We are unwittingly brainwashed by advertising and television media in a myriad of ways. We may have learned about the influences of advertising and television somewhere along the way, but it’s still difficult not to succumb to them if you are not vigilant.
Advertisers and television producers spend their days coming up with ways to manipulate your behavior to buy their products and keep you watching their programs. They appeal to all of your senses to do this. They painstakingly select images and scenes that will associate their products and programs with desired, pleasurable, and optimum outcomes. Then they carefully select words that will provoke your emotions and behavior in the direction they want –- toward buying their product or staying tuned to their program. They meticulously select moving or well-known songs to play alongside the pictures and words so that your emotions are stirred even further.
Each of these tactics has a profound effect on its ability to anchor the advertiser’s or producer’s messages in our brain –- mostly in our subconscious mind. The repetitiveness of these messages leads to us being brainwashed.
Here are some examples.
Brainwashed to keep watching a particular television program
Have you ever watched a network morning, so-called, news program and found yourself anxiously waiting for a segment announced at the beginning only to find that it was nothing close to what they had implied?
You found yourself waiting to see that particular segment through several LONG commercial breaks. Just before each break, you were reminded that the story you were waiting for was coming up in a few minutes. These hooks, as the news anchors themselves often call them, are painstakingly crafted to ignite your emotions and keep you watching the program. The same tactics are used in a much stronger way to keep you watching a series of programs.
Have you ever noticed how often the preview clips of television programs, especially reality shows, do not accurately depict what actually happens? The show producers and editors cut, paste, and match up different dialog and scenes to create a preview clip that is highly provocative and enticing to manipulate you into watching more. They do this even though it is not a truthful portrayal of what really happened. If you haven’t noticed this, you have succumbed to their manipulation. By being desensitized to these tactics, you have in effect been brainwashed.
Reality shows are nothing close to reality. How often do you hear dramatic music playing as you are hiking through a rainforest? Seasoned producers cleverly manipulate the participants in these shows to say and do certain things to create controversial so-called entertainment.
To avoid being brainwashed by television producers, watch programs objectively and notice how they are attempting to manipulate you. Then decide whether it’s a good use of your time to watch a particular program and all those like it.
I’ve come to the point where I only watch programs that have a reliable base like those about history, biographies, home improvement, personal development, gardening, animals, science, technology, and a select list of sports.
Brainwashed to believe that you need a certain car
How much difference is there between a Toyota and Lexus, a Chevrolet and a Cadillac, a Honda and an Acura, a Ford and Lincoln, a Nissan and an Infinity, and a Volkswagen and a BMW? The biggest difference is the cost to buy and maintain them. Other than that all you have is a bunch of bells and whistles and leather and wood trim. None of them gets you to where you want to go much differently.
Automobile advertisements have brainwashed us into believing that these vehicles will give us more prestige, confidence, and fulfillment. A car can never do these things for more than a week or two after it is driven off the dealer’s lot for the first time.
Right after I got my driver’s license, I went to an auto auction to buy my first car. An auction representative showed me several vehicles before the bidding took place. My representative was an impeccably dressed man in his 60s. I didn’t have much money so I picked a car with very high mileage but an appealing appearance. It was a Volkswagen convertible. This man treated and drove that car as if it was a Rolls Royce! And because he did, I felt like I was riding in one with a millionaire!
I didn’t buy a car that day but a learned an important lesson. It’s not a car that makes the man. The man (or woman) makes the car regardless of how much it costs or what condition it is in.
Don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by automobile advertising or by those around you who have succumbed to their tactics. Rise above it. Spend your money on things that provide lasting or increasing value.
Brainwashed to believe you must have a particular product
Have you ever found yourself with an almost insatiable desire to buy a particular product and you really couldn’t logically explain why? You didn’t really need the item, but you found yourself with an almost uncontrollable craving to have it. In these situations, your subconscious mind is delivering the messages created by the advertisers to your conscious mind. The triggers they installed were the associations of pleasure or fulfillment and/or the avoidance of pain or loss.
