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Also I would add one more thing.People also are aware of the strategies being used.Advertisement is a form of self proclamation and people are slowly,however still understanding this. That's the only reason why extra effort is put in to reach out the masses.

Every brand endorsed by a "Khan" or any other celebrity no longer sells as hot cakes as it used to.People are questioning and thanks to inflation, "Price" happens to outdo the 'Promotion" factor nowadays for the common man in the 4-P's of marketing.

Also in an era where we all survive with hundreds of options and so many brand names,the stage to reach brainwashing is never achieved.


I agree that brainwashing is generally not successful as there are many players and consumers are also intelligent. But what is significant is not how successful the attempt to brainwash is. Success or no success- advertisement aims at motivating consumer to build an emotional tie with a particular brand and prefer this to others. This fact suffices to conclude that advertising is an exercise in brainwash. If not brainwash, let us call this attempt to brainwash.

G. K. Ajmani Tax consultant

Friends before jumping into any sorts of conclusion about whether advertisement is a form of brainwashing or something else let us go through in detail about the subject advertisement and its pros in a wider sense and have a glimpse about the other side of the story.

It is beyond one's doubt that advertisement has become a part of our daily lives. Very often while going to our colleges and offices we come across huge hoardings by the roadsides. Besides, there are posters on the walls, trains, buses and other public places which brief us about different products and services. They also provide us detail information about those products and services.

Further, programs on radios and televisions are full of advertisement and keep us educated about the latest products and prices which comes quite handy when we think of purchasing one thing or the other. Hence, it is beyond one's doubt that these advertisements influence our lives greatly and the blessings of advertisements in our lives is beyond measure.

The wide range of advertisements we come across in our daily lives inform us about the merits of a particular product and how it it superior to other products of a similar type. Hence advertisement has a great influence on our day to day choices. They help us to decide which shirt to buy, which fashion is best suited to us, what we should eat, which scooter or bike gives us more mileage, what are the advantages of one washing machine over other and so on. Thus advertisement also reflects the standard of living of a locality, state or nation and reflect the life style of the people...

These are the small synopsis of many fold benefits of advertisement which we come across in our daily lives apart from the brainwashing factor which I will cover soon in my further upcoming posts....
It's nice to note that the number of posts of quality that this topic has drawn so far has met my expectations.I am sure many more are likely to come and it's going to be another thunderously succcessful GD!

Now coming to the substantive part, is it such an evil which even threatens to wash our brains? Let us first clear ourselves of what advertisement we are pointing to.Are we looking at all forms of ads?

As I have already pointed it's nothing but a mode of communication at one end is placed is a class of bright minds whom we know as copywriters who develop themes keeping in mind the demands of their clients which are obviously to create wants amongst the target groups and finally to convince them that these wants are best met by the products for which these ideas are excuted with other agencies and eventually when these ads draw action or reaction -the entire communication goes to complete the full cycle. What we generally call advertisement consist of innmumberable kinds. If any advertiser prefers an aggressive positioning in the market it may have good reasons to do so but the ultimate judge is the recepient group.We have such smart ad these days where a car maker uses a famous scientist's quotes with a brilliant text blending with it so happily that draws immediate round of applause but mind you that doesn't automatically translate itself into an immediate booking of a car! This is the point I have been stressing.An advertisement without a compelling message would like a bland text and nothing short of an exercise in waste!But to call such efforts as brainwashing would be stretching our thoughts too much!
Ajay, what you are stating is what advertisements SHOULD be doing! But, not all of them do.
Even at present I am watching some TV ads (because nowadays there are more adverts on TV than programmes :lol: ) and out of the 2 that paid attention to
One was a fairness cream - one girl asks how come you have such a glow and the response is this cream! Magical etc. Nothing ABOUT the cream - what IS in it that makes you glow? God only knows!
Another one now, a guy puts on some spray and all the girls follow him. So, great is this perfume!
And those 2 are leading brands. Do the ads have anything to do with it? who knows? But, it could be!
When we think about ads being brainwashing/manipulative, we are looking at it only from our perspective - that of a well informed, rational audience.
What about youngsters? I know of so many youngsters that buy so many products just because of the rosy picture painted by the advertisers.
And Chinmoy, while I do agree that some ads could fall in the category of "An advertisement without a compelling message", there are several that, in the process, overdo it and cross that fine line that exists between making something appealing and brainwashing the public into something that is untrue.
Pearl - while it maybe true that people have started to question, fact still remains that advertisers keep TRYING to brainwash. Also, maybe people like you and me, may question, but what about those who don't? What about the naive section of society that falls for these cunningly crafted ads? Why should they be allowed to get scammed? Just because they are so gullible?! No, advertisers should have some ethics and not portray something that is not 100% true.
Like Arun rightly said, "the companies aim that people buy their product once. They don't care if they dump it the second time."
Years ago, my mother once bought some powder (about 200 Rs. for 50g!!) that promised that ANYBODY would loose weight within a week of dedicated usage. Which she did. There was a money-back guarantee which she tried for but apparently she was among the 10% of people that were genetically predisposed to being "fat"! THIS was NOWHERE in the advertisement.
Obviously this company was not concerned about "my mother" not coming back to them. There have a huge population to con. Word of mouth also can save only those who choose to be saved. I know of several people who even after being warned, HAVE secretly tried a product just to SEE FOR THEMSELVES!!
Unfortunately, not all people like to learn from the mistakes of others!! :lol:
GOD!! Sorry... looks like I went on and on and on...But this topic is such, one can't help it!! :laugh:
Having given my views what advertisement basically intends to do and its postive aspect now it's time to demolish some of the myths that some of my knowledgeable friends hold as 'truths'! You don't need another commandment of Moses! If someone is completely under the speall of an ad while buying a product it's his or her personal problem as we all expect persons with standard intelligence and understanding to exercise what is in commercial parlance known as 'due diligence'.Failure in this score won't wash away the blame of the consumer or the custmoer.

