How Advertising Manipulates Us?

How Advertising Manipulates Us?

How advertising manipulates us? Advertising is everywhere. We see it on billboards, in magazines and newspapers, on TV and online.

The most powerful tool that advertisers have at their disposal is the ability to manipulate us into making choices we may not otherwise make if left alone with our thoughts. This is because they know how to use specific techniques to influence our emotions based on certain triggers.

In this article I will discuss some of these techniques so you can be aware of them when you are exposed to advertising messages in your daily life. You’ll learn why companies use these strategies, what makes them work so well, and how you can avoid being manipulated by advertising messages while still enjoying the benefits of commercial products and services available today.

Advertising is a form of manipulation

It’s been around for a long time. In this post I will show you many examples of vintage advertisements that are manipulative in their nature. Even though some of them might seem absolutely crazy to our times, they were quite effective then and people bought the products.

You can see how the trends have changed over the last century. The earliest examples are more subtle and naturalistic while later examples go more towards explicit sexual appeals.

Advertising is a form of manipulation
Advertising is a form of manipulation

From a modern perspective it is hard to believe that such ads were able to persuade people to buy a particular product or service but we must remember that this was before multifunctional media with hundreds of advertising channels from movie screens to computer games, from billboards on streets to TV screens in living rooms etc. People had no way of quickly and easily escaping from advertisements and this was their prime weakness.

Why advertising manipulates us?

The answer is simple – it works. Advertising works via psychological manipulation of people’s minds, emotions and fears. Why does it work? Because if you want to sell something, you must somehow change the perspective of somebody so that they will buy your product instead of somebody else’s product. And this is exactly what advertising is doing.

Advertising can be separated into two main categories: informative advertising and suggestive advertising . Informative advertising consists only in telling about the existence/location/price/advantages/quality of a product or service without directly pushing towards its purchase. Suggestive advertising , on the other side, tries to indirectly convince people to think about a possible purchase by playing on their desires, dreams and weaknesses.

How advertising manipulates us?

Informative advertising is not manipulative since it doesn’t try to influence your thoughts in any way. In order to be effective informative advertising must provide truthful information about a product or service so that people can make their own decisions based on these facts.

Suggestive advertising is truly manipulative and works in more than one way:

1) It directly tries to appeal to people’s emotions . This can be done by using symbols, color or low-value words. The aim of all this is to create a strong visual/emotional association between products and positive feelings (e.g., the group of happy kids). A good example of emotional manipulation would be an ad featuring Santa Claus with children opening gifts on Christmas morning – such ads make us feel emotions of joy and warmth.

See also  Faze Apex Wiki, Biography, Age, Career

2) It tries to manipulate people via their will for pleasure . This is why sex appeals are so frequently used in suggestive ads – they appeal to our desire for pleasure and try to make us buy products that we don’t really need (e.g., a car, expensive perfume etc.).

What are the effects of advertising on our society?

Advertising is the process of attracting public attention to something or someone, typically by paying for sponsorships in mass media. Commercial advertising is an important part of the economy because it increases sales. Advertisers use billboards, television commercials, radio spots and online ads to deliver their message. The Advertising Council states that “advertising builds our economy” by increasing sales, stimulating competition- which leads to lower prices for consumers- and creating jobs in the U.S.- about two million Americans work in advertising related fields . Despite its benefits to society, what are the effects of commercial advertising on our culture?

What are the effects of advertising on our society?
What are the effects of advertising on our society?

Over time television advertisements have become much more sophisticated in order to capture consumer’s attention. More often than not TV ads are thirty seconds long- the ideal length for viewers’ short attention spans. This is necessary since people today are constantly multi-tasking and their minds wander from one subject to another . They engage with advertisements that possess characteristics such as humor, animation and music because they successfully hold onto audiences’ attention for a longer period of time. The problem with catchy ads like these is that it creates unrealistic expectations of perfection. People begin to expect things out of reach and judge themselves based on how closely they resemble the images projected in advertisements . Some even go as far as feeling unworthy and start looking at plastic surgery and having cosmetic surgery to achieve an unrealistic beauty standard . Advertisements also frequently depict false relationships between products and lifestyle which places unfair pressure consumers.

