John Bargh 's Theory Of Automaticity Essay

785 Words Mar 1st, 2016 4 Pages
John Bargh’s theory of automaticity stipulates that our behavior is governed predominately by subconscious cognitive processes. Therefore, in order for an attitude to elicit deliberate action, it must be brought into our conscious awareness. This activation process relies on memory cues, or mental “tags,” created most effectively through emotional experience. For this reason, the power of advertising lies in the premeditated association of symbols with emotion, which serves to reflect societal values and link them to previously unrelated products. The efficacy of an advertisement is contingent upon the emotion it evokes that is then, in turn, linked with the product. These sentiments reflect both inherent and elicited human desires for love, intimacy, adventure, and joy. The use of emotional advertising is evident in a Downy fabric softener commercial, which features a young couple “ripping each other’s clothes on.” The girl—freckled and blue-eyed—captivates the audience with her radiance. She begins standing in her underwear, the camera focused on her bare torso, the sunlight soaking both silhouettes in a warm glow. Her partner—who is also conventionally handsome—slips a soft gray T-shirt over her head and spins her around. She laughs, coy yet comfortable, and helps him pull his jeans on. They take their act to the kitchen table, then the living room couch. All the while they are dressing each other with lighthearted tenderness—a dance between partners—until, finally,…

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