11 März 2008

Can we trust our senses?

Almost to the day a year ago I have done this post about how our perception creates reality.
Advertising therefore is pretty much about managing these perceptions.

In this case however the advertising itself is using this long known fact to make yourself aware that what you think you see might not be the only thing happening. Please yourself by taking part in this little experiment and do as you are told.

Besides all the good stuff that Jerome Courtial already pointed out in his post, the lesson for advertising might be this: As consumers we are very good at focussing things which we regard as important to us and blending out everything that's not part of the important stuff.
And that's probably what happens to most of the advertising out there. And as you can see with this little experiment it doesn't even matter if it's happening right in front of you.
Howard Gossage probably said it best: People don't read ads. People reads what interests them – and sometimes that's an ad.
So we should stop trying to think of new ways to get into the face of the consumer using every media channel possible and start asking ourselves if the idea might be intersting enough for people to notice.


Cristina STOIAN Aka GiaChasingDreams hat gesagt…

Can we trust our senses? ...

This sounds like one of those 1million dollar questions that only the smart kid with glasses knows how to answer to it. A smart question with multiple answers.

My opinion is that we can trust our senses to tell us exactly what we perceive. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I think there is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to sense/to feeling. The feeling itself is a subjective reaction to a stimulus. We perceive things filtered through many factors: education, previous experience, state of spirit, the moment or the environment of the first exposure, etc.

I agree with you about people not looking at ads just for the ad itself. Nobody does that except us :) Stare at ads for fun and for building knowledge because this is a part of our job.
But the consumer doesn't search for ads. Many of the time the cosumer is really fed up with themm kicking him from every media type.

I strongly believe in the fact that the consumer doesn't buy products. He buys the solution to his needs.
So, in my opinion, if I think that people don't buy products for themselves but buy the solution to their problems, so the ad should be a method/ a vehicle to deliver the solution to the consumer. The solution for his problems.
Do you agree?

Christian hat gesagt…

Genau deshalb mache ICH PR. Für Werbe-Informationen zahlt der Werbende. Für PR-Informationen (in Form von redaktionellen Beiträgen) zahlt der Leser. An welchen Informationen wird er wohl interessierter sein?

Sorry, no English in the morning. If you need translation, just write me an e-mail...

Tim hat gesagt…

Naja, die Zeiten in denen man als Leser mit dem Verkaufspreis tatsächlich die Redaktion und damit das Heft bezahlt hat, sind ungefähr seit den 60er / 70er Jahren vorbei, als die Verlage das große Werbegeschäft entdeckt haben und sich immer mehr auf den Anzeigenverkauf gestützt haben. Kann ihnen ja auch keiner verübeln, denn da kam und kommt eben die dicke Kohle her. Und das ist natürlich viel bequemer als immer gute Artikel schreiben zu müssen :-) Und selbst das übernehmen jetzt ja oft PR Agenturen. Insofern hast du irgendwie Recht :)

Christian hat gesagt…

@ Tim: Es gibt - auch wenn man das in der Branche schon nicht mehr zu glauben mag - durchaus noch Horte journalistischer Unabhängigkeit. Und das sind nicht unbedingt nur Spiegel, Focus und Co, sondern z.B. auch die Brigitte.

Auch interessant zu beobachten ist, dass sich auch bei den Fachmedien meiner Beobachtung nach in jedem Segment immer EIN Medium durchsetzt, dass relativ unabhängig ist.

Tim hat gesagt…

jaja, es lohnt ja auch nicht hier grundsätzlich schwarzmalerei zu betreiben. Ich bin überzeugt, dass es da draussen eine ganze Menge Journalisten gibt, die unabhängig schreiben.
Aber man muss sich eben auch bewusst machen, dass die allermeisten Verlage bzw. Zeitschriften zum allergrößten Teil vom Anzeigenverkauf leben. Und nicht vom Verkaufspreis.

Tim hat gesagt…

That's an interesting question if we really perceive what our senses tell us.
I'm currently reading a book called "The geography of thought-How easternes and westerns think different and why" and it argues that even though everbody perception should be the same (because our eyes and ears etc are all build the same) there are fundamental differnces in how we perceive the world. Now the argument is that because we live in different cultures which teach us to focus on different things. That might be true for Asians and Westerners.
BUT just today I heard a radio show about how even Westerners perceive movies totally different. And there the argument was because of our language. Even the languages with the same roots might perceive or focus totally different things in a movie. And that is supposed to be because of the grammar which influences how we perceive our world.
Really really interstng to think about that stuff.

Cristina STOIAN Aka GiaChasingDreams hat gesagt…

Ja. Extremely interesting thing to think about. I agree. And before I wrote this post I took some time to reflect upon it.
We have the same senses but different cultures, different languages, different perceptions. So many times we encounter communication problems.

I think it is because what we perceive is always a filtered message.
Filtered through our own perceptions (built upon personal experience, the moment of exposure etc) and, when it comes to multicultural opinion exchange, language is a barrier.
The grammar has a lot to do with the way in which we express ourselves and thus, the way in which we perceive things.
If we talk about perception from the “grammar point of view”, I think that the more we know a certain language, the more we can express ourselves. A certain word can sound right for us but used with the wrong preposition/conjunction or next to another word can totally change the sense of the phrase. I have found myself one day trying to express something, in French, to a French friend and because I used the wrong preposition !! I was expressing something totally different.
Or, if I take German for example the wrong topic can change the meaning. The topic of the German language is different from latin languages I know (Romanian, Spanish, French) and sometimes I find it difficult to make the connection between words in bigger and complicated phrases.
I shall give an example:
Ich bin nicht alleine. [DE] pronoun – verb - negation - adverb
I am not alone. [EN] pronoun – verb - negation - adverb
Eu nu sunt singura. [RO] pronoun -negation – verb – adverb
Io non sono sola. [IT] pronoun – negation – verb - adverb
Je ne suis pas seule. [FR] pronoun – negation – verb - adverb

In a small proposition the topic doesn’t seem so complicated, but in more complex phrases, the topic and the grammar badly used creates a lot of problems in understanding the sense of the proposition. Sometimes, even if the intention is good, and the thing we want to express has a positive sense, if we use the wrong verb or the wrong preposition, we could give a completely different sense to the phrase.
I dream of the day when some smart person will invent a universal translator and we shall all speak the same language. :) I hope to live and see the day.

But if we talk about perception from the “the ways in which we create relationships between things” point of view, then things change.
If I say “white” what do you think about?
I personally think about snow and bed sheets. But that is maybe because I love snow and I have white bed sheets mosts of the time.
A Japanese person could think about death. As white is the Japanese black.
The book you are now is very interesting !!! It says:
“[…], when given a series of images to pair together, an Asian child is more likely to group a cow with grass because a cow eats grass. An American child would be more likely to pair the cow with a chicken because they fit into the same "taxonomic" category.”
But let’s not forget that Nisbett is also “western”  :) Sure, he tries to resist the idea of not creating “taxonomical categories” but, can honestly any of us can?
I know my brain creates connections. Should I try to force it not to?
After all, the science also says that the brain is a series of neurons connections formed after different experiences.
[Oh Tim, I wrote a lot today :) I shall stop here even if I could debate this issue a lot more and it is worth debating]

The Kaiser hat gesagt…

You're on with Innocent Smoothies this week. Voting starts tomorrow and you're up against spring water.