You know why, after all these years, some advertising don’t change?
A smiling family promotes a Home Loan as the camera swoops over a mesmerizing lakefront property.
A frowning, headache-afflicted executive on his office desk reaching for a bottle of Cure-all Pills. He is instantly relieved in the next scene.
A couple eagerly downs a can of Soft Drink, for a slight moment savours the beverage and finally gives it the thumbs up.
These are all very clichéd visuals or concepts, but you still see them more often than you would want to. And you will continue to see them for as long as humans rule the earth. Why?
While our learned mind may dismiss these visuals as childish, unbelievable and overdone, there’s another part of our brain that’s intently taking note. It’s the part of the brain that always has an open channel to the outside world. It never filters, it doesn’t judge and neither does it rationalise. You can’t control it nor turn it off. And this is your subconscious.
Your subconscious is smart (yes, it’s smarter than you). While it may find everything entertaining, its convincing skills are subtle and eloquent. It never makes direct references nor employs hard-sell tactics. It taps into your deep emotional needs and gently places hints so as to help influence your future decisions.
The subconscious is not being a jerk by trying to convince you to buy badly advertised products. It’s just being itself, or being human to be precise. We all have needs throughout our lives and we all want it to be fulfilled. So the subconscious constantly sifts through its memory banks and suggests things that may satisfy our needs.
This was why tobacco advertising was so effective back in the day. They knew they had a product that killed people, so they used healthy, good-looking and most importantly happy people in their ads. Visuals of beautiful people looking content and relaxed were enough to ‘sell’ cigarettes, despite smokers being aware of the well-known ill effects of smoking. They got their cravings satisfied and the added bonus of assurance that they look cool, happy and content.
Remember that time that you bought something and then realised you hated the product’s ad? Well, now you know it’s no accident.