Motigraphics: The Analysis and Measurement of Human Motivations in Marketing

By Richard C. Maddock | Go to book overview

6
Absurdities

THE MAKING OF MOMENTOUS, MEMORABLE (BUT NOT NECESSARILY MOTIVATING) ADVERTISING AND MARKETING

Memorable advertising is produced with absurdities and personalizations. An absurdity is something that is rarely seen in everyday reality, but at the same time consists of common, everyday objects. A very simple example of an absurdity is Superman; that is, an individual who flies without wings, power, or any kind of visible support. It is something that we don't encounter in real life, and so it is absurd. However, everyone has wished that they had this power from time to time, and especially during childhood. Some parents can even recall when they had to beckon a child down from a roof at one time or another. The fact that almost everyone has thought of this contingency--flight without wings--makes the absurdity stand out, in the sense that it is not completely and utterly absurd.

In the last few years, computer programs have been introduced that allow us to do anything we want to with images on the screen, and thereby create absurdities. The problem is that with cheap and easy access to these programs, anyone may create just about anything that they want to. The result is that there is an absurdity overload, or clutter. There are so many absurdities on television today that the viewers are beginning to get dazed or indifferent when they see them. Some of them are so abstract or surreal that the viewer doesn't want to take the time to figure it out. This is especially true during prime-time television, where viewers start out the evening

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