Have you ever been 'sold to' on Linkedin? I often get connection requests which I accept if there's a photo of the person on their profile and not just a logo. I then receive the response email with the direct sell. Some people react strongly, even posting about it in their newsfeed, but I don't mind this, it's often someone with little or no marketing budget just looking for a cheap, quick win, and I can choose to respond, ignore or delete the message. What I do mind though, is large adverts placed where I have no choice but to gaze upon them. These are much more intrusive and have a stronger brainwashing effect than the simple Linkedin pitch.
Researchers (Yankelovich) reckon on an average day a person is exposed to between 3000 and 20,000 advertising images. These are so much more intrusive than the Linkedin message which is easily deleted. Whatever you think about advertising, it drives consumerism which for the more susceptible people can become a serious addiction.
What you pay attention to becomes larger in your life. This is how addictions work, whether it's food, sex, shopping, tobacco, heroin, power, or details. The most successful ads are the most addictive. They get people to associate more with the theme, concept or product that the ad is suggesting.
Advertisers know how to fool us, to influence our fickle minds and believe one product is better than its competitor. The addiction gets stronger as the carefully produced tune plays in a loop in your head, the feeling associated with the product grows, and the vivid imagery conditions you, unconsciously, to want the product. Top brands are in a war. They are fighting to own a share of your mind.
With the mad, discordant festive season just behind us, advertisers will be working on their next campaign to invade your world and infuse your unconscious mind with images designed to match your desires and eradicate your fears. The question is, how susceptible will you be whilst they are tugging at your values? The Banksy artwork above clearly demonstrates the incongruence and absurdity of a religious holiday sabotaged by big brands creating a 'buying frenzy' simply because they need to make their numbers.
Below you will find a link to a copy of Banksy's latest work of art. It's a comic strip where he's taking a real shot at advertisers. I'm with Banksy all the way, since advertising directly feeds a social model that is known to be unsustainable and causing major psychological, social and environmental problems. I don't expect this post to be popular here on Linkedin, but as more people wake up to the crassness of big brand advertising, change will inevitably come offering consumers choice about the kind of stimulus they prefer. There is certainly a growing concern that consumerism as we know it really has to change for the health and well-being of the human race, and our environment that has such a strong influence on all our lives.
click here to view comic strip
Nice job Banksy!
Thanks for reading.