History of advertisement
The practice of sharing information through public communications has gradually evolved since the days of Ancient Egypt and Greece. People cannot buy a product if they do not know it exists. If there are too many similar products on the market, people have decide which one to buy. Until the 20th century, the primary tool of commercial advertising was the brand. People trust a company that produces high-quality goods or services. The name of a reputable company itself efficiently promotes its products. As the number of brands began to grow, advertisers had to shift consumer attention to the quality of the merchandise. Advertising messages addressed the common sense of individual buyers. This tactic was effective because the primary audience of such ads turned out to be Masters and Ludens, who are most likely to want to try new things. If the promoted goods are as good as advertised, then that meme will be passed to the community of Knowmen. Because many Masters and some Ludens are respected members of society, this method promised a good chance that a large number of consumers would eventually adopt this meme.
Practice shows that the method works particularly well in isolated communities of small size. The evolution of media technologies changed the landscape of the advertising industry. To attract the attention of a large number of people, advertisers began to alter the tone of their messages. The quality of the product was no longer the central theme of advertising. Media companies looked for more efficient ways to influence decisions, and they shifted the audience’s attention from logic to feelings. Ads promise that the product will make you feel good.
Then advertisers figured out that most people (Knowmen) make decisions based on public opinion. They found out that the most efficient way to promote any product is to convince the audience that it has already been tested and accepted. Modern advertising is all about that. Every commercial message tries to make you think that it is a smart idea to buy this product simply because a lot of people have already bought it. The target audience of advertising is now Knowmen. That’s why actors who appear in TV commercials always look so happy and confident. They want you to believe that many people have already tested this product and that everyone liked it.
The new format of advertising appeals to your sense of conformity. Modern advertising offers its audience ready-made memes that people are supposed to discover on their own by thorough testing. By excluding Masters and Ludens from the memetic process, modern advertising seriously harms society’s intellectual progress.