Images: A Mediator to Advertisements

Friday, October 23, 2009


"We are conscious of what we attend to -- and not conscious of what we do not attend to," William James, (1842-1910), a renowned American psychologist and philosopher.


Appealing images in Advertisements are strewn everywhere persuading consumer consciously or unconsciously.


Is the world being swallowed by branded images? Or are these brands swallowing us, innocent consumers? Are we being brainwashed by cleverly made ads with appealing images that are plastered all across the city every second of the day without even realizing it?

Look around you. Every nook is invaded by some form of image or the other. Be it on the skies, water or land. It’s everywhere, persuading, informing and entertaining making consumers aware that it exists. Images have become a prime component in today’s advertising. Advertisements which is known to be an ancillary medium, is soon becoming a primary one. And I see no reason why?


‘Holding my morning cup of coffee, I stagger down to the living room to read my newspaper only to be invaded with colourful, alluring images. Turning each ad-dominated news page, I smirk at the irony of a newspaper being more of an ad-paper.’ narrated Mr. Zayed Hussain, a Sharjah based businessman.

Magazines, television, online media to the simple outdoors have been raided with image after image. Not to forget, simplicities like our pens, plastic bags, sunshade covers for vehicles and vehicles themselves. It seems astonishing to believe that ads actually, unconsciously brainwash our minds. However, most of us do not realize the mind games the advertisers have been playing on our subconscious minds for the past fifty years. It's a scary thought, really, when you realize the advertisers have gained control of our lives without us even knowing it. According to a Senior English teacher, Mrs. Abraham “These talented advertisers really think about small but significant ways in which they can advertise their business. Images have not even been spared in bathroom stalls, which can be seen on the inside of the doors these days.”

Advertising images have invaded all walks of life, even park benches aren't spared...


Giving heights to subliminal advertising through images, slowly and steadily consumers are getting, be it consciously or unconsciously brainwashed by these surrounding ads influencing our tastes, our decisions, our expectations.

Advertisers use these subliminal techniques to influence the second and third level of our consciousness. They target the consumer's fears and desires, manipulating them in ways never thought possible. On the other hand, advertisers present to the consumer on the conscious level a safe, neutral, naturally appealing ad to appease the consumer's resistance to subliminal advertising. While glancing through an ad, the average consumer skims through paragraphs, barely noticing an ad that they have seem many times. When we are doing this, we are responding to our subliminal reception because the conscious mind is uninterested in the potentially offensive subliminal material.


The simple outdoors raided by persuading alluring image after image


The time of raising or moulding images through mass media advertising has just begun. But the difference unlike the old days being not how many consumers see an ad or the frequency of how often you see it, but rather finding ways to get consumers to invite these falsely represented images into their lives.

Wondering why, advertisers have got to get through so much, just to get their brand noticed. Well, for the obvious reasons, to get noticed of course, to stand out from the other same branded products. Advertisers already are making bold statements in their image by manipulating the design and wooing consumers by integrating messages so closely into entertainment that the two are all but indistinguishable.


Advertisements make bold statements by using images that are manipulated in terms of design in order to woo consumers. Fast food advertisements such as these have appetizing ads that make consumers, easy prey

Advertisers have taken a definite hold on our daily lives. Half of their dominating influence can be attributed to their use of subliminal advertising. They take advantage of the susceptibility in our subconscious minds. Especially with today’s high tech gadgets and latest computer technology, they have unparalleled resources to manoeuvre or influence each image to target a specific weakness in us. “The number of images on the Internet is countless, whichever page you visit it’s filled with a clutter of images be it advertisements or not, they are always trying to sell a product and it’s working; my purchases are being influenced by these advertisements.’ says Mr. Rahul, student from University of Wollongong.


How do we not fall into the advertisers trap? Optimum awareness is the key. Being conscious is the way to fight back, if we have to avoid that influence which advertisers are trying to control us. The next time we make a purchasing decision, ask "Why am I choosing this product?" Buy a product because of its taste, its quality, and its price. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover similarly, never buy a product because its packaging looks good or because it is a name brand. Remember, it is the major companies that have the resources to do subliminal advertising. Thus as a consumer; ‘Be smart & Think smart’, that should be our motto.


Appealing images on advertisements have flooded all corners of the Internet


For now, be more vigil…observe more closely how dominant our image-constructed world is getting to be especially with today’s world becoming an ad, ad, ad world, I just hope we don’t go m-ad with it.


Photo Credits: Megna Kalvani

3 comments:

paul_deakin_2009 said...

The real problem does not lie within the advertisement industry, it's people that are the problem. People need to be educated on how to consume in a smart manner and when to consume. For example, a normal person would buy a video game for their based purely on price and what the cover looks like. The kids end up getting this uninspiring game and they it gets thrown away after a week when they should be doing research on appropriate game for their kid that they will enjoy and be engaged with. Because of this, fantastic games get shafted because they don't have the promotion that the rubbish games get.

It would be nice though if advertisers were only allowed to displays ads for quality certified goods!

Auto and Trucks said...

ok...

megna said...

Thank you for your comments. They are deeply appreciated as I'm a first time blogger.

@ Paul_deakin_2009: Yes, I completely agree with you. Like you said, adults and children almost always fall for the packaging of the product and not the value of the product. And the Advertisers are aware of this and are using it as a way to get to us...giving more attention to how it looks on the outside than the content.
That’s the reason why we have so many ads plastered around us, brainwashing our every purchase.
Truly, it would be nice if advertisers displayed ads of quality and certified goods but till then keep your eyes wide open and don’t fall prey to those almost 'realistic' ads.

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