Subscribe via RSS
AdSavvy Logo

Category — Politics

Understanding The Human Herd Mentality


Researchers at Leeds University, led by Prof Jens Krause, performed a series of experiments where volunteers were told to randomly walk around a large hall without talking to each other. A select few were then given more detailed instructions on where to walk. The scientists discovered that people end up blindly following one or two people who appear to know where they’re going.

The published results showed that it only takes 5% of what the scientists called “informed individuals” to influence the direction of a crowd of around 200 people. The remaining 95% follow without even realizing it.
[

November 11, 2008   31 Comments

Who Are The Real Monsters In The Monster Years?


I don’t generally agree with Paul Krugman. Most people in his own profession don’t generally agree with Paul Krugman, but he has a voice and it’s loud in the American scene, so I’ll address it.

He says we just ended “the monster years“; 14 years of monster rule, in fact. I agree with him there, partially. Although I think he completely misses the point. What he fails to address is what caused those monster years. He fails to address the (ir)rationality of the American voter.

[

November 10, 2008   2 Comments

The Power Of “Framing Effects” And Other Cognitive Biases


Human beings tend to think they’re rational creatures, and that they make sound decisions based on all the available facts. They think their memory is an accurate record of things that have happened to them. But the reality is that we all have a slew of cognitive biases that can alter our thinking… and even our memories.

Psychologists have names for all the different fallacies and biases that influences our thinking: cognitive dissonance, inattentional blindness, blind spot bias, better-than-average bias, introspection illusion, self-serving bias, attribution bias, representative fallacy, availability fallacy, anchoring fallacy, hindsight bias, and the one I’ll be talking about here: framing effects
[

November 6, 2008   6 Comments

Be Responsible, Be Patriotic: Don’t Vote!

-Some people would say it’s a person’s civic duty to vote
-That’s very much like saying that its our civic duty to give surgery advice…

It’s almost sacrilege to say “Don’t Vote” in the US these days. People are shamed into voting by the loyal minions of mainstream politics. But does a higher voter turnout actually help society? In Bryan Caplan’s book, Myth of the Rational Voter, he explains in great detail, and with extensive citations and statistics, how the average voter has certain cognitive biases that cause him to vote in ways that have a net negative outcome for society (they’re not uninformed, Caplan argues, they’re misinformed, which is much worse). And since the solitary goal of politicians (the successful ones, at least) is to get elected, their policies are based on pandering to the misinformed public. So their whole ideologies, the ideologies of both major parties, have come to represent policies that are damaging to society as a whole. In effect, democracy is destroying the United States.

[

October 31, 2008   Comments Off

Philip Zimbardo: How ordinary people become monsters … or heroes

This is a great talk by Philip Zimbardo about what evil is. Evil, he says, is not a individual condition, it’s the result of circumstances. He cites the Stanley Milgram’s experiment on human behavior, and the Stanford prison experiment and the problems at Abu Ghraib, all leading up to the conclusion that all humans are equally capable of evil.

What does this have to do with advertising? Advertising is social psychology. To understand how advertising affects people, you have to understand why people follow the group and how the brain works. This is a wonderful video on that subject. Check it out.

October 27, 2008   2 Comments

Obama Wins Ad Age’s ‘Marketer Of The Year’


Every year hundreds of the biggest marketers, agency heads, and all manner of people involved in advertising get together at the Association of National Advertisers’ annual conference. And every year, they vote on the best advertiser of that particular year. This year Barack Obama won with a pretty substantial 36% of the vote, beating out the two runners-up Apple and Nike, Coors and Sen. John McCain filled out the bottom of the vote.

“I honestly look at [Obama's] campaign and I look at it as something that we can all learn from as marketers,” said Angus Macaulay, VP-Rodale marketing solutions “To see what he’s done, to be able to create a social network and do it in a way where it’s created the tools to let people get engaged very easily. It’s very easy for people to participate.”
[

October 23, 2008   1 Comment

The Psychology of Magic, Mediums, Politics, and Advertising


Magic and advertising are both deeply rooted in manipulation, and exploiting knowledge of human psychology. One of the most important aspects of the magician’s trade is manipulating the spectators choice while at the same time tricking that spectator into thinking they willingly made the choice. Derren Brown is a master of that particular trick. Check out some Derren Brown videos at the bottom of this post.

Ironically, that type of manipulation plays a huge part in advertising as well. In fact, magicians, politicians, advertisers and mediums are all essentially doing the same thing, the difference lies in their levels of honesty. The magician is usually the only honest one.
[

October 22, 2008   1 Comment

For Those Who REALLY Love Obama: The Head O State


The Obama followers are getting weird. I get it, for whatever reason, people are suddenly starting to see how screwed up government is, and they think his government will be different for some reason. But there’s a sense of rabid cultism, fetishism almost. So this fits in perfectly: The Obama dildo.

I really don’t know what to say about this one. It’s a 7 and a half inch, gold likeness of Obama, with a set of balls at the base. Also, the box says “Commemorative Edition”. So I guess it’s a collectors item. Amazing.

The world is a bizarre place, no doubt. Check out the pictures of the Head O State after the jump, you don’t want to miss this one:
[

October 16, 2008   5 Comments

Obama Ads Appear In Xbox Live Video Games


Barack Obama has become the first presidential candidate to advertise in a video game. The Obama campaign purchased ad space in the Xbox live versions of 18 different video games. The ads will run up until Nov. 3, and only be displayed in 10 major swing states.

The ads show that Obama is willing to embrace new technology, and that may be the most important aspect of this whole video game campaign.

Obama’s face and name will be on billboards and signs in “NBA Live ’08″, “Burnout Paradise”, “Nascar 09″, “Need For Speed Carbon”, “Need For Speed Pro Street”, “NFL on Tour”, “NHL ’09″, “Skate”, and “Guitar Hero”, among some others. And the 10 states that are targeted include some major battleground states: Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado.
[

October 15, 2008   Comments Off

McCains Surprisingly Good Looking Ad: Man In The Arena

McCain’s recent ad, Man In The Arena, is surprisingly good looking considering his other recent ads. Now, I’m talking from a purely aesthetic point of view. As far as substance goes, this ad offers nothing more than Obama’s American Promise, and everything I said about that ad can be said about this one. But still, it’s very effective advertising; more so, I think, than anything Obama has offered so far.

McCain’s ads to date have been almost entirely negative, usually with a disgusted sounding voice-over talking about things Obama has either done or not done. They were particularly acerbic and difficult to watch. This ad is different though, it optimistic, focused on McCain, and I think it portrays him in a better light to those who don’t really care about issues anyway.
[

October 13, 2008   Comments Off