Unpopularity: The Psychological Aspects of Advertising With consumer spending increasing in the 1950’s, many companies saw this as an opportunity to create a culture, and encourage purchases that the average person did not necessarily need. One company that took advantage of the situation that was Listerine. With their ad, “Halitosis makes you unpopular” (Handwerk), Listerine was able to manipulate the fears of being isolated and standing out using appeals to human need and emotions.
Manipulation of perception and emotion has existed for a long time. For example, sleight of hand has existed for multiple centuries, “magicians” would manipulate small objects to make them “disappear” and then later “reappear” (Sternz). This form of …show more content…
The play called “The Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller shows signs of this too. The main character makes several references to things, more in reference to the classic American dream, that everyone should have, such as: a white picket fence with a green grass lawn, a nice family home, and a car for the family. This play was written in the 1940’s, but the themes discussed could also be applicable to the 1950’s. Hollywood created the image of a perfect woman at the time: tall, thin, blonde hair, perfect submission to their husbands, a housewife, and most importantly a trophy to the men. Most girls that were younger at this time strived to fit this image, and when an advertisement came out that talked about how they would be unpopular if they didn’t use a certain product, they would probably be enticed to buy it so they could fit in with everyone else.
In advertising, the most popular tactic is to appeal to a person’s emotions. Listerine used the slogan, “Halitosis makes you unpopular” (Handwerk) to promote their product. “What is Halitosis?... that is the medical term for bad breath” (Handwerk). To most, Halitosis probably looks like a “big, fancy word,” but really it isn’t as complicated as it looks. However, the common public at this time most likely didn’t know what it meant, and with a company claiming they had the cure for what could possibly be a dangerous disease, it became
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
American culture in 1950s and today have numerous similarities “In the 50s, cars were flashier and more luxurious than ever...and used as a symbol of status. Similarly, today, upscale vehicles are still flashy and sleek…and upper-class consumers use them to show the status of their wealth.” Depending on the income that people earn, cars that contain more features are of better quality and class. Secondly, in the 1950s, ads had begun to seek out the attention on marketing for children. The products sold have cartoon characters and bright colors. In the modern era, citizens use similar tactics, using bright colors that are put at eye level. Children appeal to bright colors and characters when a company advertises on T.V. or in stores. Next, huge department stores became popular due to middle class’ increased power on spending. Now, the large chain department stores of Dillard’s and Macy’s are still very popular. People enjoy going out and just spending their money on the inventories that each department store has. “Then in the 50s, fast food became a
Every day, companies present the people with advertisements everywhere they go. Advertisements have become very prevalent in today’s society nowadays focusing in on a negative connotation. Advertisement has become an effective way for producers to display their new products. In present day, they come in forms of billboards, flyers, e-mails, and even text messages. It is widely known that companies create advertisements to persuade people to buy specific products or goods; however, it is not widely known that advertisements can make a negative impact on today’s society. The companies manipulate people’s mind and emotions, swaying people by new promotions and therefore generating a strong desire to fit into the society, that causes them to make inessential expenditures. Advertisements pose a critical impact on the American culture.
In Jib Fowles article, “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals”, he shows us fifteen ways commercials try to appeal to people around our country. The need for sex, need for affiliation, the need to nurture, need to aggress, need to achieve, need to dominate, need for prominence, need for attention, need for autonomy, need to escape, need for aesthetic sensations, need to satisfy curiosity, and physiological needs. These needs are all how companies appeal to our needs to interest us into buying their product. These appeals can be seen in almost every
Living the American dream was a part of the road to Suburbia. As soldiers were returning home from the wars, births were reaching record highs known as the baby boom. Just in the year 1957, a total of 4,308,000 babies were born.4 Desiring large families and great economic prosperity, the women’s role as mother and homemaker were built-up in movies and television and magazines. Ultimately, with additional “leisure time” at home, Americans bought televisions, nice record players, lawn mowers and other electronic products. Manufactures and advertising agencies jumped at the opportunity to profit on consumerism. “More and more, ad executives and designers turned to psychology to create new strategies for selling. Advertisers appealed to people’s desire for status and “belongingness” and strived to associate their products with those values.”5 The Baby Boomers that began the consumerism in the mid-1950’s socially altered the United States then and still do
For example, there is a side by side comparison of two men; one uses the William’s Shaving Soap and the other “cheap” soap. In the first picture there is a man with a smooth clean shave. As for the second picture there is a man with what appears to be a “blood poison” rash on his cheek. The picture of the clean shaved man has a caption that states, “This view shows face-as shaved daily for years- with the famous William’s Shaving Soap-always soft-fresh-bright and healthy. Not a pimple in over twenty years shaving experience.” As for the second picture with the “blood poison” rashed man, “This view shows the effect of being shaved once with an impure–so called “cheap” shaving soap. Blood poison caused by applying impure animal fats to the tender cuticle of the face.” The message that the William’s Shaving Soap company is trying to send to consumers is, without using William’s soap, other “cheap” imitations can lead to blood Poison rash and alter your appearance. These two ads are just examples of the peer pressure Americans had to deal with during this era. With technology advancing and appliance coming forth rapidly middle class Americans had many crucial decisions to make with the little money they made.
