One Cold night in November, in the year 1991 about five hundred people turned out in the small town of Rupert, Idaho to attend a prayer vigil for babies ritually tortured and killed by Satanic cults. People came from many different regions to be a part of this event. Rumors had it that a local satanic cult had killed these babies in a ritual sacrifice. This is just one of the many stories being circulated to assert the existence of a secret organization of criminals who worship Satan and who are engaged in the pornography business, forced prostitution and drug dealing. These criminals also engage in sexual abuse and torture of children in an effort to brainwash them into become Devil worshippers. None of these claims are supported by reliable evidence. They are baseless and misleading. They merely seek to exploit fears, because as the founder of the church of Satan, Anton levay said, people fear the unknown. However the claims themselves are important in the sense that they are symptoms of serious problems in almost all societies, namely the affect media has on people.
So what is Satanism? “LaVeyan Satanism was founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey. Its teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and “eye for an eye” morality, drawing influences from the rituals and ceremonies of occultist Aleister Crowley, and the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. Employing Crowley’s terminology, its adherents define Satanism as a “Left-Hand Path” religion and philosophy, rejecting traditional “Right-Hand Path” religions for their perceived denial of life and emphasis on guilt and abstinence“. (Wikipedia)
In The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey describes Satan as a motivating and balancing dark force in nature. Satan is also described as being the “Black Flame”, representing a person’s own inner personality and desires.
|“||Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshipped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will.||”|
Satan is said to appear in mythology and literature around the world as a trickster, rebel, and Figure seeking the destruction or slavery of man. Figures such as the Greek Prometheus are said to perfectly exemplify the qualities of Satan, the prideful rebel. Satan is seen as the powerful individual who acts regardless of what others might say. Also, the word satan is derived from the Hebrew for “adversary”. Satanists claim to be adversaries of mainstream behavior which they define as “herd conformity“, seeing it as stifling to individuality, creativity, and progress.(Wikepedia)
How many of you thought that Satanism was in fact the worship of the devil?
In the 1970s newspaper reports began to appear referring to groups labeled by the police and mentalist clergy as ‘satanic cults’ or devil worshippers. For instance, around that time several cattlemen in Western States began to report finding some of their cattle dead and mutilated. The soft parts of the cattle had been supposedly cut off by what appeared to be a very sharp instrument like a razor. The blood of these animals was drained out. Like a ripple, similar reports suddenly appeared all over the Mid-West. These reports were increasingly made public in newspapers and rumors began to speculate that satanic cults were responsible for these bizarre events.
The Satanic cult legend exists because it has provided an easily available explanation for disturbing phenomena’s. The label ‘satanic cult’ is so vague that it can flexibly be applied to many entirely different types of social deviants: child molesters, violent teenage gangs, psychopathic murderers, and even harmless practitioners on unconventional religions.
The stereotypical image of a ‘satanic cult’ gradually began to emerge in the 1970s out of the rhetoric used to attack disturbing new religious groups. This dramatic imagery has a great mass media appeal. Satanic cult stories were able to find a channel to a national audience when they appeared in newspapers as possible explanations for troubling happenings. Even T.V. talk shows exploited the Satanic cult scare to increase their ratings by targeting worried mothers and paranoid children. Many print journalists attracted readership with sensationalized reports about the danger of Satanism among teenagers.
But how did a bunch of rumors become what is now known as the Satanic legend?
First, isolated rumors need to find a channel to reach a broad, mass audience. In other words they must become ‘marketable’. Second, it is necessary for some kind of carrier group to take up the allegations as a cause and disseminate them relentlessly in an attempt to plant seeds of fear in people’s minds. Finally, it is necessary for some kinds of authoritative figures to legitimize the rumors by publically endorsing them as being true.
In the Satanic bible there are the eleven Satanic statements that basically sum up what a Satanist is, they are:
As a Satanist, I do NOT… Kill Animals for torture or ritual.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… Kill Humans for torture or ritual.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… worship a christian myth named SATAN.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… hate christianity, I simply ignore it and live my own life.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… do drugs, I do drink socially and nothing more.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… rape women, I have a healthy and consensual sex life..
As a Satanist, I do NOT… hate life in general, I am very happy and love life.
As a Satanist, I do NOT… hold anyone or anything higher than myself.
As a Satanist, I DO … Love Animals, I have a few of my own.
As a Satanist, I DO … support the death penalty, and oppose crime.
