Follow your heart: Advertising as Manipulation?

From Morgan Williamson:



Should we always follow our heart or does that lead to diluted decisions? This add typifies advertising’s ability to capitalize on emotional appeals, so are we really following our own heart in this scenario, or the villain’s—known as corporate America? 


Viewers can not help empathizing with the trodden looking women sitting at her measly desk watching her gluttonous boss devour what looks to be lobster (oh, the stereotypes).  The ability to relate to common experiences and feelings paired with the ending call-to-action had a surprising effect on me. I like my job and I wanted to quit!? This reaction speaks to the lecture where we alluded to the effectiveness of storytelling in compelling an audience. But what we did not discuss is if there is a boundary or cause for concern in the ability of the “villain” to pull on our heartstrings.  This question brought into light though this symbolic commercial begs me to ask what do you all think about advertising’s power to manipulate?  



2 Responses

  1. Corporate-America is not a villainous being using advertisements to sway an apathetic and monotonous audience; well, at least not always. This type of “magic bullet” thinking cheapens the value of consumers and vilifies a necessary component of a capitalistic market. Implications such as these forge the social groundwork needed to impose regulatory governments in the name of public stupidity. Without our current market structure competition would ultimately be suppressed in the name of equality. Without competition innovation suffers, and innovation is what forms the foundation of creativity. Ironically, those concerned most with Corporate-America and their hegemonic policies are often those most easily wrapped-up by new and innovative marketing strategies. Take the Prius for example. Toyota did not make the Prius because of their concern for the environment. They made the Prius because they recognized that consumers wanted them to be concerned about the environment. The “Go-Green” marketing strategy adopted across the globe has been a fantastic financial success, but it in no way reflects corporate morality – no matter what Mr. & Mrs. Sunshine next door may exclaim. So instead of following your heart, follow your brain. Education is about sharpening the mind and encouraging critical thought, not inspiring the heart.

  2. I actually find these series of commercials thought provoking and easily relatable. All of these monster and career builder ads try to appeal to those of us who really do hate our jobs and loathe getting up monday morning. They’re trying to reach out to us that have just settled for a job, or are afraid to leave our comfort bubbles and tell us that we do deserve jobs that we can enjoy on occassion and that someone is waiting for us to answer their job posting. I think the mixture of humor and sincere appearance is a great way to really make people potentially better their lives by using their service.

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