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.