Partipulation – “Image Based Culture” by Sut Jhally

“…advertising is not simple manipulation, but what ad-maker Tony Schwartz calls ‘partipulation,’ with the audience participating in it’s own manipulation” (251).

This is a quote Colton Revia & I found very interesting when speaking in class. So, advertisements must go beyond their product’s values to reach consumers. A typical consumer is more interested and possibly provoked to purchase a product from an advertisement that is ‘catchy’ or entails an attractive desire rather than facts about the product. What does this mean? Well, for companies who want to sell their product, that means they must identify and target an audience through an effective non-product-related idea. They have to include their product in an image, where the consumer might see anything he or she is longing for. The consumer will associate those longing-desires with that product, and hopefully buy the product based on that interested feeling. But, another conclusion that could be drawn is that it is our feelings of dissatisfaction – wanting more or different – that provoke action stronger than feelings of satisfaction. The washer/dyer and automobile industries have picked up on this already and REALLY BREAK OUR WALLETS sometimes with the way they respond to it. They know that if your car could run 100 mpg and last a long time with out repairs (two improvements most people wish they had)  the consumer would be “happy – satisfied” but they would loose sales. Why? People stop buying things when they are happy – when they have what they need. Same with washer/dryers; they are made to break. A happy customer with a machine that doesn’t need repair won’t be making many purchases. Well, same with people and everything about them. When you are happy with yourself, your body, you life and your choices, you are much less likely to make a change. But when you are having the worst times and don’t know what to do – you usually try something different. So, advertising as an industry plays on our weak points – continues to show us what could be better, where improvements are needed, and people who have things figured out better than we do – to provoke an unhappiness that you might possibly try to fill with their product. girl1SM