A couple weeks ago I got into a nice, heated debate with a friend over how manipulated we are by media – specifically commercials.
My friend’s position was that you’re manipulated only if you’re ‘weak of mind.’ He believes that if you’re aware that someone’s trying to manipulate you with subliminal messages, it doesn’t have any affect on you.
My opinion is quite the opposite. I feel that advertising companies are highly advanced at subtly manipulating us through constant subliminal messaging. Those subliminal messages, then, set us up for being highly suggestive to whatever stimulus is meant to get us to buy. Think about the last time a simple conversation with someone brought up the desire to have a Big Mac.
So this weekend, oddly enough, I StumbledUpon this video. In it, a couple of advertising professionals are ‘hired’ to create an ad for a company’s pilot product. It’s nearly seven minutes long, but you have to watch it to the end to get understand what the film makers were trying to show.
So, what do you think? Are we highly subjective to advertising? To media? To what other sorts of stimuli? Or is this just all psycho-mumbo-jumbo?
Any experiences either way, yourself?