Assignment responding to group discussion questions from the PBS Frontline documentary, "The Persuaders."

flip to next page Group Assignment 4 Discussion: “The Persuaders” Documentary 1. When creating an ad for “Song Airlines,” Spade says that he did not want to make the ad a “literal delivery of a benefit.” What does he mean by this and why is he trying to avoid it? Spade’s motive is to employ the devices of ethos and pathos. He wants to establish the credibility or spirit of the product by implementing brand association. He also wants to appeal to the emotions and imaginations of Song Airline’s intended audience—women. When Spade says he does not want to make the ad a “literal delivery of a benefit,” he is making reference to an exact or precise availability of an expected reward such as reduced airfares, better service, or plusher seats. In other words, Spade doesn’t want the ad to convey the message that the consumer will receive exactly what they’re paying for, but that they will gain something extra that other airlines don’t offer. As Rushkoff suggests, “Spade is proposing to downplay the airline’s new features in favor of something much more intangible: its soul” (The Persuaders: "A High Concept Campaign" 9:59). Spade’s advice is to detract from the physical attributes of the airline, and to offer what appears to be something that “money can’t buy” but he intends to promote an experience. Downplayers, as our text describes, is the “attempt to make someone or something look less important or less significant” (Moore and Parker 138). In this case, Andy Spade wants to try to create the illusion that the actual benefit of flying with Song Airlines is not is not that the airline actually offers—but he wants to connect on a more emotional level. The aim is to create a new type of “culture” with the airline, and to convince the consumer that he/she needs to be a part of it. 2. Why is studying cults useful in understanding persuasion and how to market a product? In emotional branding, studying cults allows marketers to be more empathetic and gain greater awareness about ways in which the loyalties of potential consumers can be influenced. In the film it was mentioned how companies like Nike, Starbucks, and Apple do more than sell a product, but that they have created a brand and their approach marketing in ways which stimulate the transference of ideas. As Rushkoff indicates, these companies were able to draw on the idea “… that a brand could forge an emotional, even spiritual bond with today's cynical consumer” (The Persuaders: "Emotional Branding" 1:58). The products they ‘pushed’ began to transcend beyond running shoes, coffee, or computers, and made their way into the lives of the consumers. Advertisers understood that the brands had a global impact because of the marketing approaches. One example is the “Saturn Homecoming” ad presented in the film, which stimulated an idea of “bonding” for Saturn owners and potential buyers. Rushkoff further asserts that, “the object of emotional branding [is] to fill the empty places where non-commercial institutions, like schools and churches, might once have done the job” ( 5:48). We are
flip to next page  Group Assignment 4 Discussion     The Persuaders    Documentary 1. When creating an ad for    Song Airl...
back next Berry 2 able to see how persuasion through visual imagery is another popular marketing strategy in which advertisers use images to sell a product or generate an idea. For instance, the Nike “swoosh” logo, the image of sweat pouring down an athlete’s face in a television ad, even the sound of a runner breathing while running. Our text states that, “Adding the right music or other sounds to a video only enhances its power to persuade” (154). Cults are also known for their use of music and symbols to inspire enthusiasm. 3. The French advertising guru Clotaire Rapaille believes that the power of words is not in their literal definitions. Where/how do words acquire their meanings and associations, according to Rapaille? Marketing research guru, Clotaire Rapaille was once a psychiatrist whose training involved working with autistic children. So, he has probably studied ways in which the mind works. Our text indicates that, “Words and expressions have more than a literal or “dictionary” meaning. They also have what is known as emotive meaning or rhetorical force...” (136). We are able to use rhetorical devices to affect certain feelings and emotions; and we are able to recall specific emotions as they pertain to certain words. As Rushkoff provides, “Rapaille claims that there are unconscious associations for nearly every product we buy buried deep in our brains” (The Persuaders: "The Science of Selling" 3:33). According to Clotaire Rapaille, words meanings and associations come from people’s initial interpretation of them. Rapaille expresses that, “the first time you understand, you imprint the meaning or this word, you create a mental connection” (3:48). Sort of like associating a field of flowers with the scent of springtime, or the scent of fresh baked cookies with Grandma’s warm smile. As children when we begin to associate certain words with people, scents, sounds and objects the image and emotion is established in our minds. 4. Rapaille wants to know more about the “reptilian mind” of the consumer more than the “mammalian mind.” Why does Rapaille find the reptilian mind more important when it comes to persuasion? When it comes to persuasion, Rapaille feels that all purchasing decisions lie at the primal core, “… past reason, through emotion…” ("The Science of Selling" 5:24). In search of “primal urges,” he is in pursuit of what he has named “reptilian hot buttons” or what controls the consumer’s emotions and passions to force them to act. In a focus group, Rapaille wants the people in the group to move past responses they feel are logical, and he appeals to the emotions of the participants by getting them into a mindset in which they respond by feeling the need to please a child, then he turns off the lights and gets the participants comfortable—almost into a just-waking state mindset because he wants them in what he calls the reptilian mind state. As Rapaille divulges, “My theory is very simple. The reptilian always win” (7:24). Rapaille doesn’t want the participant’s responses to be based on emotions, but rather that of a primitive instinct. He doesn’t want them to think
back  next  Berry 2 able to see how persuasion through visual imagery is another popular marketing strategy in which adver...
back next Berry 3 too hard, and he wants impulsive responses. According to Rapaille, traditional research marketers “think too much” (Rapaille). The key, he says, is to “unlock the code.” 5. Rapaille once told a French company that “In America, the cheese is dead.” Frank Luntz says that he watches a lot of television to find the “pulse” or “vibe” of Americans. What main point about the effective ability to persuade are they both making? The main point that Clotaire Rapaille and Frank Luntz are making about the effective ability to persuade has to do with the specific needs of audiences in different cultures. Rapaille’s rhetorical analogy that, “cheese is dead in America” is a comparison being made between the different marketing styles to take toward the French in contrast to that of the Americans. Our text states that a rhetorical analogy can be used to relate increase the comprehension of something others may not be informed about (146). Rapaille provides the assessment that, “The French like the taste before safety. Americans want safety before the taste” (Rapaille). The taste of the cheese is more important to the French, and how long it can be kept is of greater import to Americans. In The Persuaders, Frank Luntz imparts his view of American culture with, “I have to know what they're watching, I have to know what they're listening to, and I got to know why” ("Giving Us What We Want" 0:57). Luntz feels it the way to market is knowing and understanding what the American people place as a priority in their lives—and that is television and music.
back  next  Berry 3 too hard, and he wants impulsive responses. According to Rapaille, traditional research marketers    t...
back next Berry 4 Works Cited Frontline: The Persuaders. By Barak Goodman and Douglas Rushkoff. Dirs. Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin. Perf. Douglas Rushkoff. 2003. Video. Investopedia.com. Fortune 100. 3 May 2015. Web. . Moore, Brooke N and Richard Parker. Critical Thinking. 11th. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015. Print. Rapaille, Clotaire. "Interview Clotaire Rapaille." Frontline: The Persuaders. 9 November 2004. Web.
back  next  Berry 4 Works Cited Frontline  The Persuaders. By Barak Goodman and Douglas Rushkoff. Dirs. Barak Goodman and ...