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PHILOS 2TT3 Lecture Notes - Consumerism, Cognitive Dissonance, Balance Theory

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V Igneski

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November 6
Ethics and strategic communication:
- Changing business ,model:
o Content on tv and in print designed to deliver and audience to advertisers
E.g. children’s shows are geared to sell them merchandise
o People skip commercials or avoid them by getting news on websites, or
Need for different ways to advertise to target audiences
o Challenge for communication professionals to get message out
- Behavioural Targeting
o Online profiling of internet users for targeting advertising
o Corporations collect information on individual browsing behaviour and sell
it to advertisers to target audiences more accurately
o Concerns: privacy and consent
o Industry constraints: obtain permission, info non-personally identifiable.
- Persuasion:
o Persuasive messages:
Typically short, highly visual, intentionally vague
Reliant on stereotypes, spins truth, glorifies consumerism
o Technology makes this more efficient but is embedded with values
Efficiency is valuable,
- Theories of Persuasion:
o Cognitive dissonance theory: Leon Festinger 1957
Cognitive dissonance: state of conflict between a message and an
action conflict between what we believe and what we do.
People seek cognitive balance harmony in action and beliefs
Advertisers create dissonance and promise balance through the
purchase of a project.
- TARES test of ethical persuasion:
o T: Truthfulness
o A: Authenticity
o R: Respect
o E: Equity does the ad rely on the ignorance of the consumer?
o S: Social responsibility does the product better society? Is it harmful? Does
it increase distrust of persuasive messages?
- Vulnerable Audiences:
o Targeting children
o Partnership between psychologists and marketers disturbing resulting in
highly effective marketing to children
o Canadian Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children
Puts constraints on advertisers, gives guidelines for ads targeted to
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