The Arts of Selling by Aldous Huxley: A Questionnaire Essay
The first one appeals to truth and reason, whilst the other takes advantage from people’s Ignorance, and exploits their irrationality for the pecuniary benefit of his employers. 3. Hyde investigates people’s unconscious simply in order to find out the best way to take advantage of their ignorance and to exploit their irrationality for the pecuniary benefit of his employers. 4. Under a free enterprise system commercial propaganda by any and every means Is absolutely indispensable.
But what Is demonstrably good in the sphere of economics may be far from good for men and women as voters or even as human beings. Motivational analysts use a bland cynicism. The sphere of economics use methods of mass persuasion, and is immerse in a technologically advanced democratic society (sphere of morality and honesty). 5. It is easier inasmuch as almost everyone starts out with a prejudice in favor of beer, cigarettes and iceboxes, whereas almost nobody starts out with a prejudice in favor of tyrants.
It is more difficult inasmuch as the commercial propagandist Is not permitted, by the rules of his particular game, to appeal to the more savage Instincts of his public. 6. The mild approach is less exciting than the violent one because in the short run anger and hatred pay high dividends in the form of psychological and even (since they release large quantities of adrenalin and noradrenalin) physiological satisfaction , whilst the mild approach doesn’t. 7.
Anger and hatred in the short run produce adrenalin and noradrenalin. They pay dividends in the form of physiological and psychological satisfaction. 8. Hitler kept repeating such words as “hatred,” “force,” “ruthless,” “crush,” “smash”; and he would accompany these violent words with even more violent gestures. He would yell, he would scream, his veins would swell, his face would turn purple. Strong emotion (as every actor and dramatist knows) is in the highest degree contagious. 9.
Symbols represent something more than the product itself. 10. The principles that underlie the propaganda of symbols are: fled some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. 11.
In every case the motivation analyst as found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the consumer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of Industry. Stored In the minds and bodies of countless Individuals, this potential energy Is released by, Ana transmitter along, a line AT symbols carefully alai out so as to Daypacks rationality and obscure the real issue. 12. The rites and prompts of religion are symbols that take effect by being disproportionately impressive, haunting and fascinating in their own right.
They strengthen faith where it already exists and, where there is no faith, nutrient to conversion. 13. They appeal to the aesthetic sense, they guarantee neither the truth nor the ethical value of the doctrines with which they have been, quite arbitrarily, associated. 14. – 15. The attempts of commercial propagandists are constantly being made to beautify the billboards with striking posters, the advertising pages of magazines with lively drawings and photographs. Their ideal is a moderate excellence. 16.
Another disproportionately fascinating symbol is the Singing Commercial. Singing Commercials are a recent invention; but the Singing Theological and the Singing Devotional the hymn and the psalm are as old as religion itself. Singing Militaries, or marching songs, are coeval with war, and Singing Patriotic, the precursors of our national anthems, were doubtless used to promote group solidarity, to emphasize the distinction between “us” and “them,” by the wandering bands of Paleolithic hunters and food gatherers. To most people music is intrinsically attractive.
Moreover, melodies tend to ingrain themselves in the listener’s mind. 17. A tune will haunt the memory during the whole of a lifetime. Set the words to a catchy and easily remembered tune. Immediately they become words of power. Moreover, the words will tend automatically to repeat themselves every time the melody is heard or spontaneously remembered: the power of sound with the conditioned reflex. 18. For the commercial propagandist, as for his colleagues in the fields of politics and religion, music possesses yet another advantage.
Nonsense which it would be shameful for a reasonable being to write, speak or hear spoken can be sung or listened to by that same rational being with pleasure and even with a kind of intellectual conviction. Thanks to compulsory education and the rotary press, the reprimanding has been able, for many years past, to convey his messages to virtually every adult in every civilized country. Today, thanks to radio and television, he is in the happy position of being able to communicate even with unschooled adults and not yet literate children. 9. Children, as might be expected, are highly susceptible to propaganda. They are ignorant of the world and its ways, and therefore completely unsuspecting. 20. Dictators and would-be dictators have been considering the profits they could make, and the power they could achieve if they can condition a lion or ten million children, who will grow up into adults trained to buy their products. 21 . The larger the constituency, the less the value of any particular vote. The candidates are at the top of the pyramid of power.
Theoretically they are the servants of the people; but in fact it is the servants who give orders and the people, far off at the base of the great pyramid, who must obey. Increasing population and advancing technology have resulted in an increase in the number and complexity of organizations, an increase in the amount of power concentrated in the hands of officials and a corresponding decrease in the amount of control exercised by electors, coupled with a decrease in the publics regard for democratic procedures. 22. Scientific selection of appeals and planned repetition.
Radio spot announcements and ads will repeat phrases with a planned intensity. Billboards well puss slogans AT proven power. Rich voices and good diction, to be able to look ‘sincerely’ at the TV camera. 23. Interviews in depth are meant to reveal the unconscious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given society at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at laying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. 4. All that is needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look sincere. The personality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really matter. In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to concentrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort.
All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most and preferably in sixty seconds flat. 25. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex issues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most conscientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth.