Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lucky Strike and Hill

I found the article "Promoting Lucky Strike Cigarettes to Women in the Late 1920's" by Edward Bernays to be fascinating. George Washington Hill was a genius at selling. His intense understanding of human motivation plus his relentless pursuit in making change happen, created "far-reaching social effects" (Bernays, p. 9). He literally was able to change social views on women and smoking. It just goes to prove how easily the public can be swayed when motivated properly. Case in point: the public buying into the idea that ultraviolet rays were the elixir to health. The article left me with a strong desire to remember "BUYER BEWARE!


At 9:56 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Don't be too sure that it is easy to influence the public. Bernays makes it sound simple, but the resistance of the public to mass persuasion in not to be underestimated. It takes quite an effort to do what Bernays did and he may not be the most objective observer of his own work.

The idea that pubic opinion can be shaped by the kinds of activities proposed by Bernays is crucial to understand the modern world of PR and marketing.


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