As a Satanist, I DO … hate ignorance, it’s simply unacceptable.
As a Satanist, I DO … work, own my own car, pay bills and taxes.
As a Satanist, I DO … love my friends and family, no one else.
As a Satanist, I DO … respect my elders, they’ve taught me much.
As a Satanist, I DO … believe in Religious Tolerance, it’s your right
As you now can see, Satanism are not what they media makes it out to be, it is just a way of life, a peaceful one even. Remember the cattle story I told you about before? Well, scientific studies came to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of these incidents were due to purely natural causes. According to these studies, the cattle died from diseases, poison plants, rattle snakes and other ordinary hazards. Then their soft parts were eaten by small predators.. Statistical studies revealed that there had been no actual increase over the normal rate of cattle deaths in the areas. Veterinarians testified that the blood of the cattle only appeared to have been drained away because it had coagulated in the animal after its death. The media chose to ignore these findings and continued to cultivate fear in people’s hearts.
Note: Many of my sources are from the book, “Satanic Panic: the creation of a contemporary legend” by Jeffery Victor. A great read I recommend to everyone.
Mary Soo loved the Carnival, she loved it very much…
The games, rides and laughter, and the candy apples to munch.
She liked to go on rides that were fast and scary…
And at the end of the day she’d grow tired and weary.
At night when she lies alone in her bed
The carnival comes alive in her head
To her distraught it is not a carnival filled with joy
It does not have laughing girls and running boys
No, in Mary Soo’s head the girls are crying
And the boys are running from the fear of dying
The marry-go-round spun out of control, as bodies flew in the air
Bozo the clown has snakes on his head, where he once had red hair
The roller coast dipped down to the deepest pit of hell causing much despair
And the Ferris wheel rolled off its hinges and onto the carnival floor
And many lost their lives, crushed by the wheel as they ran to shore.
But the sea couldn’t save them; nothing could have spared their lives
From the horrors that was born, that one dreadful night
The screams from the house of mirrors echoed in their ears
And the haunted house gave life to all of their fears
Everyone was tormented at the horrors of Mary Soo’s imagination
They knew it was a nightmare of her latest creation
What they didn’t know is Mary Soo never woke up from that dream
And they will spend eternity faced with terror and listening to screams.
This commercial is so creative! I couldn’t see where it was going at first, but then it all fell into place. I guess it can be categorized as dramatization, and as execution goes, it is very well done. The target audience is clear, the message is conveyed efficiently, and the appeal is effective!
She sat on a bench by the sea
He saw here there every night
He wanted to approach her but he was afraid she’d flee
Or run away from fright
He knew he was a monster
And she was a beautiful lady
He could never muster up the courage to talk to her
The very thought was crazy.
He was there every night, walking on shore
She waited for him religiously on the bench
If she listened carefully she could hear his footsteps on the floor
And it made her heart clench.
But he never talked to her; maybe he didn’t notice her sitting in the shadows
But it’s just as well she didn’t want him to see the ugliness of her face
He was as graceful and as beautiful as a sparrow
To let him see her would be a disgrace.
For the remainder of their life they lived apart
These two strangers who were meant to be
But they lived in each other’s hearts
These two strangers by the sea.
We are exposed to at least 1500 ads per day. They’re everywhere; in the streets, on the television and radio, in newspapers and magazines. Their purpose is to provide information and entertainment, but the ripples of their influence are far reaching, ranging from social to political issues. As we float about in an ocean of mass media, waves crash over us leaving grains of sands in hidden and abstract places. It is safe to say their effects are cumulative and are engrained in our subconscious; nevertheless, they are evident in the way people act, dress, and think. When it is said, “we live in the shadow of the image” truer words were never spoken.
Karl Marx wrote in 1867, “The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an ‘immense collection of commodities'” (Marx 1976, p.125). It is not enough of course to only produce the immense collection of commodities” they must also be sold, so that further investment in production is feasible. So, at the end of the 19th century, industrial capitalism invented a new institution: the advertising industry. The function of this new industry would be to create a culture in which desire and identity would be merged with commodities.
There has never been a propaganda effort to match the exertion of advertising in the 20th century. More deliberation, endeavor, originality, time, and attention to detail had gone into the selling of the massive collection of commodities than any other campaign in human history to change public consciousness. One indication of this is simply the amount of money that had been exponentially exhausted on this effort. Advertisers are selective when it comes to the desired attitudes to be encouraged, promoting some while ignoring many others. This supports the previous claim that advertising does more than reflect the surrounding culture. For example, the absence from advertising of certain racial and ethnic groups in some multi-racial or multi-ethnic societies can help to generate problems of representation and identity, especially among those ignored, and the almost unavoidable impression in commercial advertising that a great quantity of goods leads to happiness and fulfillment can be deceptive and frustrating.
