This is actually an area (advertising) we really should be looking at closely. Advertisers spend billions of dollars getting to know our brains, how they work, and how to manipulate them. Some areas of concern that every one of us should have are:
- How much of an impact do 'they' have on us? Do hidden images of Pepsi make us thirsty?
- What's most effective? When are we at our most suggestible?
- What personal differences do I have? Will an ad that makes most people hungry make me sad?
- How can I use this to influence myself?
Which, of course, is two questions. First, where can I find the latest research on advertising and psychology? I'm sure there's some out on the internet. But I also have a feeling that the advertisers would want to keep their 'secret weapons' well, secret. I'm already finding some things like this in Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, in what Dan Ariely calls Behavioral Economics.
The second question is in the application. Take a look around you for a moment. What does your environment do to influence you? Marketers know - this kind of advertising for that kind of show. X word has been shown to elicit 23% more of a reaction than Y word. Positive response. Negative response... Now, look around again. What does the environment you set up set you up for? How could you improve on the 'advertising' you give yourself? You actually have a huge advantage over advertisers - they have to make something that appeals to the majority without upsetting a minority; you only need to impress you.
Some Personal Advertising my family and I have done in the past:
- Put a disgusting picture on the fridge to discourage snacks.
- A family Vision and Mission Statement, to put our goals in front of us daily.
- Affirmations and Visualizations
- Put up awards, for that 'Yes, I Can' moment
- No TV in the house, to take away that easy escape. "Books are more indicative of successful people."
But what could we do? Knowing ourselves, how could we make a targeted marketing campaign to one? Let's end with some suggestions, and hopefully some more in the comments section.
- A short commercial, made by you, to you, about whatever you think you need to hear, that loads when you turn on your computer.
- A journal, or at least a couple entries, detailing some achievement you want, written in the past, on how you got it and how it felt.
- Does anybody have a theme song? I still run better when I think of the theme to Chariots of Fire.