“The Language of Advertising” written by Charles A. O’Neill is an excerpt arguing as well as supporting popular criticisms against the advertising language by William Lutz, and other known criticisms of advertising. The concept of advertising is not something that has only been popular over the recent decades, but has been used as far back as the World Wars. The use of propaganda attracted thousands of eyes to the War, and without knowing it, created what we call today as typical advertising. After WWII many people with good reason, were concerned over the topic of scientific success, due to the recent usage of the Nuclear Bomb by the United States. Many giant American corporations started creating new materials, fabrics, vaccines and machines (the most important being plastic), thus creating a new wave of marketing. Now this process never stopped and has not stopped all throughout the past decades, our own, and the ones to come. But as newer, bigger and better products or services are created nobody really understands the power of how they marketed or advertised. Well “how does advertising work? Why is it so powerful? Why does it raise such concern? What case can be made for and against the advertising business?” (O’Neill 369). For you to understand the concept of advertising, Charles O’Neill makes it clear that you must first understand that it’s not about truth, virtue, or positive social values, but money. The most popular “tool” that advertisement creators use is that
The rise in advertisement played a key role in the rise of consumption. Thanks to well-developed advertisement campaigns, America redefined what a necessity is. Advertisers encouraged Americans to actively work towards maintaining a high social standing. “Advertisers made no secret of their intention to promote novelty for its own sake, in the hope that consumers would exchange perfectly serviceable goods for goods that conformed to the latest fashions” (Lasch, 2000). Consumers devoured this advertisement scheme and began to rapidly increase their spending. Many advertisements for common, household products made claim that they could make the normal appear comparable to the high end. For example, Lux, a soap company, ran an ad in 1920 that depicted two women talking - one of the women complemented on the other on the quantity of sweaters she owned, only to find out that it is not a new sweater, but rather her old sweater that Lux soap made it look brand new (Lux)! Men and women alike began to believe
One such example is the tobacco industry aiming at African Americans. Tobacco advertisements in the 1950’s and 1960’s were all about the normality and inclusion of smoking cigarettes, white people sitting comfortably in their middle class homes, surrounded by friends and families, these advertisements were designed to target the average 1950’s person. This technique had proven successful in gaining white consumers to buy certain brands, such as Camel, this audience desired and looked up to these images of nice, comfortable lives that the people in the advertisements were living.
In an average day, an American is exposed to over 3000 advertisements, (Kilbourne). Whether they want to admit it or not, they are drawn toward them. A common scheme of the advertisers is to allow the consumer to “picture the new them.” Whether this be a wealthier them, a skinner them, or a prettier them, they gear there product towards every person and want everyone be able to connect with the advertisement and picture the “new them.” American Idol, Nutrisystem, and The Biggest Loser, the lottery, and many other “products” promote that anyone has the chance to be famous, fit, or fortunate. The successes from these “products” present themselves as they were before, with the sob story that hopefully touches a nerve with
Advertisements these days use many different techniques in order to sell a product. The Old Spice Company uses several methods to convey a message and sell their product. Old Spice commercials are well known for using the famous Isaiah Mustafa, wrapped in just a towel, to talk about the company’s product. While Mustafa walks and talks, the background and setting of the commercial changes and the actor never loses eye contact. The product is always shown throughout the entire commercial. By combining all the elements of gender stereotyping, sexual imagery, and racial innuendoes, Old Spice is able to convey a message to sell their hygienic products.
In the Hunter/Gatherer section of Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan talks about what it takes to accomplish the task of developing a meal on his own; consequently, the people of today’s society are so used to the abundance of food that they have no idea what all is involved in establishing a full meal. Americans take this great abundance of food for granted, which causes an increased craving for more. This is where the world of advertisement has been the strongest. One of the easiest ways to reach people is through their food; therefore, major food industries try to lure people in at all costs just to buy their products. The Fast food industry is the
Crest, a toothpaste company, is known to be one of the world’s biggest dental hygiene businesses. They sell many products, including floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, teeth whitening, and mouthwash. Their advertisements are in magazines, on television, and heard on the radio. The most common place one hears promotional Crest advertising is at your local dentist and orthodontist office. These Crest products may even be advertised in one’s own bathroom near the faucet. Crest’s main purpose of this advertisement is to lets its audience know the severity of oral hygiene. Crest’s uses efficient advertising to get its main message across by persuading its audience into buying its product by, explaining necessary precautions, targeting the appropriate audience, introducing credible information, playing on emotions, using strategic devices, and using creative weasel words.
There have been many advertising techniques over the past 50 years or so, but one of these changes is the adaption of ads to the shifting mind sets of people over time. An example of this previous statement is Folgers® Coffee. In the 1960s Folgers® launched an entire series of commercials which were demeaning towards women. The husbands in the commercials always had something witty and humiliating to say about the wives’ coffee, in one of the commercials the husband even goes on to say that the secretaries at his office made better coffee; the wives, sad and defeated, talked to a friend about the problem, prompting the friend to suggest she use Folgers®. The commercial always ended with the husbands’ approval and the wives feeling satisfied for attending to their husbands’ needs and wants.
Advertising is a persuasive communication attempt to change or reinforce one’s prior attitude that is predictable of future behavior. We are not born with the attitudes for which we hold toward various things in our environment. Instead, we learn our feelings of favorability or unfavorability through information about the object through advertising or direct experience with the object, or some combination of the two. Furthermore, the main aim of advertising is to ‘persuade’ to consumer in order to generate new markets for production.
The aim of this literary review is to look over the knowledge and ideas that have been established on the topic of what makes advertising effective, and to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, using a critical approach of it.