Our reality can be constructed by someone else and our beliefs changed in just a few moments with the right techniques.

I think it’s why I both admire and loathe successful marketing campaigns, mostly due to their heavy use of emotional manipulation.

I admire a practical use for psychology on a large scale.
I loathe a practical use for psychology on a large scale that is designed to get people to open their wallets without them being fully conscious of it.

Do you remember “Arms of an Angel” Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA ad a few years ago?

I could “feel the pull” within seconds of it coming on TV. I thought, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?” for just a moment, then turned off the TV. It was too strong. I didn’t like the emotional manipulation happening so quickly. The song, the image of the dog, my feelings pulled towards a picture of a dog because of a song and film techniques.

I wouldn’t watch the commercial for that reason. In fact, it made me lose my taste for TV, which was kind of weak at that point anyway.

About a year or so later, I looked up to see how successful that campaign was. It was EXTREMELY successful.

It’s not that it’s a bad cause. I’m sure it’s a fine cause.

But the technique to pull me in and convince me to care without a single, “Hey, I’m going to make you feel something now.” seemed wrong.

We accept that’s how it is. It’s not going to change. But I still don’t care for it. Our reality can be constructed by someone else and our beliefs changed in just a few moments with the right techniques.

It’s why I admire it.
It’s why I loathe it.

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