Friday, 3 July 2015

Subconscious aspirations through advertising?

Blogger tells me that it has been exactly one week since I last wrote a post for my blog.
 *Cue Non-existent Drum Roll*. On time, for once. How long that'll last? Uh. Hopefully a little longer.

It's funny. When I think of a line to write or when I think about doing something, I often get this mental image in my head, which sort of helps me. It doesn't help directly, but it's kind of like my mind telling my body "Yep. No worries. you've done this before, ergo, you must be able to do it again".

When I write on my blog, the mental image that keeps recurring in my head is one, where I stand on-stage in a theater reading a discourse to the janitor, the hall attendant, a few people who wandered in by accident and a stray dog. Either my mind is being too honest with me or it wants to mock me. Sigh.

Ha. Such optimism eh? I hope that my ever-appreciative audience can bear with me for a bit, because for the next couple of paragraphs, I am going to whine like a bitch and since you are always silent, I will take it that you are in complete agreement with what I have to say.

College is back on in a week. I'm actually leaving a day early to my hostel to set up everything and dust up the old hideout a bit. I'm in my third year now, and really, I should be kind of used to the sensation of going back, perhaps I should even be anticipating the prospect of my return to campus.

Nope. Consciously, I feel alright, even nonplussed by the fact that the hols went by in a flash. But I just, feel down. I'm constantly plagued by worry, yet I cannot put my finger on the reason for feeling this way. I conclude that it is because, at a subconscious level, I'm afraid.

I'm scared of what this new semester will bring. And while my conscious tries to push down these feelings, painting over the cracks with thin optimism, my true feelings seem to be seeping out at every turn, during the worst moments of the day.

So, the subconscious. Hm. I actually went to the cinema the day before with a couple of senior friends who've already graduated. They had only a couple of days to spare before they would have to leave for their new jobs, so I felt obliged to have a sort of one-last experience with them before they left. I figured it'd be a good way to snap out of this funk as well.

We watched inside-out, the new Pixar animated movie. It was in short, mindblowing. It was so many things, and I utterly lack the words to describe it. And my poor substitutions would take too many lines for any reader, who wishes to avoid spoilers, to stomach. Simply, It touched my heart. It also had very interesting ideas about the subconscious, but I think it'd be better if people got a chance to watch it.

During the intermission, I actually hustled back to my seat from the popcorn line because I wanted to watch some of the trailers for upcoming flicks on the big screen. Alas, with Youtube poaching the entire trailer-release market, we were force-fed commercials, mostly advertising gold and property-for-rent.

Most of them had cringeworthy acting performances by women heavily laden in gold. And the situations were so ridiculous. Like there was this blinged out lady, sitting casually at her laptop on a fine evening, and she turns around to tell her tech-savvy (and likely employed in software) daughter to stop wasting electricity. Her daughter then replies with equally moronic dialogue which I don't really want to go into. (Basically, instead of switching off the lights like any sane person would do, she says something about gold wastage. Sigh)

Anyway, we had a load of fun laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all. But then there was this one ad which really appealed to me. It was classy, understated. There was no dialogue, just a lot of clever camera-work, and some imperious, statuesque poses by the model on the screen. It just caught my eye, and for marketing personnel, that is the first objective they seek to achieve for any sort of branding.

That leads me to wonder, ads are created to entice people to aspire to the products being shown advertised right? But if a certain ad appealed to me, and caught my attention, while the rest merely drew my ire, is the ad a reflection of my aspirations? Of the kind of image that I would like to project about myself? Maybe some of the other ads which I disliked may have caught the eye of someone else too.

So, what does this mean? Company's generally create their ads to appeal to their target audience, but those are generally generic classifications based on demographics, eg; rich, male, mid-thirties, upper middle-class, female, married etc, so we can say with some confidence that ads aren't tailor-made for each demographic.

Does that mean that subconsciously, we aspire for a certain lifestyle, or a certain quality that is exemplified in the advert's skit? Do Ads secretly tell us what we really want in life? People are getting smarter now, and it is no longer true to say that all ads that tell you to buy something will compel one to do so, People can now select from a variety of choices, It could very well be that the ad that was instrumental in their final choice could have been one which was advertised in a way that was in line with their subconscious aspirations at that time.

From the last bench.

1 comment:

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Keep writing :)