I don’t allow my children to watch commercial television, and not because I think the content of the shows is all bad – some of it is actually pretty good – but because I do not want them exposed to advertising. It takes a long time before children can even distinguish which part of what they are watching is advertising. Most researchers in the area agree that five years is the watershed moment that kids can even tell they are watching something that is different from the regular programming.
It takes even longer before kids can think critically about advertisements, and understand that they are being psychologically manipulated into wanting X or Y or Z. My two older children are pretty good at critiquing advertisements when they watch TV at Grandma’s house, because I have walked them through how the process works.
Left to their own devices, kids will watch some pretty interesting things. My four year old is currently obsessed with watching shows about baking. She loves Quake and Bake and Cake Boss and she watches them ad free on the iPad. She also loves to watch orthodontists attach braces. Strange little creature. My son loves our SharkWeek DVD and the IMAX Hubble one, too. I personally believe their interests are so wide and varied because I have protected their minds from the influence of advertising.
They are children. They need to be protected from what they cannot resist nor comprehend.
The science of Consumer Behavior is a huge academic and corporate juggernaut, with literally thousands of trained psychologists and marketers working together to maximize the effectiveness of advertising.
On a side note, most trained psychologists are women, and women stream heavily into HR and marketing in business school, too, probably because those areas are “softer” than finance or logistics.
Going back to that Bureau of Labor Statistics report, fully 49.4% of all advertising and promotions managers are women, and they probably all work for beer companies targeting male consumers, right?
Yeah. I’m guessing that all those advertising ladies are working on products that, oh, target other ladies?
Just a guess.
I’m going to tell you a big secret about how advertising works: advertisers try to time their ads so they show up when you are most open to suggestion about their products!
It’s true. I’m not kidding you. Ads for food tend to show up around mealtimes, ads for toys tend to show up just after school gets out, ads for delicious beer and fast cars show up when you’re hyped up on adrenaline and camaraderie watching the Super Bowl!
Advertisers are so clever.
And really, what’s the problem with that? You’re an adult, right? Capable of some rational thought and critical analysis? You understand how your own psychology works and you aren’t some helpless dupe held in thrall and incapable of overriding your basic emotional temperament to make some independent choices? You can see and hear messages you know are deliberately attempting to manipulate you into making a particular purchase and somehow manage not to crumple into a ball of quivering, useless snot?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above, congratulations, you’re an adult!
An adult male.
Adult females have no such abilities, apparently.
Seriously now, what is this horseshit?
Evil Marketing Study Pinpoints When Women Feel the Ugliest
The “Encourage/Empower” engagement strategy can best be summed up in the following steps: 1) Maintain an environment in which women feel unattractive and vulnerable without using beauty products; 2) tell them that they can assuage their feelings of vulnerability by putting the right crap upon their faces and bodies; 3) make them feel that doing so is somehow integral to their personal success and value as a person; 4) repeat. So empowering! So encouraging! Thanks, everyone!
Here’s a few more takes on the story:
Advertising Deplorably Targets Women at Their Worst
‘Predatory’ Reason Marketers Target Women on Mondays
Marketing to Our Vulnerability
Evil! Deplorable! Predators! Vulnerable women!
I will never understand this. Not ever. How can a political philosophy and ideology that rests on the assumption that women are every bit as logical and rational and emotionally stable as men turn around and claim that the exact same advertising techniques that apply to everyone are somehow evil and deplorable when women are targeted?
Why are they evil? Why are they deplorable?
Oh, that’s because poor wittle women are not logical and rational and emotionally stable enough to withstand those predatory advertisers who take advantage of their vulnerabilities.
Seriously, which is it? Why in the hell would we put women in positions of actual power and authority when the suggestion they buy some lipstick on a Monday morning completely unhinges them? Oh, yes, please, put the chick who felt ugly and therefore victimized in charge of national defense spending. I guess she should get Mondays off, though, since her feelings are so incredibly likely to impair her judgement and sense of self-worth.
The entire Jezebel critique INSULTS women by assuming that women are 100% susceptible to the wiles of advertising and must therefore be protected from it at their “vulnerable” moments.
Can you even imagine a man writing such drivel?
Ads for shaving cream on Monday mornings that feature topless, buff male models of impossible beauty make me feel vulnerable and worthless as a human being unless I too am buff and impossibly beautiful and I am incapable of putting those ads in any kind of rational context and I must now lie on the bathroom tiles and weep until someone protects me from this predatory attack on my vulnerable self-esteem.
How can any woman reading that stupid post not feel insulted? You seriously think an ad for beauty balm on a Monday morning is going to affect my feelings of self-worth? How pathetic do these women think other women ARE?
I really wish feminists would find some way to distinguish themselves from women who consider themselves adults capable of making decisions and conducting themselves based on something other than vulnerable feelings preyed on by evil, deplorable predators. Women who are capable of getting up on a Monday, hearing an ad for mascara and simply carrying on with their day without a crippling loss of self-esteem.
Perhaps they need a re-brand?
Instead of this:
They could go with this:
And I’m the one who hates women. Yeah. Okay.
One website thinks women are irrational simpletons who need to be protected from their own immature, juvenile, gullible, emotionally crippled self-concepts lest those bear fruit in lived reality.
Hint: it isn’t me.
Woman who aren’t choking on the perpetual victim narrative of feminism are smart, rational, practical, dependable and perfectly capable of understanding that while OPI polish is nice, it doesn’t define a human’s self-worth.
Ho hum. It’s Monday. I feel like a bag of crap today. Oh well. That’s life. I’ll deal with it.
Like a grown-up.
You know, like a man might do.
Ignore the ads. Mock them. Laugh at them. Critique them. Or turn them off. How fucking hard is that?
Lots of love,