–contributed by Emily Gainer.
This month’s Book of the Month continues “The psychology of…” blog series.
This time of year in the United States, most everyone is very aware of advertisements. The election has dominated our daily lives through TV commercials, flyers, radio ads, yard signs, and bumper stickers for weeks, if not months. And just when you think you will find relief after Election Day on November 8th, a new type of advertising takes over – the holidays!
In recognition of this election and holiday season, the November/December book of the month is Walter Dill Scott’s The Psychology of Advertising (1908).
In his introduction, Scott wrote, “advertising has as its one function the influencing of human minds” (page 2). We may understand that advertisers are trying influence our buying choices during the holidays. We may not realize how much our own emotions influence our decisions. When outlining the feelings and emotions involved in advertising, Scott wrote, “In pleasure our minds expand. We become extremely suggestible, and are likely to see everything in a favorable light” (page 24). In this book, Scott further outlined suggestibility based on emotions, sympathy, and instincts.
Think of your favorite holiday commercial or print advertisement. Was it the Folger’s waking up commercials, the Coca Cola polar bears, or the Budweiser Clydesdales? How did it make you feel? Keep your eyes – and your emotions – ready for this year’s holiday advertising campaigns.