Advertisers create ads that put their products in the most ideal environments and situations possible — a fantasy land. You may say to yourself, “I recognize commercials for what they are.” Perhaps you do consciously most of the time, but it’s what is stored in your subconscious that creates an image and yearning for a particular product or brand that matters.
One of the best examples is kitchen appliances. Does it really take 15 different kitchen appliances to make the process of preparing meals easier? How many of them are redundant? If you go to a few garage sales, you’ll see how many people are trying to sell their unused kitchen gadgets to other suckers at a 95% loss.
Don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by advertisers’ messages, especially those presented in 30-minute info commercials. Beat them at their own game by disconnecting from their emotional message and remaining true to your own values and decisions about money.
A documentary about the bottled water industry entitled, “Tapped,” is a good example of how we are brainwashed to buy certain products that bring companies enormous profits but are not the best choice for us.
Brainwashed to believe you must join a gym or buy some contraption to get fit
The commercial shows perfectly sculptured men and women feverishly working out at a beautiful, luxurious, and pristine health club. The commercial implies that if you join the gym, you too will look like the people shown in the commercial. The implication is that the only path to this outcome is by joining their club.
Although health clubs are inspiring environments where you can learn a lot about fitness, they are not the only way that you can get fit. You can build your own home gym and save a lot of time and money. I built a simple home gym for under $120.
It’s amazing how many contraptions there are for abdominal exercises. Considering the number of info commercials featuring these items, there must be many people who are buying these products. I selected the word conTRAPtion for a good reason.
These products may help, but the trap is in how people are brainwashed to believe that by purchasing them it will be easy and they will magically become motivated to do the WORK necessary to have great looking abs. The commercials rarely mention anything about the necessity of adopting a healthy diet and doing aerobic exercise to achieve the results represented by their models or actors. Many people who buy these products are really looking for someone or something to do the work for them.
You don’t need some contraption to get a good abdominal workout. You can do several different abdominal exercises on a carpet, mat, and/or a multi-purpose workout bench. You can also use the bench for many other exercises including those that involve free weights. An adjustable, multi-purpose bench is the foundation for any home gym.
Look beyond that hype and don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by health club advertisements and exercise equipment info commercials. Do your own research to find an exercise and diet protocol that works best for you and your lifestyle.
Brainwashed to believe that you need a particular medication
Who do you think makes a particular medication popular? Do you think doctors do this by promoting them to their patients or do pharmaceutical companies by advertising them to consumers? The pharmaceutical companies make them popular by spending HUGE amounts of money on advertising them to the public.
I am always amazed at the long list of “possible” side effects that advertisers are forced to include in their commercials. They quickly go through the list as images of healthy, active, and ridiculously happy people are shown in the background. They also often add soft pleasing music as well. I’ve noticed this strategy is used a lot to promote antidepressants.
Our society has been brainwashed into believing that the best way to relieve depression is to take a drug. In some cases, this may be true, but in most cases, other steps can be taken to successfully end the depression. I don’t buy the notion that tens of millions of people worldwide have a physical deficiency that requires them to take antidepressants to function normally.
Don’t let yourself be brainwashed by pharmaceutical company advertisements. Find the best solutions for your particular health issue on your own. You have the ability to do this at your fingertips using the Internet. Seek out natural and holistic solutions over those promoted by pharmaceutical companies. Watch out for fake natural cures though.
A documentary entitled, “Food Matters,” includes information about how we have been taught by pharmaceutical advertisements to see their medications as the primary solution to our physical and emotional problems. As a college professor in the documentary states, “People need (nutritional) education, not medication.” I highly recommend this life-changing documentary. Here’s the full list of documentaries I recommend.
The key is to stay vigilant and look at advertisements and television programs objectively. View them intelligently and not passively. As you do this, you’ll be able to recognize their tactics and avoid being manipulated and brainwashed. Eventually, you will instantly recognize manipulative tactics and mentally block them.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how much, if any, time and attention you will devote to certain television programs and advertisements.