Strategies for resisting or avoiding manipulative ads.

One way to resist advertising is by boycotting products that rely heavily on ads. Another technique is called channel-zapping in which a person switches through TV channels with the hope of being exposed to advertisements for minimal periods of time . This allows viewers’ minds to wander and reduces the likelihood of being fully absorbed into an ad. There are also examples of successful campaigns against specific companies who use over-the-top, flashy commercials. One prime example happened in 2000 when Dove started their Campaign for Real Beauty. Their campaign aimed “to celebrate the beauty of real women who have been retouched”-as said by Maggie Wiener , author and media researcher . The goal was no longer audience attention but rather change in society. Soon after Dove released its first advertisement, it shocked viewers with its message of female empowerment and attracted the attention of many women’s groups.

Taking advantage of social media marketing to create awareness about obesity in America.

Another way advertisers target their prospective audience is through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter- which consists of short user uploaded videos, photos or articles that can be viewed on a computer or smart phone. In fact, as of March 2013 , there are 1 billion registered users worldwide . Social media sites have become a popular platform for individuals to share their thoughts and experiences but advertisers have taken notice as well.

The manipulative advertising inside the spectrum of the persuasive advertising

Advertising is a manipulative, yet persuasive form of communication. To understand the range that advertising can take in terms of persuasiveness and rationality or irrationality we should look at how Persuasion theory by Creighton (people-creightone) proposes an spectrum ranging from Coercion on one end to rational persuasion with emotionally charged appeals falling somewhere between these two ends.

This article will discuss ways for brands use this spectrum depending upon who their target audience may be.

The manipulative advertising at work

The most claims used with a manipulative role

The goal of all types advertising is to persuade consumers. Most manipulative ads use facts with arguments and plying on customers’ emotions in order mislead them into buying a product, but it’s important that you know what type so they don’t work their way past your defenses! Emotional appeals are usually manipulative because no one likes being duped by an advertisement which presents itself as something else entirely than what was actually promised – often times exaggerating both the quality/value etcetera for its own sake rather then providing any proof at all (or giving enough information) when making such bold claims about how amazing this new invention will make our lives better… or whatever else marketers do these days.

See also  what is a PMP advertising and why are PMP getting more popular?

Mechanisms and techniques of manipulation in advertising

Manipulation through language

No matter what words are used, advertisers always find a way to twist the truth in their ads. This is because they manipulate language by using it as an instrument and manipulating its form for specific effects on readers or viewers. To make this happen more easily however, it’s necessary that there be some grammar knowledge beforehand so we know how powerful these messages can actually become if you let them gain control over your thoughts!

Visual techniques of manipulation

Many advertisements today use visual and combined techniques to manipulate the consumer. One technique is photo-shopping, which involves combining an advertisement with another image or video clip in order for it appear more realistic than what’s being shown on its own; this can be done through things like changing size differences between products advertised vs reality (e.g., making something seem smaller when compared), increasing prices while pretending that they’re going down over time). Other methods include messing around with graphs so data doesn’t match up at all – creating misleading images out nowhere where there was none before For example: advertising discounts during times of high demand but then raising cost afterwards.

Conscious advertising for conscious consumers, a realistic solution against manipulative advertising

The regulators are reactive and therefore fail to give the advertisers any space where they can update their manipulative advertisements. More regulations would reduce this tendency for manipulation through advertising, but other ways should also be followed in areas where marketers find mutual goals with consumers.

Mechanisms and techniques of manipulation in advertising
Mechanisms and techniques of manipulation in advertising

Is advertising manipulative?


Research shows that as our choices increase, so do our levels of dissatisfaction and anxiety. Advertisers simplify complex issues into either/or scenarios to make decision-making easier for us consumers who are looking for help in making these tough calls on what products we should buy or not!


