A Natural Persuader
Growing up, I always found myself easily persuading my mom in grocery stores to get what I desperately wanted and thought I needed or manipulating my parents to give me a lesser punishment or none at all. I was great at getting what I wanted. So as I was exploring career options, as every 4th grader does, I thought my only acceptable option was to be a lawyer; because lawyers are good at persuading.
The summer after 7th grade I gave my life to Christ, and I felt my career path must be altered. I felt convicted of making a career out of being a liar and manipulative, not to condemn lawyers…it is just not for me. But I do find that persuading is my gift, but I can use it for good.
Marketing in Genesis
In “The Persuaders” the marketing officials have made a career of being cunning and clever. I find the serpent in the Garden of Eden, of which was “more crafty than any of the wild animals”, sharing the same characteristics as the marketing professionals (Genesis 3:1 NIV). They both use the same techniques of persuasion, don’t they?
1. Instill Doubt in Your Current Situation
Just as the serpent questioned Eve’s current situation in the Garden of Eden, marketing professionals create a feeling of dissatisfaction with your current situation. How many times have we seen a commercials featuring a horrific before and glamourous after, that leaves us doubting our reality. The serpent asked questions of doubt to Eve to make her question her current thoughts about God.
creating the imagery in Eve’s mind by introducing the idea of eating of the tree just the same as a persuader introduces a product.
2. Make It Look Appealing
Once the idea is introduced the action/product must be attractive and appealing. The serpent framed the tree to look “pleasing to the eye, and desirable” the same way persuaders package a product (Genesis 3:6 NIV). The branding of the product/idea is a visual representation of the product and creates another way to entice the customer.
3. Create a Need for It
The serpent had created the desire, but what was the logical appeal? The serpent then convinced her that the tree was “desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6 NIV). This type of advertising is called problem resolution.
The serpent created a problem: Eve did not have as much knowledge as God, and a solution: eat of the tree and “your eyes will be opened” (Genesis 3:4). In advertising this would be similar to the infomercials, we all are sadly familiar with, that feature an average woman at home trying to do an activity like peel a potato but it goes horribly wrong. The commercial then flashes to the product and how much easier her life would be after owning the product.
One True Marketing Master
Marketing officials may have taken a few lessons from the serpent, but as Christians shouldn’t we get our ideas and characteristics from Christ?
Christ doesn’t instill questions of doubt in our current situation but security. When our current circumstance doesn’t look desirable, we can rest in His peace that our eternity is set. Christ doesn’t have to dress up or make anything fancy. When Christ is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.
Christ in himself is attractive, and Christ is truth. When we lift truth up, men will be drawn to it. We also are called to only speak truth and not to lie, even if it is for our benefit. Instead of calling out our needs and wants, Christ fills our greatest need.
From Christ we can learn to be an effective persuader, but one that persuades towards good by using truth. As one of the marketing experts claimed, all the products aren’t actually going to fulfill those needs, but only Christ will.
“On my honor, I have watched The Persuaders in its entirety.”