Monday, March 12, 2012

The Psychology of Advertising Communication

Knowledge, is the strongest factor when it comes to impacting behavioural change. even more powerful, than our our innate drives and hormones. 
for eg: you are alone in a closed room, standing besides an attractive naked woman who wants to have sex with you might excite your mind, releasing hormones that make you feel aroused. 
Yes? What would you do?
Now imagine this:
1. you find out she has an STD.
2. You have a spouse and you discover that she is watching you through a hidden camera. and
3. that the attractive naked woman's tribal, savage husband will kill you if you do anything.

Would you now behave in the same way as you would before knowing this tri-way of information?
why did knowing a separate set of information change the way you act upon the same situation?

She is still attractive. You are still in the room with her. she wants to have sex with you. and you are aroused!
how and why did that additional set of information change your perception of her?

In the field of advertising and mass media, this power of knowlege and controlled information takes on an even greater form : affecting not just behaviour but even entire social perceptions of what's acceptable and what's not.
For eg:
HATARI, the movie, glorified the hunting of rare animals like rhinos.
Tattoos that were one taboo now have a cult following and become common-day occurrence.
Thanks to Romanticization of the institution of marriage and paired romances in literature, films and advertising, they are the norm today.
Abortions, that were once frowned upon, now are seen as a boon. (in a few cases, they actually are).
The ads for Sunkist made ORANGE JUICE, a once almost non-existent breakfast item, the icon of american breakfasts.

So as a copywriter, thinker, creator, designer or whatever in advertising - it doesn't matter what your craft is. what matters most is your understanding of what factors affect change - and your capability to deliver them in an acceptable format to your audiences. whether its via a great print ad, an interesting film, an app, a video game or even a mall activation or a road show. 

Understanding Behavioural Dynamics: This short film from a TED TALK actually gives a great insight into 'How information AFFECTS thinking, behaviour and attitude':

- Pushkaraj Shirke

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