Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fear as a tool.

So much of marketing is geared toward our natural and unnatural fears as humans. Natural in that we want to protect our kin, our families, ourselves, health & well being.. so we purchase health care insurance, disability coverage, fire-proof for our homes. These are a given and understandable since they are used to sustain our lives, not our social status. But what becomes unnatural is all keenly developed through marketing. They know human weaknesses and tailor to that to drive consumerism up. Psychology is a huge part of analyzing how to sell items to people in marketing firms, which is why their ploys are so effective; humans are predictable.

So some unnatural phenomena of this is selling items in order to simplify our lives and eliminate stress because of an outcome we fear may happen when in fact, the culmination of all events happening are not likely. We try to avoid too much risk at the expense of our livelihoods so when the chance comes along to go on vacation or make a drastic change in our lives, there's more loose ends to tie or sever. By trying to manage our busy and hectic lives, it ends up managing us because we're constantly trying to close any potential gaps we see in your loops. These add more clutter to our lives and as a result it compiles to the list of things we want to avoid as potential hazards. Marketing makes our view of the loop get bigger and bigger.. beyond the realm of what we need to get by as essential. It paints fantasy-like pictures with dialogue that isn't like we experience day to day. We constantly try to avoid fires around the things we see can go wrong.. got a fear or problem, buy this! Afraid of your potential health issues? Take these pills, which have side effects, so take these as well. It ends up making us dependent on our paychecks and deathly afraid to lose our jobs to ultimately supplement our lifestyles. These can even be manifested in little things… bike salesmen always try to warn me how I need particular items to avoid the cold, heat, bonking, pain, being stranded with a flat and I've certainly been sucked into it. But the days I forget my cold gear and gloves? Sure it's not the most pleasant ride, but I still get by unscathed. You really have to read between the lines and try hard not to get sucked in.

Fear is one of the most useful tools used against people. It causes us to take action to avoid what we imminently fear is possible, not necessarily probable or likely. Take scary movies as an example. Some people avoid them like the plague because the human imagination is so good at creating images and fantasies. These movies paint pictures of what could potentially be real.. grotesque images, murder, demons.. and our imaginations automatically apply this to our everyday lives and the possibility that it can manifest itself somehow. But the reality is it's a movie and the chances are minuscule. Possible? Yes. But not likely. So how do advertisements and news creating fantasy-like pictures or bringing these fears into your living room television set differ? They don't.. we start to imagine things in our lives going wrong, causing inconveniences and the like. We then see purchasing something as a way to alleviate the feared outcome. Our reckless purchases only feed the demon.

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