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COP 3 - Vance Packard's - People's Views

The Manipulators
Jeffery Robinson 
Published : 1998
Published by : Simon & Schuster
London, UK

Page 1

"Casting Spells...Parcelling intellect and emotion together. Finding one thing on the surface and something else beneath it. Targeting our hopes. Remoulding our ambitions. Allaying our fears... Selling us back ourselves."

Relates to Packards theories on a general scale. Companies are casting spells in a way. They are advertising to out subconscious. 

"Making that product an integral part of our lives, without us ever wondering, why?"

Page 5

"Art cannot guarantee results. Only science can do that. And advertising is not a science. At least, not yet."

Good quote on how advertising is still not 100% accurate despite using various techniques. It might soon become a science as appose to an art. 

Page 8

Ernest Ditcher - Selling Emotional Security 

Phscologist moved to America in 1950's

"Ditchers doctrine as that manufacturers needed to sell emotional security, In other words, for a product to succeed. Two things were neccasery: It had to work properly; and it has to appeal to feelings deep inside the phycological recesses of the human mind- feeling that only he was capable of unlocking. 'Don't sell shoes,' Ditcher advised a manufacturer of womens footwear, 'sell lovely feet.'"

Great quote on selling emotional security from Ernest Ditcher which links to Packards threories.

"The way he saw it, all consumer decisions were based on one of four basic motivations; Sustenance, security, status and sex. 'Once a businessman knows where his product stands in relation to the four-S's,'  Ditcher Maintained, 'he can gauge his sleling appeals with maximum effectivness."

Businessmen had to place their product within these Four S's in terms of getting the best success! How does this relate to Pakcards theories?

Ditcher said that he had proved in an investigation that...

"Cooking was more than just a chore for most housewives, that it was, more importantly, a symbol of a women's status in the family."

The company, General foods followed his advice and instead of telling the housewives what the product could do for her, they instead told the housewives of what they and the product could do together. Sales increased because of this. 

Page 12

James Vikary 

"Vikary swayed a cake mix manufacturer that backing was, somewhere deep in a woman's physce, symbolic of giving birth. ' He advised them to repackage the cake mix so that the houewife needed to add milk and eggs to it. He said this helped to create in the womans subconcious the feeling of presenting her family with a special gift."

Sales Increased - Links directly to Packards example of Birth.

Page 17 

James Vicary - Tachistoscopes  (Flashing Blink of an eye)

"If the human brain could take in the information it needs to build a response from an image below the perception threshold - a message that perhapsdirected at someone to buy something - he might be able to re-create the shoppers vulnerabilty in a myrias of other places. After givingi t some thought, he decided that the ideal place to test this wouold be a cinema."

He flashed the words "Drink Coke and "Eat Popcorn"

"he'd flashed those words on the screen for 1/3000th of a second every five seconds. He reported that cokes sales had increadsed by nearly 58%, and that popcorn sales had increased by almost 18%. 


Page 21 - Vance Packard

"Packard, relishing his newly found guise of popular alarmist, made speeches around the country, to which he reduced everyone to the common denominator of 'consumer'."

"He stressed that Madison avenue was mass producing customers for manufacturers the same way in which manufacturers were mass producing goods for the maket. A Claim that many people argue is still valid - Packard raised legitimate concerns about the society they were inevitably creating."

'History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time, said Malcolm Muggeridge. ' It is stimulating people to constantly want things, want this, want that.'

MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE backs up Packards thoughts 

"Advertising has done more to cause the social unrest of the 20th century than any other single factor"

CLAIRE BOOTH LUCE, Jorno and Diplomat, also agrees with Packard

Page 21 - 22

"Author Ernest Van Den Haag observes, 'It does not matter what people want to buy as long as they want to buy enough of the same thing to make mass production possible. Advertising helps to unify taste, to de-individulaise it and thus to make mass-production possible.'


Page 24

'Advertising is only evil when it advertisises evil things" 

David Ogivly - Famous Advertising man. This defence of advertising is pathetic because by saying that it shows that it's a bad things. Whether the product is good or not they are forcing us to buy it subliminally. 

"He (Pacakard) more than anyone else, transformed the image of ad men from suburbanites in grey flannel suits into monsters intent of capturing the minds of innocent populace and from there, into dangerous fiends, creating a society based on covertness, consumption andn greed."

Good quote on how VANCE changed the views of ad men and showed them for what they are.

"Undeniably, Packard stepped on toes and bruised egos. But, most of all, he touched raw nerves. He saw this as a moral issue - logic could never win here - arguing that most people don't know what they want, even if they say they do, and that advertisers take advantage of this."

Advertisers take advantage of people not knowing what they want. 

Page 25

He (Packard) was saying that Madison Avenue was channeling our unthinkable habits, directing our subconscious, manipulating our purchasing decision. Thit is why could, and would, in effect, pre-ordain what we buy, how we think, who we vote for, the way we live."

