1.Introduction: Howwould you feel if you knew that you were being manipulated on a daily basis,without even being aware of it? In our world today, we are surrounded byvarious different advertisements. Whether they are in the magazines we look atdaily, or even on TV, as well as different social media platforms. We live in a little bubble where we areconstantly surrounded by different influential platforms; the most significantone being advertisements. Overmany years, various companies have gone through different techniques figuringout, which technique is more effective when it comes to selling a product totheir customers. Through decades, advertisements have grown at a vastpace.
This is shown through thecomparison of advertisements in the 20s with advertisements today. Advertisements in the 1920s focused onsociety and culture, whilst nowadays it is more about controllingconsumer-buying behavior through manipulation. (Lowery, 2013) 2.Methodology: In this paper,qualitative research, through various literature pieces as well as differentonline articles and websites, was used to give you an insight on variousaspects of advertising and the effect that come with it. The qualitativeresearch is separated into various subparts starting with the origin of thetopic, which is how our brain processes information as well as how it isorganized in relation to different methods. The body therefore consists ofsubtopics of the brain, for instance how the human brain acknowledges coloursin reference to a study conducted by researchers at the University ofMissouri-Columbia, which claim that us humans link specific colours that arepresent to specific brand logos and how we feel about the brand.
As well asadvertisements and the emotions that are evoke and how these emotions influenceour consumer buying behavior. In contrast to these thoughts, differentapproaches to advertising are discussed giving a greater insight to the advantagesand disadvantages, as well as the different tests that were conducted to obtainthe according results.3.Different aspects of advertising: Onesignificant aspect of advertisements would be subliminal messages, as theygreatly influence our buying behavior. Subliminal messages are a form ofmanipulation to the human mind, as they convince the consumers that theproducts they are viewing are products that they need. This will be analyzedmore later on. Our mind is a complicated machine; our subconscious mind and thesubliminal messages that we are taking in are at constant war. Before goinginto more detail, there should be a brief understanding of what subliminalmessages actually are.
The word originated from Latin “sub” meaning below and”liminal” meaning threshold, putting it together: below threshold. They consistof visual flashes, that are too fast for the eye to acknowledge, as well assounds lower then the ear can hear. (Linstrom, M.(2008), (Solomon, M. (2009),(See Appendix 3),( (https://www.mindfithypnosis.com/what-are-subliminal-messages/)) When itcomes to our subconscious mind you can think of it as a room where everything(M.Rarouk Radwan, 2018), which is not in your conscious mind, is stored.
Insidethis room are your memories, your experiences as well as, everything you havegone through in the past, these can sometimes evoke imagery in our brain.Before really linking advertisements to our brain, we need to have a betterunderstanding of how our brain functions. (See Appendix 1) 4.How does our brain process information? Thehuman brain is seen as something very complicated, as certain things advancedsuch as technology, the certain words used advanced as well. The way the human brain starts to processcertain information starts with our senses, which we then take in and transformto things such as touch, sound and feelings. Once information is processed to acertain extent, a so-called filter then decides how important the informationis that we are taking in, and therefore making it available to us. Whenyour brain wants to process information, it has to be stored first, and onlythen can it be analyzed. However, there are multiple ways a brain can actuallyprocess information such as through; memories, working, as well as long-termthought processes are examples of the information that we process on a dailybasis.
At first, information needs to be encoded. This all occurs through the”sensory stimuli “, where the brain is referring back to your senses. Forexample, when your brain processes verbal information in this case, your brainrefers back to your memories: such as through different sounds you have heardin the past.
Once your brain passed the encoding stage, it moves on tomaintaining the stored information. Studies have stated that storinginformation through memory roughly last 20 seconds. (http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/methods/info_processing/) (See Appendix 2) 5.How information is organized in the brain? Over acertain time period, numerous models have been developed as to how knowledge isorganized in the brain.
Some studies state that, it is based on how we retrievememories. However, some research has claimed that it is based on computerscience, whilst others say its based on neurophysiology. One of the models being, the “semanticnetwork model”, which allegates that there are certain principles representingconcepts. Though, the “connectionist model” states that information mainlyconsists of patters rather than the meaning of certain situations.
