“Advertisements are sometimes spoken of as the nervous system of the business world … As our nervous system is constructed to give us all the possible sensations from objects, so the advertisement which is comparable to the nervous system must awaken in the reader as many different kinds of images as the object itself can excite”
By WALTER D. SCOTT
My cousin brother works in an advertisement sector and he always tells me that his job is to, “Manipulate the minds of the masses.” While we take this comment frivolously and entertainingly, there is fairly a bit of reality behind it. What actually caught me in about the milk advertisements section with the eternally so well-known saying, “Milk? It does make a good body.”
Marlon Brando said in The Godfather (Part 1), ‘I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.’ What he was doing was conjuring a proposal so tempting that no one in their right mentality could turn down. This is actually the main mantra of every advertisement in today’s business world. One of the methods discussed in the “Elaboration Likelihood Model” offers two paths to persuade a customer. One path refers to, as the Central Route, which explains that people with a certain choice can be convinced for the either, if the persuasive communication (in form of ads) is perceived by the person as centrally reliable, convincing and well constructed. The second path, refers to, as the Peripheral Route, which presents that attempt to overload individuals with so many messages that there is no way they can deliberately analyze all of them.
The doctrine of advertising is largely based on Cognitive Social Psychology and the psychological processes of awareness, observation, alliance and remembrance to bring out the entire impact or uses of a product or ‘brand’. Any advertisement’s first focus will always be its ability to capture the attention of the consumers. Sturdy messages, physically powerful visuals and brilliant colours are at times applied on hoardings and billboards for the same. For commercials, eye catching clothes and striking models are sometimes used. For example, we can take Vodafone where the Pug dog or the Zoo zoos are being used, but it is no where related in any section of the actual service of Vodafone.
Once the awareness or the attention of the customers is being drawn by means of the colours and sounds or words, the next focus would be on retaining consumer’s interests or happiness by using ‘association’. Themes or products of an advertisement which a particular fragment of customers could associate with can be quoted; as an example for baby food advertisement, mothers and babies are featured. So association connects more with the advertisement’s context. Further, there are identified colours that have an associative value; utilizing this fact, certain brands and companies use a particular colour to endorse their products. For example orange, red, yellow colours are being used as standard colours for all advertising segment of Easy Group, Vodafone and DHL respectively. The emblem or icon of a particular company is also a part of brand development only; it gives a unique individuality to a brand and has a sturdy associative value.
The psychology behind advertising has been put to question for more than one instance, but certainly one of the most famous strategies that have been forbidden was that of subliminal or subconscious advertising. Subliminal or subconscious advertising is where metaphors or prose are meant to formulate people, crave for certain products that are positioned in the advertisements, beneath the limit of conscious perception. While the brain reckons the figure or phrase, the person is not able to consciously realize that what they have seen. If the person sees the advertisement in an adequate amount they will have the brand or product deep in their mind without realizing how it got there; as a result it increases the sales of that particular product for those particular companies.
The ultimate objective for all the advertisers is to make sure that products and services sell; at the same moment probable consumers’ attention is regarded as the most vital first short term step while introducing a new product into the market. Preserving an existing consumer’s attention is a totally different game all together, calling for brand reputation, brand name, product superiority, product quality, right pricing and continuous high class advertising to ultimately ensure success of the product! Eventually, advertising lies in the gray area that must be watched cautiously to make sure that the techniques used in the modern advertisements are not too manipulative.