Even today, some advertising is deliberately wrong. It is not that advertising says what is clearly false, but that it can twist the truth by implying things that are not so or withholding significant information. As Pope John Paul II points out, “in both the individual and social levels, truth and freedom are inseparable; without truth as the basis, starting point and criterion of discernment, judgment, choice and action, there can be no authentic exercise of freedom.”
An example of the hold that advertising has on society is when one takes the war on Iraq into consideration. The Western press depicts the Americans as democratic saviors encouraging feelings of patriotism towards their army and administration. This however, also produces a racial prejudice against the Middle East, portraying them as barbaric and backwards.
At the turn of the millennium, competition for consumer loyalty, facilitated by the outflow of new technologies, sky-rocketed. With the growth of large media corporations, which are encouraged by globalization, regulatory permissiveness, and the need for technological convergence, firms look for new and bold means to promote their products. Advertisers are encouraged to be more insistent and media is encouraged to be more promotionally oriented. According to surveys of Super Bowl viewers, in 1996 only 2% watched the game exclusively for the commercials; in 1998 the figure was 7%; in 2002 it was more than10%(McAllister, 1999; Taylor, 2002). Much of the reason for this increased popularity may be the publicity that Super Bowl commercials receive. The news media play up the hype of Super Bowl advertising with pregame anticipatory stories and post game analysis focusing on the commercials.
Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen noted that, “The history that unites the seemingly random routines of daily life is one that embraces the rise of an industrial consumer society. It involves explosive interactions between modernity and old ways of life. It includes the proliferation, over days and decades, of a wide, repeatable vernacular of commercial images and ideas. This history spells new patterns of social, productive, and political life.” (333) In their excerpt,” In the Shadow of the Image” they provide an example of how unconscious the effects of ads can be. They talk about a female named Maria Aguilar , and how after reading a poster the claimed, “The pain stops here” she barely noticed that she would later swallow two New Extra strength Bufferin tablets. They go on to mention a girl who dedicated her afterschool time to working in a supermarket so she could afford a pair of label jeans so she could, “fit better.”
Our ideas of what is socially accepted is dictated through mass media and advertising. The most obvious effect is on body image. A century ago it was very desirable for a woman to have a full figure, now it is considered ghastly. “The media have been criticized for depicting the thin woman as ideal. Some argue these images create unrealistic expectations for young women and cause body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.”(Holmstrom) In Beirut for instance, pictures of political figures dominate specific areas. In Dahia pictures of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah are frequent signifying the community there rally behind him and are loyal supporters. But in Qraytum pictures of an opposing party leader, Rafic Hariri and his son Saad are posted almost everywhere. This example demonstrates the power if imagery in Lebanese society. Lebanese society is characterized by an urge to show off their wealth and prestige, despite the fact that some of these egocentric figures have no wealth (Thank God for fake Gucci!) Labels are as important as politics. Girls try to show off their Fendi bags as boys show off their nice cars and expensive watches. This is because they understand, through the wide variety of images presented on the streets and on the television, that it makes them more desirable and up to the standards of celebrity figures. For instance Nancy Ajram advertises Cola, so it becomes the majority’s preference. Pictures of Elisa wearing vogue sunglasses inspire many other females to wear the same thing.
With little doubt, media is a dominant influential force. It seems to be invading our lives from every direction striving to leave its mark on society. In today’s society advertising has a profound impact in regard to people’s values, especially the way they choose and behave. It is a molding factor that shapes our lives. Advertising, like the media of social communications in general, does act as a mirror. But, like media in general, it is a mirror that helps shape the reality it reflects, and sometimes it presents a distorted image of reality.
Being a marketing lover I’m not one to skip through commercials. As a matter of fact, i love commercials. This one however, I found to be sexist. Snickers is one of my favorite chocolates, and anyone who knows me knows my chocolate addiction. But after watching this ad I must say, i was put off.
This was aired on MBC, and you don’t have to understand arabic to understand the message behind this commercial. Basically, the woman is actually a man called Karim, but only after she/he ate the snickers did he/she actually become a man. seriously? or is it that snickers brings out the best in you and the best in a woman is a man? SERIOUSLY? Oh wait, or is it that your a weak woman who cant push a car until you eat snickers then YOU BE THE MAN!!!
