“Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.” – Saul Alinsky, Born Jan. 30, 1909.
A lot of advertising writers talk some bullshit like “I use persuasion, not manipulation” and it used to really bother me.
But now it doesn't bother me because I realize they are basically saying “I refuse to be as good at my chosen profession as I could be.”
I'm cool with that because it gives me an advantage. It gives US an advantage if you're willing to follow me to the dark corners with a flashlight and a baseball bat.
A complete study of all manipulation of motivation that drives behavior in a reliable way – that is our bailiwick. No restrictions. No holds barred. I want to know all the tricks. From the con artists, the frauds, the cult leaders, the propagandists.
The ethics and morality of marketing and advertising come in when it comes to choosing a product that actually works and honoring the promises made.
Will it do that? Will it solve the problem it promises to solve? Will the buyer get what they paid for? If the answer is yes, then you have a goddamned DUTY to push your product on people who are SUFFERING. Relieve them despite their resistance in facing up to their own problems.
Am I going to let you sit on the fence and worry over eliminating your pain, just because you're scared of change? Because you avoid the uncertainty of trying to improve? Because you fear the failure you've experienced before now?
Fuck no. I owe you more. I love you more than that.
That is why I willing to scrape out the inside of your brain and heart and use whatever I can find there to make you do what I want you to do.
Every trick. Every dark secret of manipulation that I can shine a light on, beat down, and drag back into the light for the “good guys” like us to use.
Trust me, it's good for you, and I know better than you.