a healthy engagement. It rarely is. Maybe Cronenberg.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    ...your statement calls for a Virgil quote.

    "When Heav'n had overturn'd the Trojan state
    And Priam's throne, by too severe a fate;
    When ruin'd Troy became the Grecians' prey,
    ...
    Mongrel

    I don't get your point, but there's no need to explain, just point me in the direction of the corresponding Hollywood movie.

    You joke about bombing Hollywood, but making others bear the brunt of your joke is the foundation of this problem, which is getting entertainment at someone else's expense. We call it making fun of someone. The true comedian recognizes that this is unacceptable behaviour, and switches things up to make fun of oneself. But what happens when my own entertainment is a case of me making fun of myself, but all I notice is that I am entertained, and I don't notice that I am making fun of myself. I'll continue to beat myself into the ground (...and loving it!).Metaphysician Undercover

    I don't get your point, and there is a need to explain. My joke was explicit. It did what it said on the tin, so to speak. That's a difference I consider key.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    It is possible that we exaggerate the influence of various media, which we like or don't like.Bitter Crank

    I agree with this. And I'm actually quite open to being shown to be exaggerating here. But a significant amount of what's been thrown in my direction in this discussion is empty contrariness based on the idea that I'm a Marxist conspiracy theorist who hates business and, well, whatever else the conservafairy has been whispering in the ears of certain of my interlocutors. Anyway, it may come as a surprise to some but I'm not anti business per se. I recognize the positive innovation driven by business and that some of the smartest and most hard-working people around are business people. But it always has to be a case of letting the leash out and then reining it in a bit.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    So let's take Pavlov. You take a stimulus that elicits some reaction and place it in conjunction with something else. Food and a bell. The dog is always going to salivate at food. Now what do people most deeply want, what do advertisers usually play to: Belonging, respect, love, inclusion (to be a loser is to not belong, not be respected, not be loved, not be included etc.) Thus the stimulus has to somehow elicit the idea/feeling of belonging/respect/love/inclusion (or the fear of lacking any of those). And then the bell's your product. The problem here is how you elicit the idea/feeling of those things, or their lack, at a level as immediate as the dog's desire for the food. If your super hip everyone's happy and in on the party vision doesn't move someone, they're not going to associate pepsi with belonging or not drinking pepsi with not-belonging.csalisbury

    It doesn't have to be that complicated or even about what people "deeply" want. Advertising has never been an emotional hypodermic needle. The conditioned stimulus, the product, only has to evoke a feeling, any feeling, that makes a purchase more likely (and obviously the more likely the better). Ergo, associate Pepsi with the feeling of "cool" by placing a can of it in the hand of someone "cool". Now the Pepsi sitting in the supermarket next to a virtually identically tasting non-promoted cola seems cooler, and those who value cool (i.e. most of the target market) are more likely to buy it / place a higher value on it; therefore, you can sell it for a higher price and make more profit. It's not rocket science or difficult to do at that level. (And you can replace "cool" with any other vague positive feeling you like elicited by someone or something associated with the product in the ad).

    You can also go a step further and notice that people these days seem feel 'included' when they're making fun of commercials and how dumb the super hip everyone's happy and in on the party vision in those commercials is. Then you can start making ironic commercials, making fun of the very idea of commercials. And, in doing so, associate pepsi with the feeling of being included among the people who wouldn't fall for yesterday's pepsi's commercials. But if this post-vision vision doesn't move someone, you get nowhere. All of which is to say: if you want to use Pavlovian techniques (without using bodily pain and pleasure)to immiserate or goad humans you have to have recourse to the freudian stuff: desire, the superego, love etc.csalisbury

    I take your point here; methods do move on, although you may be overestimating how sophisticated the majority of consumers are (as far as I know, Coke ads are still the same old crap they always were and Coke is as popular as ever, no?) Anyway, the other reason I don't want to invoke Freud here is that he's not even taught on psychology courses today. So, he's not really directly relevant to marketers.