Is it just me or does anyone else think its a tad sexist?
On December 14 2010 I discovered something that made me feel strife:
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.
I’ve had the privilege of being shielded from the real world for a while now
So you can understand why I’m having a cow…
I’m not ready to enter the jungle
Not enter, more like stumble.
After graduation every gets so serious and real
And honestly I don’t know how to feel.
Do I want to take some time off? Or work right away?
How do I plan on spending the rest of my days?
There’s a lot I could do with a business degree
There’s a lot of prestige in graduating from AUB
I guess I’m lucky because the world is my oyster you see,
But I don’t know who I want to be!
I love marketing is truly is my passion
It’s like peanut butter to jam, Versace to fashion
Dalia and marketing go hand in hand
There’s nothing I love more than a good brand.
I also have a diploma in communication
And you would think that that would ease my frustration
But even though it may open more doors for me
I still don’t know who I want to be.
I always thought I’d have more time to make this decision
After all, this is a matter that requires precision.
I can’t arbitrarily choose a profession
Although I have a little confession:
I always wanted to be an actress, a Hollywood star!
But I think we all know that that reality is very far!
I guess it’s time to get my head out of the clouds
And acknowledge the fact I’ll never be greeted by cheering crowds
But I don’t mind the less glamorous world of business
At least then I wouldn’t have to worry about fitness
Being camera-ready 24/7 is a tedious task
No wonder they’re all drunkards, are you sure that’s water in that flask?
I may be lost but I wasn’t born yesterday
If I had been, I wouldn’t have to worry today
I’d have another 20 years to reach the point where I’d have to decide my future
Perhaps I would develop some kind of talent that I could nurture
Maybe I’d learn how to sing or play the violin or guitar
Then I could be a rock star!
But I digress, lets go back to the world where ‘if’s’ don’t exist
And try to find an answer to this question that persists:
Where do I want to be in five years?
I love advertising; I wouldn’t mind pursuing that career
Perhaps an account executive working at a multinational agency
That wouldn’t be such a travesty!
I could work for a couple of years then maybe do my Masters
That would make the process of finding a job faster!
Then I could work some more until I have enough experience to start my own business
And that is how I intend to make a difference.
I want a penthouse sweet in the Upper East Side of the city that never sleeps
And a walk in closet that would make my girl friends weep
And I would do my part as a socially responsible person and I would give back to society
I would be able to do so because of my propriety.
I guess this plan isn’t so bad; maybe it is a little ideal
But even if it doesn’t work out the way I want, I know I’ll be able to deal
Because I know what’s important is not what you do with your life, it’s how you choose to live it and I intend to live with fervor
And the people I meet and memories I make along the way are the real treasures.
Do what you love, find what makes you happy and pursue it with all your energy
And your life will fall into place with complete synergy.
I am so happy to be a part of the marketing world at such a pivotal time in its evolution. I think at this day and age, marketing is at its best. This is not to say that all campaigns are great, but this BMW one is sheer genius in my opinion. It breaks through the clutter and is such a new concept and way of literarily getting into the consumers mind!
I love this commercial for Apple, what an awesome way to introduce yourself to the world! This one was actually launched in 1984 and plays on George Orwell’s book “1984”. I think this ad was first launched at the super-bowl. As always, Apple knows how to make a splash!
I read a very interesting article today on Harvard Business Review (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/12/facebooks_new_golden_rule.html)
It discusses the importance of the Marketer’s Golden Rule: “Interact unto others as they would interact unto you.”
This holds great significance for marketers. Marketing is all about building long term and profitable relationships with their consumers, and how can they do so if they don’t understand the consumers? Theories of communication encourage marketers to share fields of experience with their target customers. Only when you truly understand them, how they think, their decision making processes, how they live, what they do, etc. can you market to them efficiently. Anyone can tell you there is a lot of clutter out there, we are exposed to about 5000 ads a day! The ones that successfully penetrate our perception screens are those that resonate with us. Similarity is key. It is a tragic how many great campaigns fail because the advertisers have lost touch with their customers. I think you expire as a marketer when you lose your ability to relate to your consumers.
The article suggests marketers try living a day in the consumer’s media mix, this could provide them with more insight into who they are dealing with. We can translate Sun Tzu’s advice “know your enemy” into marketing terms: “know your customer”.