Finally,once your brain has gone through all these different processes. It has to betaken out of the storage stage. This stage is mainly considered as anorganizing stage, where all the different thoughts are organized, therefore thebrain decides what to further store and what information to additionally takein. This is the stage of regeneration through memory, which is known as therecall stage.
(http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/methods/info_processing/) 6.Associations the brain makes with different colours: Differentcolours have different effects on people; we all have the tendency to have onecertain colour we prefer above the other. It is stated that the colours you usein certain situations can say a lot about you and the work you do. The questionhere is whether or not our brain is wired to like or dislike certain colours?Each individual person reacts differently to different colours as theirassociations to these specific colours differ. A study by Wellesley College researchers further evaluates on thistopic.
A studyby an artist named Conway, who studied how the brain processes certain colours,and in what ways it impacts our feelings towards these colours. This studyclaims that certain colours such as red, green and blue were mostly triggeredby the brain. This therefore signifies that these specific colours, promptlyimpact our decision. When it comes to certain colours, there are certainassociations that are then made, these associations mainly occur in oursubconscious mind, therefore we are not fully aware as to why our brain makesthese certain associations to specific colours.
One greatly discussed topic wouldbe how the colours of logos from brands affect their consuming behavior. Thereare various things when it comes to logos that the majority does not take intoconsideration. Such as the colour of a logo for instance, which nowadays playsa huge role when you’re trying to “sell” a brand. This therefore greatlyinfluences whether people are attracted to a specific company or not.
As wellas that it also influences how the company is perceived as a whole. Researchersat the University of Missouri-Columbia have created a study that claims thatthey were able to link specific colours within logos to how people feel aboutthese brands. This influences the advertisement industry, without thisinformation they would not be able to advertise their brand and products in themost effective way.
The question here iswhether this study is considered as a way of manipulating people through theanalysis of their emotions in relation to colours and their logo. Thestudy states that blue logos evoke confidence as well as success, whilst greenlogos evoke toughness as well as sustainability. Purple logos evoke charm andbeauty. Pink logos evoke imagination as well as fashion. Whilst yellow logos,conjure fun and modernity. Last but not least red logos, which evoke the feelingof self-assurance. Fromthis we can conclude, that certain colours have an influence on our emotions aswell as an effect of how we perceive certain things.
Examples of when you associate certain brandsto certain colours is for instance in the case of the colour tiffany blue,whether we view this colour plainly or in certain situations, our brainimmediately makes the association to the brand Tiffany. As mentioned previouslythis all occurs in our subconscious, these associations occur in the memorypart of the way our brain processes information. As well as that when we thinkof the colour yellow we immediately link it to McDonald’s. When we think of the colour blue we instantlyassociate it with Facebook. Thereason as to why we link these specific colours to certain brands or theirlogos is as follows. This all revolves around us growing up, from a young ageonwards we were witnesses of various advertisements and brands evolving,whether through their advertising directly or through their logo changing.
Wemay have not interpreted it the way we would nowadays. As in the world today weare more aware of our surroundings and certain changes. Growingup we were able to look at the evolution of “advertisements”, as they havedrastically changed in various ways.
One thing that should be acknowledged isthat we were passively viewing this. As you can imagine at a young age we werenot able to take in information the way we do now. So, imagine sitting eitherin front of the TV, reading magazine or even looking at billboardadvertisement.
In that moment, we may think to ourselves “oh look, McDonald’shas a new burger” but subconsciously our mind more or less saves all theseoccurrences also know now as “memories” and when we require thisinformation later on in our life our brain ejects it out of the memory part ofbrain and therefore we are able to associate certain colours with certainbrands and their logos. (Cousins, 2014), (Barden, P.(2013), (Lindstrom, M. (2013). 7.Emotional Advertising: Emotionsplay a huge role when it comes to creating a successful advertising campaignand that’s no secret in our world today. Emotions can have various effects onus as consumers.
