How Advertising Worms Its Way Into Your Brain and Drains Your Wallet

Here comes the science

Newsflash: Advertising is nefarious and manipulative after all.

Earlier this week, we saw the stock-footage realization of the cheeky anti-advertising manifesto "This Is a Generic Brand Video," which brilliantly illustrated how advertising's visual cues are all ham-fisted and transparent, so viewers really don't have anything to worry about except maybe getting bored. By contrast, here's a fun clip from BuzzFeed that digs into the details of how a competent marketer sneaks into your subconscious and tricks you, most subtly, into thinking nice things about it.

Because consumers are just wide-eyed, dumbly smiling, mostly right-handed little piggy banks waddling around waiting to be relieved of our cash.

Actually, that sounds pretty much dead on.

It's hard to imagine ad creatives so pointedly calculating the presentation of products like the dangling of puppet strings, but maybe that's what art directors are really doing when they're hovering. Or maybe the crazy last-minute changes clients always demand are to blame, and agencies should be thanking the gods for plausible deniability.

Just kidding. No one's innocent.