In no other branch of industry are the needs of human beings so intensively investigated than in advertising. If it is known what the potential consumer group which purchases a given product or service really strives for, where these people set their highest priorities, it is possible to respond exactly to these needs in the advertising and hence earn lots of money!
The striving for harmony and happiness, for a life spent in love and peace is therefore frequently exploited in advertising: First we see a suffering person who has an affliction, an illness or a problem, then a product (pill, ointment, food, drink, car, washing powder, software, computer, telephone, holiday place etc.) and finally we see the same person who – thanks to the use of the product shown – is happy. Often too the happy person is shown together with the product. Just try sometime to deliberately observe how frequently the advertising messages are set up in this way regardless of the product on offer.
The suggestion is implanted in those watching that thanks to the use of this product you will be successful, beautiful, highly-regarded, rich or whatever – and this will (also) make you happy, your deepest longings will thereby be fulfilled.
Why does advertising promise us harmony and happiness? Why doesn’t advertising simply tell us the facts of the matter, why do they appeal to our feelings and longings? The answer is obvious: In each person there is a longing for the highest goal, for perpetual harmony, for the constant state of happiness. This longing can also be exploited to maximise financial profits, to achieve power, yes – even to manipulate other people. We will come back in this chapter to discuss these goals again.