The Anatomy of Humbug (Pt. 2) – Seduction Theory

This a great review of a book about the persuasion of advertising and its history. The search for the Holy Grail of advertising and persuasion carries on today and it clearly points to the great work being done by behavioural economists and consumer neuroscientists today.

Brian Juicer Blog

In Pt. 1 of our review of The Anatomy of Humbug, we delved into the first part of the book, which detailed the genesis of the Salesmanship Theory – the idea that ads work by giving us information and persuading us to act. But there is another story to be told, one that is intimately intertwined with the enduring legacy of Salesmanship – that of Seduction.

conscious

In today’s post, we focus on the second part of Feldwick’s book – the historical roots of Seduction Theory – the notion that ads play on our subconscious motivations and emotions. It’s here that Feldwick uncovers the shaky ground salesmanship theories were built on – dogmas like USP, which spread by simplicity, not evidence – and exposes their limitations.

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