Manipulation in advertising

The use of psychological techniques of manipulation in advertising Research paper on the specialty ” Media (media) and mass communication “

Similar topics of scientific works on mass media and mass communications , the author of the research work – Kretova N. N., Dankova S. A.

The text of the research paper on “The use of psychological techniques of manipulation in advertising”


S.A. Dankova, student, Voronezh State Technical University

In a market economy advertising is important without advertising in one form or another. Table 1 shows the most important engine of trade. Not a single commercial enterprise today can successfully conduct business.

Author Content of the term

1. Federal Law of RF of 13.03.2006. No. 38 – FZ On Advertising [10] Advertising – information, disseminated by any means, in any form and by any means, addressed to the indefinite circle of persons and aimed at attracting attention to the object of advertising, the formation or maintenance of interest to it, and its promotion in the market.

2. F. Kotler [9] Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods

or services on behalf of a well-known sponsor.

3. T.A. Berkutova [1] Advertising is a non-personal highly artistic form of information about goods, ideas, services presented by a producer, intermediary, sponsor on a paid basis.

4. N.A. Golman [7] Advertising is any form of non-personal presentation and promotion of commercial ideas, goods and services, paid for by a clearly specified advertiser.

5. Bove Arens [7] Advertising is the non-personalized transmission of information, usually paid for and usually of a persuasive nature, about products, services, or ideas by known advertisers through various mediums.

In order to effectively influence advertising on the potential consumer, advertisers must be well aware of the psychology of the modern consumer and discreetly influence it to achieve the desired result, to manipulate the consumer. When trying to define the place of manipulation in advertising, one encounters the blurring of the term, due to which people with similar views can express diametrically

similarly minded people can express diametrically opposed views on the issue. Some people believe that the essence of manipulation is to induce a person to act. In that case, all advertising is manipulation. In the opinion of others, the term implies the obligatory “zombification” of the audience by methods such as the use of 25 frames or ultra-low sound frequencies. Table 2 summarizes the opinions of various authors on the term “manipulation.

Трактовка термина «манипуляция»___________________________________

Author Content of the term

I.Y. Imshinetskaya [2] Manipulation – the art of controlling people’s behavior and thinking with the help of targeted influence on the public consciousness.

E.L. Dotsenko [8] Manipulation is a type of psychological influence used to achieve one-sided gain by means of hidden inducement of another to perform certain actions.

V.M.Gerasimov [6] Manipulation of public opinion is one of the special methods of social and psychological control.

Manipulation is demanded today as never before, as the conflict between interests of the advertiser-manipulator and the consumer aggravates due to aggravation of competitive struggle. Manipulation, by its nature, is designed to mitigate this conflict, creating the illusion of independent decision-making by the recipient. The starting point

of all these efforts is a simple model presented by F. Kotler professor of marketing at Northwestern University, USA (Fig. 1). From this model we can see that the incentives of marketing and other stimuli penetrate the “black box” of the buyer’s consciousness and cause a certain response.

Fig. 1. A simple model of buying behavior [9]

Advertisers try to create such stimuli and other psychological stimuli that, penetrating the “black box” of the buyer’s consciousness, would cause as a response the indispensable desire to purchase the advertised-

of the advertised product. Fig. 2 shows the most commonly used methods of manipulation and psychological impact on the “black box” of the consumer’s consciousness.

Fig. 2. Methods of manipulation in advertising [2,3,6]

Let’s disclose the content of some of them in Table 3.

___________________________________Методы манипуляции в рекламе__________________________________

Name of method Summary of content

Euphemization [2] This is the replacement of a word with negative semantics with a positive or neutral meaning. (You will still have time to wear a strict suit for a long time. In the meantime, dress comfortably! LEE jeans).

2. The “Trojan Horse” method. [6] The message of the manipulator starts with a visible support of the competitors’ goods, after which one strong argument is given, which should cross out all the mentioned advantages.

3. Rethinking [3] A new meaning is given to an obvious and well-known fact, event, person, phenomenon, which is convenient for the manipulator The slogan in the silverware advertisement: “Silver does not get old – it gets old”.

Continued Table 3.

4. implicatures [2] An implicit way of transmitting information is one in which it is not present in the message in plain text, but is necessarily extracted by the reader by virtue of thinking stereotypes and linguistic conventions. (Example from an advertisement: Give style to the healthy shine of your hair! Hidden information: you already have a healthy shine, now you just need to style it with PANTEN PRO-V hairspray).

5. Freedom of Choice [3] The ads tell us that the choice of line of behavior is entirely up to the customer. (“The freedom to choose Sokol beer for yourself is much more important.”).