Page 26 

"Before Packard came along the world was a simpler place. We accepted as a fact of life certain tenets: that everyone knew what he or she wanted; that everyone would always tell the truth about his or her likes and dislikes; that everyone could be trusted to behave in a rational way. The Hidden Persuaders challenged those rudimentary assumptions."

Page 28 / 29

Sexual Messages Hiddden

Key asserted that messages - most of them sexual in nature - had been hidden in pictures used in magazine advertising. Among the culprits he names liqour companies including Tanquaerary Gin...Time magazine and McDoanlds.He insisted that images of breast and genetalia were common. And when it ame to liquor ads, he had a pendant for finding the words sex embedended somewhere in ice cubes. 

 Page 41 

Just as consumer society was changing the way we lived, ad men were coming to understand that we could be defined by what we bought and that if advertising can transform goods into 'communicatiors of meaning', they could sell us back our own insecurities. 

Ethics and Manipulation in Advertising 
Michael J Phillips 
Quorum Books
Westport, USA

Page 27

In their attempts to manipulate consumers through assosiaction, advertisers emply all kinds of marketing, psychological and survey research techniques. 

The associative ads that result from these and other efforts play upon a wide range of human desires

Another frequently used ploy is to play upon guilt feelings that the product supposedly will alleviate. Still another involves appeals to particularistic drives such as patriotism, nationalism, the desire for community, and famial ties. 

Age of Propaganda
Anthony Pratkanis & Elliot Aronson
Henry Holt and Company 
New York, USA

Page 207 / 208

Instilling Fear (Form of Propaganda)

"Hitler offered these words to his fellow country men. "The Jews ragards work as a means of exploiting other peoples. The Jew is the ferment of the decomposition of peoples. This means that the Jew destroys and has to destpry. The Jew is harmful to us... What then are the specifically Jewish aims? To spread their invisible State as supreme tyranny over the States in the whole world. "

Hitler uses fear tactic to convince German masses to follow his party.  

Page 208 

Millions of Germans gladly embraced Hitlers National Socialist Party. Although the goals of edwards and Hitler were quite diffrent, their method was the same -- instilling fear. Both edwards and Hitler threatended theur audiences with dire consequences if a certain course of action was not followed. 

They are not the only people who use this fear tactic...

"The nightly news carries reports of one sensational crime after another, thus increasing our fear of the streets. The political party that is out of office treats us to the tales of the economic and moral collapse of the nation is hopes of gaining power. And special-interest groups announce one food fear aster another -- coffee may cause pancreatic cancer, the use of aluminium pots can produce Alzheimer's disease, corn flakes contain hazardous amounts of pesticide EDB -- despite the fact that Americans life expectancy continues to increase."

Modern Examples of instilling fear are News Reports, Food Studies and Political Parties. 

"Often fear appeal are based on Irrational fears -- fears stemming from racial prejudice or the notion that there is a communist under every bed. At times a regime instills fear by terrorising its own citizens, as in Hitlers Germany..."

Irrational Fears targeted. Terrorising own Citizens.

Page 209

"Fear appeals are powerful because they channel out thoughts away from careful consideration of the issue ar hand and toward plans for ridding ourselves of the fear."

The panic means that we forget morals for rid of the fear. 

Page 214

'Notice how the fear appeal works. The recipient's attention is first focussed on the painful fear. In such a frightened state it is difficult to think about anything other than getting rid of that fear. Next, the propagandist offers a way to get rid of that fear -- a simple doable response that just happens to be what the propagandist wanted you to do all along."

Instilling fear, followed by a doable response to get people to do what you want. This is exactly what hitler did. 

Mark Grief. (2007). The Hard Sell. Available: Last accessed 8th January, 2014 


"The weaker parts of Packard’s book are those that overemphasize the sinister power of “depth” rather than the greater power of ubiquity. We’ve since learned that advertisers don’t need depth — not when they can saturate so many advertising spaces and opportunities. Buy enough campaign ads and you can hammer your candidate’s name home. Learn basic consumer desires and you don’t need to re-engineer the subconscious. You just need to send those unspoken desires a huge amount of spam. Spam, like direct mail, billboard advertising and the repetition of names, slogan and logos, became the real future of advertising: overwhelming volume combined with clever placement."

"What’s surprising is the degree to which we’ve all become sophisticates, engaging in our own Packard-like critiques of consumer culture without changing our habits. We know we buy irrationally; we just don’t care. We imagine that the “manipulators” at J. Walter Thompson or BBDO play only on the fears and hopes of desperate consumers who aren’t as “conscious” as we are (in which case it’s hard not to admire the ingenuity of the advertisers), while we ourselves are smart enough to decide when to give in. On the last page of “The Hidden Persuaders,” Packard had to acknowledge the paradox: “When irrational acts are committed knowingly they become a sort of delicious luxury.” We seem to enjoy both knowing that ads are hustling us and choosing to be hustled."

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