The Worlds First Successful Commercial PR Campaign

Admin   PUBLIC RELATIONS   24-Oct-2018   0 Comments
The Worlds First Successful Commercial PR Campaign

The Public Relations industry is nearly 100 years old. Edward Bernays, who was also the nephew of Sigmund Freud the founder of psychoanalysis, is widely considered the founder of Public Relations. Before Edward Bernay’s, companies could do little to persuade consumers to buy products. Most advertisements in the early decades of the last century were tame and did little to create new consumers or to make products attractive to wide segments of the populace.

Creating Behavioural Changes in Society

Sigmund Freud had claimed to have discovered unconsciousness desires in the human mind which he said were actually responsible for most of human behaviour. Such desires he stated could not be persuaded to make decisions using convincing factual arguments. Edward Bernays used this understanding of human beings to sell products by appealing to people subconscious desires. A simple understanding of how this model works is that a man will be more apt to buy a particular car if he is shown that the opposite sex finds the car appealing instead of being told of the car's features.

Torches of Freedom

Knowledge of such subconscious urges led Edward Bernays to create a new market for cigarettes which had earlier been sold almost exclusively to men while women who smoked were perceived to have questionable morals. Bernays created a public relations campaign in which women of sound social standing and good ethics smoked cigarettes together publically in front of the press in New York. The press covered the event and linked women smoking cigarettes to women being granted the right to vote. By equating women’s new found freedom to vote with their freedom to smoke cigarettes, Edward Bernays subconsciously allowed women to believe that now that they had political freedom, they could also participate in activities which had earlier been considered the sole purview of men, namely smoking cigarettes. Gradually the demand for cigarettes among women grew in the US.

How Far We Have Come

While Bernay’s passed away in 1995, the industry he created permeates modern society. Almost everything people buy today they do because such products have been marketed to satiate peoples innermost longings of which people are often unfamiliar. The success of social media, online movies, and online games is largely based on the idea of hooking people using their unconsciousness desires and their unmet wants.

To see the success of Bernay’s vision one needs only to consider that societies, where his ideas are ubiquitous, are the most prosperous in the world while societies, where such ideas are absent, are backward, unstable, violent, and undemocratic. It is through the satiation of unconsciousness drives and desires that members of society are happy and kind to one another. Since the rapid growth of the PR industry the world has grown more prosperous and in countries where the techniques pioneered by Bernays are employed, no major wars have erupted. At Media Mantra we recognise that behavioural change in society is not only possible but that it strengthens society and makes it better. We admire Edward Bernay’s and we expect to better his understanding of people and to make Indian society more prosperous and happier as a result.  



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