Attractive, Harmless, Highly Contagious : Ads
Eames : “Its perfectly possible. But its bloody damn difficult.”
Cobb : “Just have to go deep enough”
Eames : “Its not about the depth actually. We need the simplest version of the idea to grow in subject’s mind”
[excerpt from Movie ‘Inception’]
Before Jumping into the Matter, lets try a thought experiment. Imagine, a really beautiful young lady or a Charming Handsome guy, is walking towards you. Your eyes met each other, his/her hands touch your hands. You looked at those Dark hands and smile at his/her dark face. Now how many of you thought of girl/boy with white fair skin/color. I guess most of you have. I think its no mistake of you & me, but its deep-rooted within our minds, just like inception.
Advertisements. A powerful tool of publicity and promotion. What is an Ad, which is nothing but the method of implanting an idea in viewers mind. In explicit sense, to distort our views to benefit them. One of the most dangerous thing about Ads is that it isn’t considered dangerous at all. Even worse, everything which associates Ads is either Cheap or Absolutely free, that attracts the masses like insects to a candle.
The mechanism behind Ads has an interesting analogy to film ‘Inception’ in a dialogue by arthur & Saito.
Arthur: ” I say, don’t think about elephants. What are you thinking about ?”Saito: “hmm. Elephants.”Arthur: “True. But its not your idea. You know i gave it to you.”
Ads work in similar ways. Consider a Soap Ad with a pretty(!) white lady, with a tagline ‘Secret of my skin’ or a ‘Cosmetic commercial’ which shows an exaggerated change in color in seven days with a white lady who was dark before using it (and not confident) but later shown as highly confident and happy & of course whiter.
They won’t mention ‘White skin is beautiful’, ‘white ladies are more confident than dark ones’, which would invoke racial & color discrimination debates and may offense the dark skinned customers( the obvious buyers). Instead they show you the product & white human. Our mind will automatically associate the whiteness to the products, beauty to the whiteness & so forth. They are just planting the idea (whether or not they intend to or even unaware of) and our mind will develop this idea. “An idea is like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of your brain its almost impossible to eradicate”. Says Cobb.
Our mind always simplifies things. That’s much easier to remember, easy to process, easy to visualize. Think about Atoms. Its more easy to think of it as a bunch of blue/red colored sphere in middle surrounded by orbiting black electrons rather than the actual quantum mechanics & energy levels governed by numerous forces, Heisenberg uncertainty etc. So its not surprising that Ads are mostly simple to comprehend yet highly attractive. Most of the Ads are so simple that even a little kid could easily grasp (the poor preys of Ads) the idea & remember better than their school topics. Ads have become the mind distortion tool.
Almost all people, i assume, including me in the past, may have considered Ads as just another nuisance that we could just skip & avoid it. In our conscious mind is only avoiding it, unconscious doesn’t. Think about some products around you & see how the Ads came to your mind, even though you purposefully avoided it. Some Ads are simply beautiful that we couldn’t avoid it. In fact, is it possible to avoid Ads, while everything around you, everything you see, hear are filled with Ads. You must be a Blind & Deaf to do that (unless Braille has Ads).
Ads have become a part of our lives. These innocent things have made it look like they provide a better way for making everything accessible & economical for everyone. Look, free web services, free social networking, with a little Ads on the sides. You don’t even have to look at it, click on it. And finally the worst part, it is highly difficult & complex to realize the real nature of it, which our mind doesn’t encourage doing it. Beware.
[Ideas Inspired by Black Swan, a book by Nassim Nicholas taleb, Inception, Film by Christopher Nolan, and Many of the thoughts during Boring periods of waiting]