When a McDonald’s ad shows a dad and a young daughter bonding in the drive through lane, all smiles and excitement, it is claiming that eating at McDonald’s with one’s child is a way of giving to the child, perhaps repaying the child for neglect, a way to foster warm family relationships. We do not measure this claim against the real world, we measure it against our desires for this to be true, for it to be possible. (
"how would I find out about these new products?"catalogs
turning off the TV and ad-block everywhere
you can in fact be desensitized to real world advertising, you'll just see it all as noise, specially if you don't watch TV and don't know what others think of it because you're in a social group that ignores advertisement.
there would not be a market in objective information, or at least not a very good one. Only the seller can easily monetize publicizing information on her particular products, 3rd parties or buyers simply aren't rewarded in any easy way for doing so.
If you wanted to have accurate beliefs about those things, well all this should just terrify you. - See more at: http://www.overcomingbias.c...
Sure, but if you want to get maximum utility and enjoyment from your stuff, you should be quite happy at the enhancements these ads bring to something as simple as a car, cereal, or sugary carbonated water.
No need for a religion...just don't watch the idiots' lantern, ignore ads in newspapers and switch yourself off in airports.
Just saw a commercial: Some chick, painting. Used to work for Wall Street investing in energy companies she didn't believe in. She quit "went her own way". The world is changed by people going their own way. Now she's an artist. Drive Cadillac.
Ads = Searching
Objective information = Chasing
Of course, there are many such things already.
But they only work if you're know what you're looking for.
Are these useful purposes best served by advertising? If advertising were abolished, would there not be a market for (objective) information about goods?
Advertising makes it increasingly expensive to assume a given identity.
Some religion should spring up which bids its congregants to shield themselves from advertising. Seriously, as a source of spiritual contamination, advertising seems to me far more dangerous than pork, beef or shellfish.
A little nuance seems called for.
I often tear out ads from magazines when I see a new product on the market that seems useful.
If there's a new more compact line of SMD capacitors on the market, or a more efficient DC-DC converter, or whatever, without advertising, how would I find out about these new products?
I'm obviously not talking about consumer products here. Which is my point. Painting "advertising" with a broad brush neglects the useful and necessary informational purposes that advertising serves.
I suspect the problem is rather a zero-sum nature of such associations. If you could actually create a new association "Owning a Jeep means you're adventurous" without simultaneously creating a hint of "owning a normal car means you're sedentary"... Well, I can't even imagine a world where identity can just increase without bound, but I think this sort of advertising might actually be an efficient good.
But identity clearly doesn't work that way. Products have played some role in differentiating new identities (obviously true if we count music as a product), which might be positive, but most of what you'll see in advertising is tug-of-war over existing identities.
I assume it's easier to market something to a smaller, custom fraction of the population. That being said, how much of marketing's success stems from being well tailored to marketing itself to the appropriate decision-makers in companies and relevant groups that would use it (or in other words, is there such a group of persons, sufficiently homogenous and sharing targetable traits to become a more amenable target than the population at large, such that targeting them would massively boost marketing's success as a strategy, without being particularly efficient for the rest of the population - which it purportedly targets?)
I am an alien in that sense too. I am not too terrified right now either. But I'm still human, with various security flaws, and I expect that the process which has been fine tuning ads to become more compelling sirens for the population at large may well carry on optimizing itself and those ads such that at some point they will become compelling for me too. And just how compelling and mind-changing they could become given more advanced technology is worrisome.
Robin now writes:
It should be obvious in each of these cases that viewers are persuaded to associate products with attitudes and outcomes that have little to do with those products, in the absence of such ads.
It may not be obviously so, but I think associating products with outcomes having little to do with the products is (by definition) to "create new desires," the earlier post was premised on denying.
[Even in purchasing an image, there's a big difference between buying an object intrinsically suited to promoting a certain image (if there's such a thing) and buying it because of the power of a given advertiser to create a certain mental association.]