    So the Party Everyone's In On. The In-Group Too Cool To be Taken in By The Party. Here's one more Vision: The Evil And Nearly All-Powerful Media/Advertising Bloc that Makes Us Dissatisfied but Maybe We Can Stop Them And Become Satisfied) But what does the last vision sell? Well Banksy, for one. But it also subsidizes a whole lot of liberal arts programs. (here's a freudian/pavlovian analysis. Stimulus: The Bad Dad Trying To Control You And Make You Do Stuff When You Want to Remain Contented Hanging with Mom. Place in conjunction with People in Suits, The word 'media' or 'advertisting.' )csalisbury

    Sure, we can play Freud Tit-forTat all day. The bad Dad's trying to control the lefty and righty didn't play with his shit enough when he was a kid. Totally pointless. The only way to get out of this, as I think you'll agree, is to look at what advertisers are actually doing and have been doing and why, and try to draw reasonable conclusions from that.
  • A question about English expressions for martial arts


    Interesting one.

    The verbs "to land" and "to connect" in their non-typical transitive and intransitive versions respectively can be used with jab/punch/blow.

    So you can go with:

    He landed a punch /the punch landed
    Or
    He connected with a punch/the punch connected

    But not

    He connected a punch
    Or
    He landed with a punch
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda


    Thanks for the quote. Going out now, so I will read it later to discover whether I really should be thanking you or not. :P
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda


    Psychologically, the forms of manipulation are very different though as they are between, say, porn movies and Hollywood flicks (including those with explicit sex). The narrative of the former such as it exists (and, usually, from a structural perspective there is no narrative at all as there is no "problem" to be solved) must be transparent and non-engaging to allow the full foregrounding of the imagery (the plumber comes round to "fix the pipes", students get a "special lesson" in the classroom etc. - we all know what's coming next and that that's what's important). As the narrative is the emotional container, so to speak, porn is by design empty and because of that I would claim less damaging (or at least less invasive) than an emotionally manipulative movie. (This also explains why movies including a lot of fully explicit sex don't really work. The narrative and the sex tend to detract from each other or push buttons in the self that pull it in conflicting directions).
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Hence, my sentiment towards the advertisement of sex.Question

    Do you mean the use of sex to advertise other products? Or are you talking specifically about the sex industry?
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    It's funny, one upshot of all this is that I essentially agree with @Agustino that Hollywood, as a major hub of the entertainment industry, is "evil" - if you want to out it like that. Not so much because of the values (or lack thereof) it espouses though but its inherent structure and how it operates. The question arises though as to what extent all this is necessary to maintain a free and open society. I'd happily see Hollywood obliterated if possible. Let Agustino arm the bomb and I'll light the fuse. Then we can get back to throwing grenades at each other.

    (Education thread to follow in a bit.)unenlightened

    You'll notice I'm taking that as free reign to be off-topic on this one.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    I can't improve on anything MU has said, but just to emphasize that there's no escaping the basic formula: Modern forms of entertainment result in the emotional equivalent of a sugar high and they are no more necessary or desirable for us psychologically than sugar is physiologically.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    If you read my earlier post, I find the entire entertainment industry an affront. The reason I feel this way is that it has transformed entertainment from an effective form of stress release, into a cause of stress. Therefore it is a self-perpetuating habit. We seek entertainment to relieve ourselves from our stresses, but the so-called entertainment just causes more stress so that we seek more entertainment. It's consumerism at its best (or worst), addiction, where the consumption of the product continually increases the need for the product. I may as well be paying my money to the local coke dealer.Metaphysician Undercover

    The show may cause excitement, but excitement is just an elevated level of stress within the members of the audience. So the entertainment is designed to incite the emotions, and this itself is stress, which manifests in the excitement of anticipation. The entertainment is designed to create stress.Metaphysician Undercover

    Brilliantly put. Expect to be called a communist in 3...2...1...