Stimulus and Perception:
Adverts can play upon the mind’s tendency to make whole its perception (Solomon et. al., 2006, p. 51). The gestalt principles of closure, similarity and figure-grounding each represent mental processes in which we complete the meaning, usually by using our past experiences with the stimuli (such as the text’s example of a line of hair products all having similar bottle shapes/colors) or with other past experiences (hence the closure example of the J&B advert). However, when our experience with a stimuli reaches over exposure, we begin to lose attention altogether. We adapt to the stimuli, and then require new, different or increased stimuli to capture attention once again.
Now that the consumer’s attention is held, they will begin to interpret and attach meaning to the stimuli. Going back to our discussion of schema’s, marketers will attempt to select stimuli that evoke the schema related to the image they wish to impart, or which will then lead to desired behavior on the consumer’s part.
Myths, rituals and symbols are the foundation to culture. As explained clearly by LeBaron in her essay written for Beyond Intractability,
Two things are essential to remember about cultures: they are always changing, and they relate to the symbolic dimension of life. The symbolic dimension is the place where we are constantly making meaning and enacting our identities. Cultural messages from the groups we belong to give us information about what is meaningful or important, and who we are in the world and in relation to others -- our identities.
Hence, recognition and use of these will help to evoke specific schema that (hopefully) lead to a positive perception of the product advertised as the stimuli are interpreted and associated to product value.
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