By: Nikita C Fernandes
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Stephen Butler Leacock, quoted in Michael Jackman's Crown Book Of Political Quotations,' Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it'. It is the consumers who are unaware of this exploitation and become the victims of packaging.
Advertising is a faÇade to the outer appearance of a product,. It is an art to bring about the specifications of a product or service in a rather over the top way. It can be ostentatious, bold, sarcastic, funny, raunchy or downright dumb, but, nevertheless, we all are victims of advertising and its phenomenal impact in our life. Advertising , in its various manifestations plays with our subconscious mind. With our innate need to affiliate with the norms of the society in tune with satisfying our hierarchal needs namely, like gratifying our basic and primary needs with food, clothing, shelter and sex to safety and safety needs like security, love needs, the feeling of belonging and the need to love , and higher order esteem needs . Advertising aims to satisfy and gratify our needs by going a step further in manipulating our thinking and buying habits.
Statistics verifies that crores of moolah is spent on advertising. This 'legalized form of lying' helps one sell an idea more than a product. If we want to look glamorous, we buy a bar of 'Lux' soap or when we are thirsty, we drink Sprite. Although these products do not necessarily serve its proclaimed purpose, advertising creates a phenomena called 'free recall.'Thanda is synonymous to Coca Cola and Xerox to a photocopying machine. Advertising promises you that you will surely look like Amitabh Bachchan with a Reid & Taylor suit when you you look nothing like him. Only if you sport a Raymond suiting, you become a 'complete man.' otherwise, you may have some doubts. Such is the power of advertising to create doubts about your own identity.
Advertisements of hair products and soaps shown on the idiot boxes are ludicrous. With the creation of scientific advertising magic tricks with the help of a hair iron and hair potions from other companies, a model who has naturally beautiful hair , mirror and lots of lighting, voila, we have an ad which guarantees beautiful hair and a boyfriend!
Although hailed by Marshall McLuhan, the great Canadian social scientist that 'advertising is the greatest form art form of the twentieth century', advertising has generated creativity to a full swing. It has raised consciousness on various social and environmental issues and health concerns. Within a mere span of fifteen to thirty seconds, an ad creates a sense of awareness by stirring one's emotions, desires, needs and dreams. The latest Airtel advertisement has created a stir of emotions by bringing out our need to communicate and express our self with the power of communication through eminent persons changing and touching the life of millions. It may be a rare case when Airtel subscribers change the life of others when they communicate through their Airtel connection. But the advertisement craftily intends to create wishful aspirations.
Advertising has moved along way creating and recreating needs within us . They also serve to inform us, after all, don't we consume subconciously Amul butter to read what the little Amul girl is upto?