Ads are designed to remove thinking from the equation. They appeal not only on an emotional level, but also with symbols and imagery that is more abstract than anything in reality–perfect if your target audience doesn’t have much experience appealing at rational arguments! Promotional material for a sleeping medication might show friends enjoying dinner together or dad playing catch with his kids out of focus while watching them play football (both examples illustrating what life would be like without sleep), respectively; this helps ensure no one will think too hard about why they need these products once convinced by visuals alone.


The color of a product can have an immense effect on how people perceive it. Apple, for example, uses white to convey clean design and simplicity in their products while other companies use bright colors that may signify joy or happiness such as yellow from Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign slogan (justdoit).


The human brain is wired to avoid loss. This includes both physical pain and emotional hurts, so any type of danger leading up to a purchase will suffice as an excuse for avoiding these uncomfortable feelings altogether or at least reducing them down until it’s easier on you in the long run. An advertiser can capitalize on this by appealing directly towards our basic needs such as food or sex which are things people need but may not always get enough access too every day via other sources (i e: grocery stores). The trick here? They’ll make products look appetizing with tricks like substituting glue milk cereal commercials; adding dish soap bubbles into soda etc., making anything feel more satisfying than usual because hey–we’re used doing all those “extra”.

See also  How Much do YouTubers Make?


The use of symbols in advertising has been around for centuries. It can be used to prompt certain associations, like a laundry detergent label that features an adorable baby wrapped up in its soft blanket and soothes your heart with safety or love as well!

How Manipulative Advertising Works (and What to Do About It)?

Don’t Forget to Think

Advertising is the use of commercial messages to promote products. Some common advertising strategies are giving an explanation, such as “Brand X soap cleans your dishes,” or describing how one product can be better than another in certain aspects (ease-of-use).

A more interesting type of ad would describe something about what you’ll experience with this particular brand: “Restaurant Y serves food quickly without sacrificing flavor.” This gives consumers some insight into why they should choose Company Z over competitors who don’t offer those features/amenities.

Be Wary of Your Emotional Responses

The power of emotion is a well-known fact in marketing, but it’s not the only thing that can make you buy something. Ads with happy or sad endings actually work better than ads without any emotional response because feeling anything gives consumers an opportunity for closure which they crave after making decisions about things like purchasing products on impulse and then later regretting them when reality sets in.
A study showed how being able at one point leads us into buying more items than usual if there was no negative emotions involved during purchase process; instead negative reactions resulted much lower levels] rather unexpectedly.

Watch Out For Products Indirectly Targeted at You

So you’re looking for an advertised product on social media? Make sure to ask yourself why. Why am I viewing this ad, and how does it solve my problem or meet the criteria that they are advertising in order of course if something interests me then there should be no doubt about whether or not their claims can actually do what we think so research before buying anything blindly just because someone says its true but don’t take anyone at face value always question things even after doing some initial investigation.

Avoid Ads Entirely

Ads are everywhere, and it may seem like avoiding them is the best option. However, even if you mute your TV or turn off an online advertisement there’s still a chance of being impacted by these ads in some way – so when should we listen?

Maybe this sounds familiar: You’re watching something on Hulu with one hand while browsing Instagram using another; before long both hands have been absorbed into two different screens without any awareness left over for what was happening directly attheir current location within either program (or indeed anything else). This could easily become habit-forming.

Advertising is a business. Businesses are in the game for profit, not our best interest. If you feel uneasy about how advertising manipulates us to buy products we don’t need or want, remember that it’s just business and there are plenty of other companies out there who do care about your interests. You can always choose to spend your money elsewhere if you disagree with what one company is doing–whether that means boycotting them altogether or choosing another brand whose values align more closely with yours. Protect yourself from the manipulation by being aware of its tactics so you can make better decisions in the future when making purchases online, offline, or anywhere else!

See more articles in category: Advertising

Leave a Reply

Back to top button