Mesmerizing marketing: a compact cultural history

Mesmerizing marketing: a compact cultural history Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the widely‐held belief that marketing holds customers in thrall and persuades them to buy things they otherwise would not. Design/methodology/approach – Rather than adopt a scientific approach to the mesmeric marketing phenomenon, it embraces an artistic perspective, focusing on three crucial cultural “moments” in the emergence of the great manipulator mindset. Findings – Whereas innumerable scientific experiments show that subliminal advertising does not work, except in certain circumstances, the cultural approach demonstrates that subliminals are, in fact, enormously successful. Regardless of scientific evidence to the contrary, most consumers believe that subliminal advertising not only works but is an established marketing practice. Practical implications – The paper suggests that marketers should place less reliance on the scientific paradigm. Marketing science has its place – a very important place – but not everything can be captured in a simultaneous equation or linear regression model. Cultural components analysis is just as significant as principal components analysis. Originality/value – Received wisdom concerning subliminal advertising is challenged and creatively reinterpreted from a supra‐science standpoint. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Business Review Emerald Publishing

Mesmerizing marketing: a compact cultural history

European Business Review, Volume 20 (4): 14 – Jun 27, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0955-534X
DOI
10.1108/09555340810886611
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the widely‐held belief that marketing holds customers in thrall and persuades them to buy things they otherwise would not. Design/methodology/approach – Rather than adopt a scientific approach to the mesmeric marketing phenomenon, it embraces an artistic perspective, focusing on three crucial cultural “moments” in the emergence of the great manipulator mindset. Findings – Whereas innumerable scientific experiments show that subliminal advertising does not work, except in certain circumstances, the cultural approach demonstrates that subliminals are, in fact, enormously successful. Regardless of scientific evidence to the contrary, most consumers believe that subliminal advertising not only works but is an established marketing practice. Practical implications – The paper suggests that marketers should place less reliance on the scientific paradigm. Marketing science has its place – a very important place – but not everything can be captured in a simultaneous equation or linear regression model. Cultural components analysis is just as significant as principal components analysis. Originality/value – Received wisdom concerning subliminal advertising is challenged and creatively reinterpreted from a supra‐science standpoint.

Journal

European Business ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 27, 2008

Keywords: Marketing; Advertising; Cultural studies; Marketing theory; Psychology; Individual psychology

References

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