These emotional advertisements evoke certain emotions in usand therefore create certain memories. These memories therefore can motivate usto take action, by buying certain products that are being presented in theadvertisement. Thereare various types of emotions you can feel in advertising, research suggests thatthere are six specific emotions that can be conveyed in advertisements, suchas: Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. Looking at each typeof emotion in greater detail we can deduct that happiness is a positive emotionthat makes you feel good about all the things you surround yourself with.Whilst anger is the exact opposite this is an emotion you encounter when youhave a problem or a certain feeling you get towards a topic you do not like.Sadness in most cases is when you feel empathy and compassion.
Fear is usuallya feeling you encounter when you feel uncomfortable and when you are scared ofsomething occurring. And finally, surprise which can be seen as something good,as well as something bad as the act of surprise can be evoked in both cases.(Frenay, 2016), (Barden, P. (2013) 8.
The power of persuasion: manipulating choices? Whenwanting to understand the general persuasive techniques in advertising, youneed to know the three persuasive strategies that are used, by advertisers whowant you to buy their products they include the following: Pathos, logos andethos. Pathos is when you appeal to the advertisement through emotions:advertisers usually want to evoke an emotional response such as happiness forinstance. Logos tackling logical thoughts in advertisements: in this caseadvertisers use facts and statistics to inform you about what the product does.Lastly, we have ethos this is when they try to persuade you through differentcharacters and their credibility: inthis case advertisers try to convince you that the company is several thingssuch as honest, reliable and such and therefore trying to convince you topurchase their products. Invarious industries, certain things are already decided beforehand such asseveral years before; this therefore influences your choices. In most casessupplier preselects certain things before you even know what you want, thisalready limits you in the choices you have. Taking this into considerationthere are different techniques company’s use in order to increase the amountbeing purchased by their customers. Such as something known as the “mereexposure effect” this is when the business (suppliers) expose their customersto their products through excessive media advertising.
This is considered avery effective technique as people generally like products more that they areeither familiar with or have heard of before.Manybusinesses produce a wide variety of products that are almost the same atdifferent prices, which is crazy to think about as you as a consumer think thatthey all differ greatly. Tests have shown when customers have tested productswhilst not knowing which product was cheap or expensive, they liked them bothequally. Whilst when they were aware that one product was more expensive thenthe other, they immediately claimed that they preferred the expensive onebetter.
One greatexample of this case would be Coca-Cola and Pepsi they are both known as softdrinks that are very similar in taste. Even though their ingredients are almostidentical, consumers always prefer one over the other. There are multiple otherfactors that complicate the decision-making process, as mentioned previously”associations” are one of them, as well as “subliminal messages”. (Patikar,Tangasamy, 2014) , (Iyengar, S. (2010), (Tierney,2015) 9.Is there conscious consumption in advertising? Beforediscussing whether or not there is a conscious consumer in advertising, weshould look at what a conscious consumer actually is in this case. Whenthinking about conscious consuming we automatically associate it with how thesepeople will choose the best products, will not be manipulated by the differentbusiness. As well as that they are well informed about the product itself andit prices.
Nowadayswe believe that conscious consuming is more about what is ethical and alsoconsidering the way this type of consumption effects society. Our world todayconsists of various different types of consumers whether they are conscious orsubconscious consumers. In most cases our society is built around us consumingdifferent products as well as the way we consume these products. As mentionedpreviously many companies all over the world try to find the right techniqueswhen it comes to influencing their consumers and their buying behavior. Advertisementshave greatly changed, now they aim to influence as many people as possible tobuy their products. Conscious consumers usually try to depict theadvertisements, in order to find the real reason behind the advertisement andwhat their aim is. They generally have a different approach, as they think morerationally as to how the go about with things such as what the purpose andvalue is of the product, is the product worth the money? Do I really need it?Therefore, conscious consumers are more aware of their decision-making processand therefore do not get hypnotized by manipulated advertisements.