Now looking at the contents of many print as well as TV ads, all we are used to hyperbolic claims of these ads.Whether cough and cold produce a 'miao' to be restored into a lion 's roar with taking a particular kind of cough and cold tablet which is depicted in the ad is something to be enjoyed or dismissed as sheer ad propaganda it is for the person to decide. If some brains are waiting to be washed how can we help? So here we need to remember the Latin maxim 'Caveat Emptor' meaning let the buyer beware which has not lost any of its relevance even today which was coined some centuries back.

Now I would address two cases cited by Kimberley of which one is a typical ad adverising 'perfume' and the case involving her mother. As I repeat that an ad sans dramatics is no ad.The only thing we should be concerning ourselves if that attempts perpetrating untruths and downright falshoods.I think consumer protection laws are fairly developed to take care of that.Even law of torts is a very potent instrument in the West.Coming to the perfume ad,is it possible to believe that youngsters would line up before stores to buy because the ad makes such a ridiculous claim.In fact I doubt if it's at all making if one goes through the funny punchline!

What happened in her mother's case is very unfortunate.But on balance of facts, I wonder if it was right for her choosing a product in addressing a problem on which medical opinion is completely negative and articles covering warning are too frequent to come by! Even repecting her decision to go for it,is it possible for any pharmaceutical company to cover all predicatable chemical reactions on the product label itself and in this case a reaction to which only 10% is subject! If I am admit to that she has been wronged , has she explored all the legal remedies.

I also don't subscribe to the belief that the effects of TV ads are more permanent than their print conterparts.I also don't believe any manufacturer,producers or providers of service look at one-off transactions as it is completely opposed to all business logic and business models and viability.Such 'bubble' outfits are not true business organizations. I would deal with the legal,ethical sides in my next post
I would like to point out that advertisements are a form of promotion and essential for awareness,there means they use to do so in terms of concepts ,endorsements etc are debatable.

There are so many instances where the advertisements go overboard.Take the instance for AXE deos.The censor board had to intervene in many cases for such ads.Moreover what is alarming,these ads are realyed on national TV where concepts like these may not be suitable for all genres of audiences like kids or elders.

Brainwashing,not exactly,but it does tamper with the consumers decision making.Brainwashing would be when the consumer has been convinced to such an extent that he has no second thoughts for buying.Advertisements do attempt this as correctly mentioned by Gulshanji.In fact that is why there are advertisements in the first place.

It aim is to draw attention,to lure you with is presence,to place its concept in your mind so that you can make a so called "informed decision"

Through this discussion I would also like to encourage you to find about the use any of your general brands.The manufacturing process,the contents so many things matter.

My point now is that " Are you informed actually when you watch ads" or are you just hit upon with information.


Now the days people firstly verify through the advertisement of any product of any brand. Therefore advertisement works as a front face of product. because through advertisement people get know that any of brand has invented a new product. If the product's quality is seem to good as well as in budget then they become aggressive to buy the product . So advertisement plays an important role in sailing of product.
Chinmoy, again I state that I agree that most intelligent audiences will not allow their "brains to get washed", but is it fair to say that if you have an average intellect or a low intellect then it is right for you to get scammed.

Even a very intelligent person has insecurities. A dark skinned person who has tried everything logical and hasn't achieved success is vulnerable enough to fall for such ads. He will decide to AT LEAST try and see.

When I cited my mother, I wanted to focus on the fact that even intellectuals can get carried away. And, I still come across many people who keep implying their intentions of trying such products. One friend even went ahead and tried it even after my mother told her it wasn't worth it!! Which is why i say people prefer to learn for THEMSELVES rather than from others' mistakes!! Not that her intellect is in anyway lacking common-sense!!
The reason for not pursuing the legalaties is that the time. money and effoer to put in was not deemed to be worth it for "that small amount" - my mother's sentiments!!! :silly: :blink: But anyways...
I should also clarify that this was not a pharmaceutical product. This was some powder (not really heard of) and being sold by a local ayurvedic practitioner.
What I am referring to is such ads.
As per the drugs and Cosmetics Act
106. Diseases which a drug may not purport to prevent or cure.—(1) No drug may
purport or claim to prevent or cure or may convey to the intending user thereof any idea
that it may prevent or cure one or more of the diseases or ailments specified in Schedule J.

Schedule list contains 51 such conditions, for which you see so many ads, especially on local newspapers. Problem is, most of our attitude nowadays has become one of "as long as I an smart enough I won't get scammed, as for the others, if they are stupid enough, they deserved to get scammed!"

Why does this clause exists? Because it is known that these diseases cannot be "cured" and these are common platforms on which the public/masses can easily be scammed/ brainwashed!!!

Find the list included in Schedule J on any online copy of the act: It will amaze you!!! (Sorry i cannot provide a link as i only have the hard copy)

I, being a graduate in pharmacy feel ashamed and helpless, that AFTER knowing all that we know, we cannot prevent the many ways in which the public is being exploited in the guise of "smart" marketing!!
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