Of course, in addition to the above, there are many other methods of manipulation in advertising, the most important of which is the influence of color in advertising. On this issue is expressed in his book T.A. Berkutova. The author shows the emergence of various psychological effects under the influence of different colors: dark blue – emotional warmth; red-orange – conquering, enterprising spirit; red – life, aggressiveness; blue-green – clarity, safety; yellow – novelty, future, modernism.[1]

Another manipulative technique is to use images of objects instead of chart columns. Suppose an investment fund wants to demonstrate that the invested funds will double in ten years. If we use an image of a bag of money instead of columns, we get a more impressive difference (Fig. 3). The thing is that by doubling the image vertically, we are “forced” to double it horizontally as well. This means that in reality the right sack is not two, but four times larger than the left one.

Fig. 3. Method of replacement of chart columns with objects [9].

E.N. Golubkova highlights the main aspects of the impact of advertising on human needs and values [5]:

1. Advertising influences at the level of personal values of a person.

2. Advertising exploits human needs. The author intelligently emphasized the points of impact

of advertising. Anyone perceiving advertising information compares the object of the advertisement and a specific personal value. An example of this would be

Harley Davidson” is a symbol of freedom, and “No-ke” is a symbol of achievement.

T.A. Berkutova distinguishes the following levels of advertising impact on consumers (Fig. 4).

Each advertisement aims to influence any of the above levels or a combination of them. Despite the fact that the techniques of advertising impact related to suggestion, influence on the subconsciousness of the consumer is prohibited by the law on advertising, any advertising, to varying degrees, uses these levels of impact.

Fig. 4. The levels of influence of advertising on the consumer [1]

So, advertising is undoubtedly the engine of commerce. Without it, it is difficult to imagine the sale of goods and services. The main driving force of psychological manipulation in advertising is its “explicit” side: video, music, plot, design. As for these techniques, advertisers are free to use them in a form that does not contradict current legislation, internal corporate standards and, ideally, the desire to “do no harm” to their audience. There are many manipulative techniques and methods that affect the psychological perception of goods. The advertiser must correctly select to each specific product its method of influence on the consumer, and do it so skillfully that the potential buyer does not feel the direct psychological effects of advertising, and was convinced that he is free to choose. This is how real, well-designed and effective advertising should be.

Berkutova T.A. Marketing communications. – Rostov-on-D. Phoenix, 2008. – 252 с.

2. i.Y. Imshenetskaya I.Y. Manipulation in advertising I.Y. Imshenetskaya // Laboratory of advertising, marketing and public relations, 2005. №9.

3. Pankratov V.N. Manipulation in dialogue and its neutralization I Pankratov V.N. – M.: The institute of psychotherapy, 2000. – 98 с.

4. 4. Berezin I.S. Advertising: creative idea I.S. Berezin // Marketing in Russia and abroad, 2005. №3.

5. Golubkova E.N. Psychological influence of light, color, form and corporate symbols on the perception of the advertised product I E.N. Golubkova // Marketing in Russia and abroad, 2005 № 4.

6. Belgorodskiy A.A. Manipulative methods in advertising I A.A. Belgorodskiy // Marketing in Russia and abroad, 2005. №6.

7. Bove Arens. Modern Advertising I Ahrens Bove – M.: Jurist, 2003. – 192 с.

В. Dotsenko E.L. Psychology of Manipulation I E.L. Dotsenko – M.: Yurite, 2000. – 154 с.

Manipulation in advertising texts

Narusheva D. M. Manipulation in advertising texts / D. M. Narusheva, I. E. Polynskaya, L. P. Luneva. – Text : direct / / Young scientist. – 2022. – № 4 (56). – С. 8-11. – URL: (date of reference: 21.09.2022).

Advertising is not only an engine of trade, but also a stimulus for the development of speech activity. Reflecting various social relations, priorities, values, advertising is a very important element of not only trade and economic, but also political and cultural life of Russia. What is advertising? In the center of our study is outdoor advertising.

The object of analysis is an advertising text.

The object of analysis is peculiarities of manipulative influence in modern advertising text, realized through manipulative methods and techniques. The material of the study is advertising signs and banners.

The purpose of this study is to study the features of manipulation in advertising texts, methods and techniques of advertising influence, the analysis based on existing examples of outdoor advertising in Russia.


– To give a definition of linguistic manipulation;

– To study advertising slogan as a tool of language manipulation and at the same time as a kind of speech genre.

Language manipulation is a selection and use of such means of language, with the help of which it is possible to influence the addressee of speech. The essence of language manipulation in advertising is that the advertising information is presented in such a way that the consumer based on it independently made certain conclusions. Since the consumer comes to these conclusions himself, he automatically takes such knowledge as his own, and therefore relates to the information less critically and with more trust.

Advertising began to appear long before our era. Prototypes for the appearance of pictorial advertising were ancient ornaments, drawings written in paint as well as images engraved on stone, which covered the walls and ceilings of underground caves – cave paintings. People of that time believed in magic: they believed that with the help of paintings and other images it was possible to influence the nature.

