brainim4.jpg (4253 bytes)  The Pontiac and Marlboro advertising campaigns of the 1960s showed how to dispense with reason and logic altogether.


A metamorphosis in advertising got underway in the 1960s, with two products in particular exemplifying how the rules for cognitive competition were to be transformed.  These were Pontiac cars and Marlboro cigarettes.

Both had been considered essentially maiden aunt-type products, because of popular association with the kinds of people who typically bought them.  Advertising was employed to change their marketing positions and make them "virile."

If the manufacturers of these products had come right out and claimed that their products were manly, they would have run into a certain amount of resistance, not least because in rational terms, neither a conveyance nor a tobacco product can actually have a gender identity.  Instead, their advertising made the same point via symbolism and imagery.   Then the messages were simply repeated enough times that they became effectively "true"—in the sense of becoming so familiar as to eventually be treated as equivalent to actual experience and knowledge.

This two-step approach would prove so effective that it became the cornerstone of contemporary passive-engagement and limited-attention forms of communications.

(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


More Specifics

butnsqar.gif (1086 bytes) Pontiac's new image retained some links to the products themselves.

 

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Marlboro's advertising achieved a complete separation of image from product.

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