The Hidden Persuaders

In order to strengthen my message and understand how to communicate ideas to an audience it is necessary to study advertisement. The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard is described as an “introduction to the techniques of mass persuasion through the unconscious”. The book begins by explaining that professional persuaders sought out guidance from the social sciences in order to find our weaknesses so as to alter human behaviour. Motivation research gives an understanding of what motivates people into making decisions. Researchers understand the subconscious as a link to general preferences, but we cannot assume to know what people want from products. Packard give the example of toothpaste in which the main selling point of the product is dental hygiene. However, consumers were not necessarily looking for this type of product, for example they were more interested in one which would make their teeth shiner. This boosted product sales as the advertisement got behind the real reason for why people brushed their teeth.

Therefore, in the context of my work I should be looking at why people would want to change their lifestyle. I need to propose the correct balance between communicating the scientific facts and what will actually motivate people to alter their nutrition. Personally I think that it is sometimes difficult for others to make a link between the scientific language and explanations of what is happening inside the body which cannot be seen. I feel that my visual practice can become a platform where an audience can be enlightened through playful images which can be easily interpreted. These visuals will be abstracted and surrealist whilst having endearing narratives which will allow others to understand the dangers of type three diabetes. There could also be two opposing narratives which could demonstrate how the condition could be helped.

Things to consider:

What will drive others to conform?

What are motives for improving brain health? (living longer, keeping memories, slimming down)

How can I make others feel secure?



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