Friday, November 20, 2009

Advertising in American Society

1. "Messaris offers as an example of these "response tendencies' the use in magazine ads, and other kinds of advertising, of having someone-spokespersons in television commercials and models in magazine advertisements-look directly at the viewer or reader. In real life, we have a natural tendency to look back at someone when they look at us, and advertising agencies can exploit this in attracting our attention to their advertisements and generating emotional responses to them."

This passage interested me because it relates closely to some of the basics of design we discussed earlier in the quarter. It reminded me of how well-designed products work with people's natural approaches to that product. For example, if you look at a bottle of water, your natural instinct is to twist the cap counter-clockwise. A cap designed to twist the other way might be considered poorly designed. As far as advertising is concerned, research into these "response tendencies" would prove extremely useful. Information on what prompts (or manipulates) people to go out and buy the products advertised (or at least pay better attention to the ad) can only lead to more profit.

2. -Advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry and major part of our social and cultural lives
-It is difficult to tell what advertisements are effective and which aren't.
-Commercials can be works of art.
-Commercials often utilize the following concepts: heroes and heroines, sexuality, humor, success, and reward.
-Culture is shaped by television.

3. Without some level of psychological understanding, an advertisement will not work. It has to be in tune with the culture and norms of current society and how people respond to them. It must understand the psychology of the viewer in order to prompt the viewer to respond to the advertisement as the agency wants them to.

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