We are swimming in marketing – it’s all around us, even within us. If you think about it, pretty much everything we see or do or own contains some level of advertising – it is what makes the world go ‘round. Marketing is certainly prevalent in television shows, and there are several examples that can be used to prove it.
I’m a huge fan of Family Guy, and one episode has been ingrained in my mind and fits any marketing situation perfectly – it’s called “Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”. A short synopsis: Peter becomes president of a company that creates toys, which promote underage smoking. Throughout the episode, marketing message after marketing message are thrown in for good fun and after a while, it gets downright ridiculous.
And check out Futurama – they dedicated an entire episode to “while-you-sleep advertising”! Basically, advertising is pumped into your brain while you sleep so you dream of different products. Scary though – could this be possible in the future? One word: neuromarketing. Check this out: “Corporations are going to enormous lengths to probe the minds of consumers – literally tapping into their brains” (mindpowernews.com). Basically, a lab scans people’s brains with MRI’s to determine subconscious thoughts and create better advertising campaigns based on the information that is found. Apparently, there are biological triggers that stimulate purchases.
“Imagine a world where advertisers figure out the exact colors, tastes, smells and images that speak to the core appetites of humanity and surpass the rational mind” (neurmarketing.blogs.com). I can’t fathom how selling an item would be SO important as to literally probe the mind of a human being – and I’m saying this as a marketing professional. However, larger corporations that can afford such luxurious studies are utilizing neuromarketing. I suppose we shall see what the future has in store for us…
Salon.com. “Joyce Millman On Television: That 31st century show”. Referenced December 2, 2008. http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/mill/1999/03/cov_26mill.html