In the 1920's, women never smoked, and if smoked, they are severely condemned for it. Smoking was taboo. People believed that Smoking, as well as higher education or election to the Congress was purely a male prerogative.
This was a problem for tobacco companies. It was disadvantageous that half the population doesn't smoke for one reason or another. George Washington hill, President of the American tobacco company said: "gold mine flows we have right in front of the nose." Tobacco companies have repeatedly tried to convince women to start Smoking cigarettes, but to no avail. Cultural prejudice against Smoking was much stronger.
In 1928 the American tobacco company hired Edward Bernays, a young, energetic marketing specialist with a bunch of crazy ideas.
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Marketing tactics, who used Bernays stood out from the rest. In the early twentieth century, marketing was considered as a means of representation of the real advantages of a product in its simplest and concise form. At that time it was believed that people acquire goods on the basis of given information about them. To sell, for example, your cheese, the manufacturer had to convince the buyer that his product is the best through facts. It was believed that people would make purchases based on rational decisions.
But Bernays took a different view. He did not believe that in most cases people take rational decisions. Bernays believed that people were fundamentally irrational, so the impact on them was needed on an emotional and unconscious level.
Tobacco companies concentrated their efforts on trying to convince women to buy and smoke cigarettes, and Bernays believed that this problem of emotional and cultural plan. According to Bernays to get women to smoke, it was necessary to shift the balance, turning Smoking into a positive emotional experience, and changing the cultural perception.
To achieve its goal, Bernays hired a group of women to participate in the Easter parade in new York. In those days parades were considered significant public events.
Bernays wanted, at the right time these women stopped and simultaneously lit cigarettes. Also he hired photographers who made flattering pictures of women with cigarettes in their hands. All images were submitted in the largest national publications. Bernays in an interview later said that these women are not just lit cigarettes and "torches of freedom" demonstrating self-sufficiency and their ability to defend their own independence.
Of course, it was all a lie. But Bernays decided to present it as a political protest, because he knew that his idea will evoke the appropriate emotions in women across the country. Ten years ago, feminists have defended their right to vote. Now, women increasingly worked outside the home and gradually became an integral part of the economic life of the United States. They asserted themselves at the expense of short haircuts and garish clothes. While women considered themselves to be the first generation that is able not to depend on men. If Bernays was able to convey to the participants of the women's liberation movement that "Smoking = freedom," the sale of tobacco products would be increased by half, and he would be a rich man. And his plan worked. Women began to smoke and get cancer easily as their husbands.
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Meanwhile, Bernays continued to regularly carry out such cultural upheavals during the 1920s, 30s and 40s years. He completely revolutionized the marketing industry and invented the field of public relations in the process. To pay celebrities for the use of Your product? It was the idea of Bernays. To come up with news articles that contain hidden advertising of the product? Also his idea. A dramatization of the controversial public events as a means of attracting attention? Also the idea of Bernays. Almost all forms of marketing or publicity that exist today, began with Bernays.
But the most surprising fact from the biography of Bernays is that he was the nephew of Sigmund Freud.
Freud was one of the first who began to argue that most human decisions are mostly unconscious and irrational. He was the only one who realized that hhuman insecurity leads to excesses and hypercompensation. He realized that the people are essentially animals who are easy to manipulate, especially in groups.
Bernays simply applied the ideas of his uncle for the sale of products and, ultimately, became a rich man.
Thanks to Freud, Bernays realized that impact on the uncertainty of people, their deepest sense of inferiority can get them to buy whatever You say.
This form of marketing has become the Foundation of all future advertising. Men buy big cars because they are associated with strength and reliability. Makeup is marketed as a way by which women can become more attractive. Beer is associated with a fun pastime.
Women's magazines contain nothing but 150 pages of retouched photographs of beautiful women, interspersed with advertisements of cosmetic products, due to which they make a profit. In the beer commercials show a noisy party with friends, girls, Boobs, sports car, Las Vegas, friends, more girls, more Boobs, more beer – girls, girls, girls, parties, dancing, cars, friends, girls... Want the same? Drink beer "Budweiser".
This is all modern marketing. In order to run the business, many people think that you need to find the "pain points" of the people, then subtly make them feel worse. Then you need to convey to them that Your product will improve their condition. The point was to tell people that they will forever remain single because there was something wrong, and then offer to buy a book with tips, a subscription to a fitness club, red car, new makeup... An ordinary person will become disgusted.
In our culture marketing often is an informational message. The vast majority of information we receive, is a form of marketing. Therefore, if marketing is always trying to get us to feel worthless and to buy this or that "facilitate" the product, then we essentially exist in a culture designed to make us feel bad, and we will always want to hypercompetitive it in any way.
Over the years I have noticed one thing that most people, in fact, there is no problem. They just cling to the fanciful and unrealistic demands on themselves. And this happens often. All the commercials offering us consumer products, trying to first scare, to enter into depression, and then they offer your product which magically finds the solution to all problems, it was not until the beginning of this promotional video.
Incidentally, Bernays was aware of all this. However, his political views smacked of fascism. He considered inevitable by the fact that the strong exploit the weak with the help of the media and propaganda. He called it "invisible control". In his opinion,the masses were stupid and deserved everything that they were doing the smart people.
Our society has come to very interesting point in history. Theoretically, capitalism works by allocating resources to meet the needs and requirements of every person the most effective way.
And, perhaps, capitalism is the only viable means of meeting such physical needs, like food, shelter, clothing, and more. However, a capitalist economy tends to fuel the insecurity, the fears and vices of the people, to beat on the most vulnerable places and constantly remind them of their shortcomings and failures. Is profitable to establish a new and unrealistic standards to build a culture of comparison and inferiority, as people who constantly feel inferior, are the best consumers.
People are buying only what, in their opinion, able to solve the problem. Therefore, if You want to sell more products than there is a problem, then You have to get people to believe that there are problems where they simply do not.
I am in no way attacking capitalism, or marketing. I don't even believe in the existence of an alien conspiracy designed to keep the herd in check. I think the system simply creates certain incentives that shape the media, and the media, in turn, determine unfeeling and superficial culture.
I like to think of it as the "least worst" decision of the organization of human civilization. Unbridled capitalism only brings with them a certain cultural baggage, to which we must adapt. In most cases marketing specially poured upon us by the uncertainty that companies with higher profits.
Some may argue that such things should be regulated and monitored by the government. Perhaps, however, whether this is a good long-term solution.
The only real long-term solution is the development of sufficient awareness necessary for understanding when the media was trying to exploit our weakness and vulnerability, and inform decisions. The success of free markets saddled us with responsibility for our freedom of choice, and it is a lot harder than we think.