No other business shapes our lives the way advertising does. But how did it become so powerful and should we be worried about the influence it wields?
In The Manipulators, Jeffrey Robinson puts this multi-billion pound industry under the microscope. From the pioneering post-war boom years of the fifties to the present day, he describes the key players and ground-breaking campaigns that took advertising – and manipulation – to an art form.
He examines advertising’s attempts to utilise science, from the early search for the industry’s elusive Holy Grail, subliminal perception, to the advances in research and technique that have brought into play tools like psychographics and neuro-linguistic programming.
Showing how art and science combine to target individuals more precisely and make us complicit in our own seduction, Robinson argues that advertising has become the dominant cultural force, defining our very hopes and dreams.
As advertising adjusts to the almost unimaginable opportunities offered by the digital revolution, The Manipulators is an entertaining and timely look at the past, present and future of this global industy.”
My friend lent me this book about a year ago. It has taken me a year to get through the first chapter.
Now i’m not a huge non-fiction reader, however one chapter in a year is pretty disgraceful. It was just so boring. I couldn’t get into it at all. The facts were kind of interesting but it seemed to just go on and on.
Nevertheless i decided that after i had read The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes, i wasn’t allowed to pick up another book until i had finished this one. Otherwise i’d never finish it and my friend has been referencing the book to me and asking me what i thought of certain parts. I have just been nodding politely and agreeing even though she requires an actual answer. I can’t keep pretending forever that i have read it (if i had read it i would have given it back by now, surely) so either i admit defeat or plow through. It annoys me that one has to “plow through” a book. I’m sure my Mother has told me many times that if i’m not enjoying it that much to just stop reading it. But i can’t let a book defeat me. Moby Dick did (that’s another story) and i will not let that happen again. It’s not a competition, or so i can say, “Oh yes, i have read that book” even though i wanted to tear my eyeballs out the whole time. I just have this thing inside me that says well someone must have enjoyed it, so i want to find out what “it” was that made them do so.
Anyway i picked it up and would you believe? It took me less than 48 hours to finish the rest of the book. I couldn’t put it down!
The book follows the history of marketing and advertising from about the 1950’s right up until the book was written (1998). There was so much information that i’m sure a lot of it went in and out again but i still learnt so much and i enjoyed it. I don’t understand why the first chapter was so dull, it certainly isn’t a way to capture an audience but once you get past that (please try – it’s worth it) you truly are rewarded.