This page looks into the way television can be used for those in search of the truth and understanding of how this powerful medium is used and in some cases abused to subtly influence the opinions of viewers.
The first reaction that readers of this page will have to the italicized paragraph in the foregoing statement will be one of shock, disbelief or non acceptance.
That is expected because many do not accept that television is used for anything other than entertainment and a platform for advertisers to bring viewers' awareness to their products or services.
The problem with that outlook is that it is akin to burying ones head in the sand and denying to oneself that anything untoward could ever ensure from their TV sets. The sad truth is that while television program makers and controllers in the main do follow the precepts of honesty and forthrightness, there are some who do not.
The Power of TV Advertising
It is no great secret, but of those responsible for what appears on our TV screens who may not be so forthright in their methods and tactics to sway public opinion, some of the most effective advertisers are past masters at subterfuge, misdirection and persuasion. They have to be in order to sell the products or services that they have been commissioned to advertise.
There is no doubt that anyone watching a TV ad for a certain brand of soft drink suddenly acquires the desire to have that drink. How do you think that happens?
It doesn't just happen.
The advertisement is engineered to create desire for the product and clever tactics are used in just about all TV ads to maximize the power of their 30 second commercial slot. In 30 seconds the advertiser has to convince the viewer that they want that product so much that next time they are in the store, they will buy it.
The better the advertisement, the higher the sales of the product. Fact.
So what are these clever tactics that advertisers employ to make you, the viewer want the product they are thrusting in your face?
The Power of the Medium of TV
The first part of the equation is already solved for the advertiser in that television is such an addictive form of media anyone watching at any given time is most likely to be able to later remember what they were watching when given a slight cue. This goes for ads even more so than the programs that surround the ads.
The reason for this is because television utilizes the two highest senses, those of sight and sound, to put their message across. When a viewer watches and hears a TV ad, their attention is fully on what they are seeing and hearing to the extent that the images and sounds are locked in their short and long term memories.
The more often they view those ads, the more strongly those ads are stored in memory, thanks to the system of learning that we all employ, that or rote.
Leaning by rote or by repetition is how we learn our times tables at school and how we can teach ourselves anything we want to remember. We simply have to repeat it enough times to ourselves and we will eventually remember it perfectly.
Television speeds that process up many fold because the the senses of sight and sound are both employed in the learning process. What you are getting with an advertisement is a ready-made visualization and audio message in one that is easily remembered.
You only have to watch an ad for a particular product a few times and you will know every part of that ad. If it comes with a catchy tune, then later you will only need to hear the first few notes of that tune to be able to instantly recognize not only the ad, but also the product it was promoting.
Just imagine how incredibly powerful this is! And the people behind television advertising and programming know this.