(http://tudatosvasarlo.hu/tve/what-is-conscious-consumption) (See appendix 3)10.Different approaches to product placement Productplacement is a greatly discussed topic when it comes to advertisings, asadvertisements usually tries to incorporate this aspect into theiradvertisements. Product placement is a great way to advertise their productthrough films, shows, TV and other media channels.
If a company wants to havetheir product shown in either a film or such, they would have to come to anagreement with the media channel as they would have to pay a fee to have theirproduct featured on the media channel. The wayproduct placement is used in the 21st century has vastly expandedover the last couple of years. Product placement in films and such is used moreand more everyday. A great example of product placement can be seen throughreality TV shows, such as “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” in this scenario abrand was being presented by the cast themselves. Thisreality TV shown is known to have many viewers from all over the world. And dueto their platform being so large, and a large part of their audience seeingthem as role models.
The brand “Off White” used this opportunity to gain somecustomers by “product placing” their product (brand) in their show through themwearing the clothing and talking about it on their social media platforms.Through this way of advertising the brand has reached various people all overthe world and had therefore gained a large amount of customers in a short timeperiod. (http://www.
businessdictionary.com/definition/product-placement.html), (Linstrom, M. (2008). 11.
How private is our privacy? Privacyis considered as a very controversial topic, as what privacy is and what shouldbe kept private greatly differs for each individual. Generally, privacy isdefined as having certain information hidden or concealed from the public. Onerelatable topic when it comes to privacy would be Internet cookies. Nowadays,most people are aware of what Internet cookies are and usually considered themas something bad as people consider the act of cookies as a way of stealingtheir privacy. The best way to understand what they are, is by imagining this.
You are surfing on an online clothing store, whilst you are browsing throughtheir website, the server of the website sends out “cookies” which are thensaved and downloaded on your PC, these cookies are then stored and used lateron. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/privacy), (Beal, 2008) 12.Advantages and disadvantages of cookies? Somecookies are considered better than others in most cases they record forinstance how long you spend on a specific site.
As well as all the differentsites you have been on, through this an algorithm is created by the serverwhich selects frequently visited sites as well as preferred layouts andcolours. This information is then later on used on future sites, which I willlater evaluate on further. Contrastingto this, cookies are also seen as something negative, think about it this waygovernments and businesses all over the world store information about you.
Nospecific information is gathered by cookies. In most cases people dislikecookies, due to the thought of knowing that organizations are collectinginformation about you without a verbal consent this therefore creatingsuspicion. A greatexample of cookies would be the case with Instagram and Facebook, as a user ofthese platforms myself; it is easily noticeable that these two platforms usecookies from their users, as the advertisements of these platforms are adjustedto your personal preference such as the example mentioned above when they takein your preferred website as well as specific colours and layouts.
Andtherefore adjust the advertisements on their sites to your personalpreferences. Instagram is a known as a social media platform that uses the sameapproach when it comes to their advertisements. The realquestion here is whether or not this is a source of advertisers influencing thebuying behavior of their consumers. And whether this is considered as somethinggood or something bad.
(WebWise, 2012) 13.Conclusion: “Weneed to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what peopleare interested in.” – Craig Davis. This quote sums up the main intention thatadvertisements should have. Over the last years, advertisers have lost sight ofwhat the aim is of advertisements. As the quote states, “We need to stopinterrupting what people are interested in” this emphasizes how nowadays,advertisers aim to incorporate a sense of manipulation in their advertisementsin order to get more customers to buy their products.
As discussed above,studies are conducted in order to gain a greater insight, on their customersand how the feel and act towards certain things. Through this strategy, theyare able to adjust their findings to the way to create their advertisements;this therefore makes it more attractive to a larger audience. A great example,of this would be the technique of Internet cookies, product placement as wellas the manipulation of emotions and colour associations, which are discussedabove. Incontrast to this, the second part of the quote states, “be what people areinterested in” This sums up what advertisers, should aim to be in our worldtoday, as advertisements are considered, as the most powerful communicationtool we have till this very day. This often leads to people underestimating howpowerful advertisements actually are and how they can easily make a differenceof the consumer buying behavior.