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  • Advertising is particularly good at attaching emotions to brands.

  • A terrific example from years back is a car called the Renault Clio.

  • Years ago they launched with an advertising campaign featuring

  • a couple of daft French people, Papa and Nicole.

  • The whole idea of that ad was supposed to be that the Renault Clio

  • is a terrifically easy car to drive.

  • However, when you look at that ad

  • what you're looking at is two people flirting, being terrifically sexy.

  • And of course what that does, is result in you thinking

  • the Renault Clio is a terrifically sexy little car,

  • and lots of people want to be sexy.

  • The result? The most successful car launch ever in the UK.

  • Meta-communication are all the twiddly bits -

  • the music, the characters, the setting, the storyline...

  • Anything that's not actually to do with what you're telling people.

  • The interesting thing about meta-communication

  • is that we are programmed not to be able to unprocess it.

  • Once it’s exposed to us, we've got it.

  • Here's a good example: the famous Apple 1984 ad

  • was shown once on midnight in 1983,

  • and once in the Superbowl in 1984.

  • And yet that ad is known practically all around the world.

  • The ad is the girl running down this aisle with all these

  • zombie-like people, and she hurls the mallet through the screen.

  • And of course the message in that ad is very simple -

  • the world is being dominated in that era by IBM

  • and Apple is going to break out of that era.

  • That idea of Apple being the defender of the people,

  • and the defender of freedom

  • of course reflected into Steve Jobs, who became the epitome

  • of the defender of the people.

  • Which means people who buy Apple computers and in most cases,

  • astonishingly, even though that ad would never have actually been

  • seen by them on air,

  • they know about this ad.

  • And they feel Apple is a terrific company.

  • And in that respect, once you get a reputation like that established,

  • it's there forever.

  • There's a company called Huawei who've recently launched an ad

  • featuring a little creature called a Gnu being photographed.

  • And the guy who's photographing the Gnu looks at his photograph

  • and he imagines what's going to happen to the little Gnu.

  • It's going to be captured, it's going to be put in a zoo,

  • it's going to have things thrown at it...

  • So, he decides not to take the photograph.

  • And the message is, with Huawei

  • you can be your own judge of morality.

  • What absolute nonsense!

  • I mean Huawei's a phone, it doesn’t allow you to do anything.

  • But, emotionally, very appealing.

  • How do you stop your emotions being influenced by advertising?

  • Well, in my book, there's only two ways to do it.

  • One is just don’t watch any advertising.

  • The other way, curiously enough, is to watch the ad very carefully,

  • is to look at it and to say: What are you trying to do?

  • "What are you trying to influence?"

  • "What's really behind this ad?"

  • If I see this little furry animal in the woods,

  • what's it there for? Is it there to make me feel good about this brand?

  • Yeah, of course it is.

  • And by doing that, you can do something called counter-arguing.

  • We're not used to counter-arguing the emotion in advertising,

  • but if you look at the ads,

  • if you look at the emotive content in the ads,

  • if you listen to the music

  • you can say, "Ah! I know what you're trying to do."

  • So emotionally you can counter-argue that ad.

  • Of course, it probably won't work

  • but at least you can feel you're slightly more in control of your life

  • than the advertisers are.

Advertising is particularly good at attaching emotions to brands.

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How ads manipulate us - and how to resist | BBC Ideas

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    Summer posted on 2022/05/19
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