QUEST!ON
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QUEST!ON

Where’s the deception hidden in the advertisement?

Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

The useful product sells itself as people spreading word of mouth recommend it further. Yet, nowadays, the paid advertisement is still used massively in order to inform consumers about the stuff they don’t need.

The useless advertisement is based upon a so-called commodity fetishism where an ordinary thing is infused with magical capabilities. Take Coca-Cola, for example — in its marketing campaigns, it is not presented as “a refreshing beverage” (what it actually is). Instead, it is presented to a consumer as “a positive experience” via slogans like “Life tastes good” or “Open Happiness”. This is the commodity fetishism in practice. It is used by every company we see on the TV.

It is the very video format of the useless advertisement that enhances the commodity fetishism effect because it uses moving images and attacks the attention of a consumer from several directions at once. It is said that the most advanced form of a visually oriented advertisement is the so-called subliminal advertisement, as is created with the intention to hit the subconscious of a consumer. As the adage goes: a picture is worth a thousand words.

The omnipresence of the useless advertising that fights for our attention has one more insidious effect that is not obvious: it steals our Happiness or even Contentment.

That is, the basic principle of the useless advertisement is that the consumer is inconspicuously coerced into dissatisfaction with his current situation, and he is told that only through the purchase of the advertised product or service — which are presented as fetishes with magical capabilities — can he be satisfied again. Not until then, as he misses something. And until we feel we miss something, we cannot be satisfied.

One of the negative psychological effects that stem from the useless advertising experienced on social media is a type of anxiety known as FOMO, i.e. Fear Of Missing Out. But we will discuss this topic another time.

Until then, just remember that the useless advertisement contains deception, as it cannot sell a useless product otherwise. Unfortunately, if we buy into the useless advertisement, we have let our attention and satisfaction to be stolen. That leads to a change of our behavior, where we give the power over our life to other people, while we start to derive our satisfaction not from the inside of ourselves, but from owning the newest iPhone.

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