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Mesmerizing Marketing: A Compact Cultural History

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Brown, Stephen (2008) Mesmerizing Marketing: A Compact Cultural History. European Business Review, 20 (4). pp. 350-363. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09555340810886611

DOI: 10.1108/09555340810886611

Abstract

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the widely-held belief that marketing holds customers in thrall and persuades them to buy things they otherwise would not. Design/methodology/approach – Rather than adopt a scientific approach to the mesmeric marketing phenomenon, it embraces an artistic perspective, focusing on three crucial cultural “moments” in the emergence of the great manipulator mindset. Findings – Whereas innumerable scientific experiments show that subliminal advertising does not work, except in certain circumstances, the cultural approach demonstrates that subliminals are, in fact, enormously successful. Regardless of scientific evidence to the contrary, most consumers believe that subliminal advertising not only works but is an established marketing practice. Practical implications – The paper suggests that marketers should place less reliance on the scientific paradigm. Marketing science has its place – a very important place – but not everything can be captured in a simultaneous equation or linear regression model. Cultural components analysis is just as significant as principal components analysis. Originality/value – Received wisdom concerning subliminal advertising is challenged and creatively reinterpreted from a supra-science standpoint.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School
Ulster Business School > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy
Research Institutes and Groups:Business and Management Research Institute
ID Code:10203
Deposited By:Professor Paul Humphreys
Deposited On:29 Jan 2010 18:00
Last Modified:29 Jan 2010 18:00

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