Subtle messages

I was leafing through The Wall Street Journal this morning, quickly, as I got up late, will read a book for my men's book club most of the morning and then go to Loveland, eight miles south, to lunch at a restaurant I've never eaten at before. I'm going there to meet a writer friend whose book I've been proofreading.  I saw the headlines in the front section of the paper and will return to them later, but was struck by an article in the last section, the one called "Personal Journal."

The article's title was "What Your TV is Telling You to Do." That caught my attention so I read the whole thing. It's about NBC's use of the technique of "behavior placement." Instead of trying to sell you a specific product by having the star of a show drink, eat or use it, this idea is to show you a kind of behavior you may then decide, consciously or unconsciously, to emulate.

The thing that's different here is that some NBC's shows are now sending you messages, or rather signals, to recycle, exercise and eat right. Presumably they're not just doing this because it's the right thing, but, in part in least, because it will help them sell ads. TV has enormous power to get huge numbers of viewers to do something, because their favorite character does it.

In this case the stars of various shows will be exercising or eating healthy food choices. I'm going to wait and see what the outcome is and maintain a goodly amount of skepticism, but the overall concept is one I love.

For years we've been sold, via ads (which I mute and many who use Tivo skip), products that by no stretch of the imagination could be termed healthy choices. Now, finally, someone is going to try to influence us to make better choices. I'm all for it.

3 Responses to “Subtle messages”

  1. I have a little trouble with advertising that's subliminal, and I always have this suspicion that it's happening with product and political ads. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid. However, straightforward ads with strong messages, no matter what they're selling, leave the choices to the consumer. The more good ads the better, especially when it comes to healthy eating and recycling.

  2. Bevis says:

    Hello there, glad i came across your website. It solved the problem to comprehend the subject slightly better.

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