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Culture and advertising

Culture is a bit of a slippery concept. Even getting agreement on its definition is tricky. The modern day meaning is really about the learned behaviours that permeate a society, species or organisation. It encompasses language, ritual, art, law, symbols and expression. Culture really represents everything in a society that isn't genetic. And given that we now all accept that nature and nurture play an equally important role then understanding the human race really only requires two levels of understanding: 1.Genetics 2.Culture Culture is powerful. Anthropologists will tell you that it works hand in hand with genetics adding ritual and meaning to our biological instincts. But it can also override our biology. In recent years some new disciplines have emerged that really do start to unify our understanding of how biology and culture interact: social anthropology, behavioural evolution and behavioural economics are three such disciplines. In marketing and advertising they are being used, more and more, to really understand how and why people behave the way they do. The subtle interplays between instinct and learning, between rational and emotional thinking and between our conscious and subconscious minds drives all of our behaviours. And goes along way towards explaining the very different ways that business folk think advertising works Is it rational: selling product function and benefit?

Is it emotional: telling persuasive brand stories? Is it conscious: laying out a logical argument for the product? Is it subconscious: where more abstract ideas are decoded in your brain? Does it need to be liked? Does it need to entertain? Does it need to solve problems? Is it brainwashing? Is it a force for good or evil? These and many other questions about advertising have been debated and argued over the last 50 years. People's beliefs about advertising have affected state policy, the media environment, politics and ideology. At last the new disciplines in biology, sociology and economics are shedding some light on the science of behaviour and with that giving us a much better understanding of how and why advertising works. Posted 20th August 2012 by John Wood Labels: instinct human behaviour ideas advertising Creativity behavioural economics behavioural evolution anthropology business 0

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Darwin,ideas and advertising


Feb 26

The science of advertising


Advertising is more art than science yet the industry often pretends to be more science than art. The important thing about science is that it has two elements. 1. The hypothesis: this is the creative bit. Coming up with a theory based on current knowledge 2. The proof: testing that hypothesis to prove it to be true Advertising loves the first bit: the advertising strategy. Theorising about why an idea is right, arguing the case for that idea, rationalising why it's the best idea available. It's not so keen on the second bit, that is proving the theory holds true. Having something that is measurable obviously helps. But how many phone calls the

ad generated or how many people remember seeing the ad rarely proves the strategic theory. Feb 22