The first advertising texts, remotely resembling modern advertising, appeared in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece . Ads were very simple and were mostly informational in nature. The material or place for their placement was papyrus or stone. Modern researchers consider the inscription carved in stone, found in the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis, as one of the oldest advertising texts: “I, Rhino from Crete, by the will of the gods, interpret dreams”. The efficiency of advertising, executed on stone or metal, was very low compared to the wall advertisement.

A new qualitative leap in the development of advertising begins with the advent of printing. The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450 marked the beginning of the era of mass communication, the consequence of which was a qualitatively new stage in the development of advertising. Texts, which previously required many days of laborious work, could now be prepared fairly quickly. During the second half of the XV century printing enterprises began to spread literally all over Europe.

Theophrastus Renostostno, a physician, is considered the founder of print advertising in Europe, who opened a reference office in Paris in 1630 that printed advertisements in the French newspaper Gazette.

The first advertisement published in this newspaper is considered a reward for the location of 12 stolen horses. The first Russian printed advertisement appeared in the 18th century in Peter the Great’s Vedomosti. The first number of Peter’s newspaper, which has not reached us, was published as early as December 17, 1702.

In the nineteenth century, advertising in Russia went beyond printed publications. It was placed on round tables set up in different parts of the city, on stables, on the first streetcars. Voice advertising” was widespread, carried out, as a rule, by teenagers, who loudly shouted the names and prices of goods and the latest news at intersections and other crowded places.

The most significant features of manipulation are:

  1. The subject of manipulation is unaware of the influence being exerted on him, which is due to the concealment of the manipulator’s true goals;
  2. The manipulator influences not only the conscious (mind), but also the unconscious (instincts, emotions, needs);
  3. The manipulator controls the attitude of the object of manipulation to the objects and phenomena of the world around in a given direction;
  4. Manipulator establishes control over the thoughts, feelings, behavior, attitudes and attitudes of the object of manipulation;
  5. Manipulator operates with the presentation of information, which as a result undergoes significant changes (misinformation, selection, silencing, etc.) and indicates a deliberate distortion of the facts of reality.

Manipulation is always associated with certain ways and techniques of presenting information. Let us consider some of them, which we have identified in Russian outdoor advertising.

– Euphemization is the replacement of a word with negative semantics positive or neutral in meaning. Thus, in the advertising text of the banner of the funeral home (example 1) the phrase “There are things for a while, there are things for ever” is used. The word “forever” is used in reference to the grave monument, and it carries the meaning that the monument will remain “even after death”, but this phrase would be inappropriate to use from the seller’s perspective, because it will only alienate the buyer.

– Rethinking. An obvious and well-known fact, event, person, phenomenon is assigned a new meaning, convenient to the manipulator, opening it from a new side. In the advertising of a grill store (Example 2), the company slogan “predator in the world of barbecue”, which puts the grill on a par with the natural producers of meat, than arouses the interest of the buyer.

– Command – conveying information to the recipient using a strictly commanding tone. In this case, the informant does not even try to explain why it is necessary to do so. The method is used in the advertising banner of the trading and installation company (Example 3), openly calling to buy their product.

– Rhetorical questions. In the text of the banner of the supermarket chain “Pyaterochka” (example 4), the buyer is asked whether he knows the prices in the store. The answer to this question is not required, but the company encourages the customer to come and see the prices in person.

– Comparison with competitors and a comparison in favor of the manipulator. The technique boils down to finding a competitor and an object to lean on to make the product look in a winning light. In the advertising banner of “TELE2” (Example 5) the company informs that the prices for their services are lower than those of other operators, so the consumer should choose them.

– An authoritative person in the frame. A person cannot be competent in absolutely all spheres of life, so he tends to listen to people who are more knowledgeable in certain matters and more authoritative. That is why advertising is often seen a lot of people in white coats, experts, laboratories and instruments. Thus, the advertising banner of the bank (Example 6) shows a famous actor. An authoritative or recognizable face evokes a subconscious sense of trust in the consumer.

– A suggestion for a solution to an existing problem, as in the banner in Example 7.

– An imposed “freedom of choice.” In Example 9, the cellular operator makes the user a favorable offer, but it doesn’t offer to switch to the operator itself because you’ve already “chosen” it if you want the service offered.

– Visual impact. The visual layer of advertising prevails over the verbal and shows an unambiguously correct and idealized reality.


In this research study, we have examined the ways in which advertising texts are manipulated. By penetrating deep into the buyer’s mind, manipulative advertising makes the buyer feel an urgent need for the item in question. Such advertising determines how the product will be positioned in the marketplace and what the consumer will expect from it. If in the short run advertising increases sales, in the long run it causes a fundamental change in their behavior. Therefore, the main task of brand advertising, when there are no qualitative differences from competitors’ products, is to link the brand to special benefits for the customer. Numerous tricks of advertisers are successful for two reasons: the carelessness, shortsightedness and short-sightedness of competitors, as well as the ignorance, low level of consumer culture and education in general consumers.

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