Advertising: Modern Day Brainwashing Essay

3202 Words 13 Pages
Brainwashing and Mind Control are “best thought of as a series of techniques that are used over time to shape a person’s perception, cognition, emotions, decision making and behavior to such an extent that they have lost their freedom of choice” (Mind Control Today). These techniques, once in existence within authoritarian and totalitarian governments, are increasingly being practiced by advertising companies and mass media. There are extensive similarities among the political and economic standards that cause negative impacts on society, as a result of adopting these mind control tactics. As Malcom X pointed out, “The media is the most powerful entity on earth, because they control the minds of the masses”.
Advertisers and corporations
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Advertisers and marketing companies are mostly interested in subliminal manipulation because by targeting consumers’ subconscious mind, they can control their involuntary actions, emotions and beliefs. The subconscious part of our mind is able to process around 20,000 pieces of information per second, where as our conscious part can only cope with about forty. This function explains why any subliminal message that our subconscious receives, can be received and responded to by consumers without them ever being aware of it. This form of mind control can be very powerful if used correctly, it could influence consumers to want and buy a product without their control (Winder).
The result of mind control can be identified in persons who end up developing different beliefs and values. Once this controlling process grows in multiple different ways for a long period of time, it results in brainwashing. Interestingly enough, according to Steve Hassan, in brainwashing, the manipulator is the hostile enemy, where as in mind control the manipulator is a friend, a helper, and the targeted person is a willing participant in the situation. The goal of the advertiser, as a manipulator, is to destroy the consumer’s old identity and create a new one that holds the beliefs, values, and ideas of the manipulator (Mind Control Today). We are often less
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