Conscious Living 14: Peace
11. September 2018
Hungary – Budapest
26. October 2018

Conscious Living 15: Advertising

Advertising – always and everywhere

Almost all over the world, we are unquestioningly exposed to one of the (in  my opinion) greatest scourges of mankind: advertising. We are showered with commercials on the streets, see them online and can´t help but look at them. Not listening is even harder, they say. Over time, advertising and marketing have become more and more sophisticated. Psychologists spend their time to figure out how they can sell a product in “better” and easier ways and resort to unfair means. An example of this is subliminal advertising:

Subliminal advertising

In the past in cinematographic films, individual frames were replaced by advertisements for test attempts. For the viewer, this went unnoticed. In the subconscious, however, he developed a desire for the product shown – if it suited to one of his current needs. So, you sat in the cinema, your stomach grumbled while on the screen, for a split-second: “Hunger – Popcorn” or “Drink Cola” appeared. Thus, a subliminal need was awakened. The goal of this approach was to prevent a defense reactions (!) of the consumer – which I classify as f*****g sick! What the subconscious mind does with the information, is an idea no one has thought of. As with everything, our brain needs to process information. I think that the subconscious advertising generally and always strikes – but when it does is impossible to measure, as each brain is different and needs a different amount of time to be aware of information. 

Meanwhile, this is subtracted in a similar dirty way on television: product placement. While this is not counted as subliminal advertising, the borders blur in my mind. Although the German television station has to announce that the program is financed by product placements – if the ratio between announcement and advertising is okay is somethng to think about. In addition, the placements are so well hidden, that they hardly attract attention to a brain that is not schooled. An actor fetches a bottle from the fridge, talking about the new offer of a smartphone manufacturer or discussing the purchase of a car. The advertising is thus built into the story and should also give the feeling that the “heroes from television” has similar problems as the viewer. A brain in after-work mode may take this or pretend this is a “advice from a friend”. At least that’s what I think happens with some series in the category “shallow entertainment”.

The effect on children

My least favorite marketing dudes are those, who aim for children. Advertising should be banned from the nursery and any company, that targets the youngest, should be blocked by the adults. Let’s take a famous fast food chain, which is just a clown or pretends to be a king: They sell a fixed menu that comes with a toy. The intention is, to pull the adults into the store, using the kids. After all, there’s also a playground or a ball bath and the food tastes “good”. Only few people figure, that our sense of taste is mainly fooled with flavor enhancers. That the menu is expensive and the feeling of satiety vanishes within an hour does also not seem to matter. After all, the combination of fried fat and sugar in daily doses is an addictive combination – and pure poison for a developing brain. The small burger shop around the corner, which uses fresh and genuine meat, bakes the rolls itself and peels and cuts the fries in the kitchen of course loses against the giant, who spends millions in advertising – as long as we allow it.

On my Instagram profile I have already addressed the matter of the children’s kitchen. In the store the baskets containing the products of Nestle are of course cheaper than the brand-less alternative. So it’s understandable that this product is chosen, as everybody is trying to save money. But: a better conditioning, than using the products in childhood, while playing in your own small shop buying or selling them, is hard to find. There are coffee machines for children manufactured by famous companies – why? You will find cooking pots that have the logo of a famous manufacturer printed on them and overpriced branded clothes for babies.

Advertising is needed – really?

How necessary is advertising? It is generally believed that this pays for our expensive film productions, product development, etc. Nevertheless, people without equity in their garage are constantly changing the world. Things depend on the idea!

The biggest companies are making billions and do that with bad products. Take the black brew that you can buy anywhere in the world – with 35 pieces of sugar in a litre of beverage. Does the product really taste good or do we drink it, because we are told that it tastes good? I personally prefer a coke from a small manufacturer in the area. What would happen if the big manufacturer stopped shooting advertisements at us like they do now? I think, that the companies would be destroyed within one to two generations. After all, there are endless alternatives that are healthier with a taste that is not reminiscent of a pharmacy.

For now, I think we still need advertising. Over time, however, more and more people inform themselves. To be clueless in the age of information is ultimately a decision or a determination. 

Feel free to comment and share my article. I am looking forward to any kind of interaction!


Christian-Lothar Ludwig




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