Advertising Provokes Possible Solutions to our Deepest Longings

By Dian Hasan | January 13, 2010

I stumbled upon a good insight from Clean Cut Media into how advertisers are now increasingly portraying lifestyle to promote their brands. This of course is no novelty, but they are more visible today. The portrayal of a certain lifestyle that surrounds or stems from the use of a brand is intended to dig and tap into the audience’s Emotional part of the brain, with the hope that this feeling will resonate well on how a brand is perceived.

Everyday we are exposed to a particular lifestyle portrayed in movies, tv shows, billboards and commercials. We see people dressed a certain way, living life “to the fullest” – in a particular way. Unfortunately, these characters are created to sell products or raise ratings. Often what is portrayed may not be aligned with reality and yet we may feel that…

  • We long to have the kind of life they live.
  • We wish our lives were just as exciting.
  • We wish we had such close relationships and friends.
  • We wish we would run into that kind of luck we see on TV.
  • We wish we can live just as recklessly, perhaps promiscuously without consequences.
  • We wish we could be as happy as the people we see.
  • We wish to look the way they look, have the body shape as they do.

Media has a way of creating a longing for things we don’t have, whether or not they are realistic or not.

  • Unfortunately our lives don’t wrap up cleanly in 30 minutes.
  • Unfortunately there is consequences to our actions.
  • Unfortunately reckless actions lead to pain, suffering and life long regret.
  • Unfortunately reality says our life probably will not or maybe will never pan out the way we see on TV.
  • Unfortunately we do have limits in ability, skills, and even physical appearance.
  • Unfortunately the way a particular product brings completely happiness and satisfaction as seen on the joyous beautiful actors having fun is not true to reality.

Eating a stick of gum isn’t going to make you feel like your diving off a waterful. Getting that sleek sports car and driving down a remote coastline is only going to make you happy for so long before you search for the next best thing. Even getting that beautiful girlfriend doesn’t equate to guarenteed happiness.

Mainstream media and advertising often leaves us unsatisfied with the cards we are dealt. Rather than being content with reality, we desire for that which we do not have. Advertising strongly abuses these emotional feelings to get us to buy a product or use a service, but simply watching a particular lifestyle in a TV program can also bring about these feelings.

Source: Clean Cut Media Blog


About dianhasan

Brand Storyteller, Travel Writer, Speaker, Creative Writer & Thinker - avid observer of randomness in everyday life - Sustainable Business, Eco Matters, Sustainable Urban Issues, Architecture, Heritage Conservation, Innovation & Brand-Strategy, Cross-Cultural Communications, Travel, Tourism & Lifestyle.
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2 Responses to Advertising Provokes Possible Solutions to our Deepest Longings

  1. thanks for mentioning clean cut media.

    would appreciate if you blockquoted any content that is copied directly from the site so it’s clear what is unique and what is from other sources.

    thanks. like the collection of stories you have here on your site. very nice.

    • dianhasan says:

      Hi Clean Cut Media, good to hear from you!! Thanks for finding my blog. And thanks for your positive comment. I enjoy reading yours as well, that’s why I decided to repost the articles I found. I write most of my own material, but would re-post if something interesting and valuable catches my eye, as did yours. FYI, I always start with a 1 paragraph introduction and mention the original source. Anything following that is the original post, untouched. Therefore, I wouldn’t blockquote anything, as it’s all in its original format. Hope that helps. Let’s stay in touch. Q: does Clean Cut Media do any branding/brand strategy work? I’m with MindCode (, and we empower clients with their Innovation & Brand Strategy efforts, to ensure that the customer experience matches (we call it “On-Code”) the Brand Promise. ciao, dian

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