September 2023 Marketing to women and everyone else for that matter changed dramatically in the early to

September 2023 Business & Finance Assignment

Marketing to women (and everyone else, for that matter) changed dramatically in the early to mid 20th century with the introduction of psychoanalysis as described in an old, but still relevant 4-part documentary entitled “The Century of the Self.”  The psychoanalysis field led to the creation of market segments based on psychological and behavioral information, which are far richer than the traditional demographic segmentation information.  We still use demographic segmentation to describe target markets, but today’s sophisticated marketer uses much, much more than just demographics.

For 10 points extra credit, watch the 8-minute snippet from the documentary called “The Century of the Self — The Engineering of Consent.” 

the questions are:

  1.  The assumption that “the masses in America are fundamentally irrational” led to the use of psychological techniques to control irrationality in mass communications (advertising and public relations).  Do you think Americans are fundamentally irrational?  For example, is it irrational to see expensive BMWs and Mercedes Benz autos in the Walmart parking lot?   Support your answer with personal observations or citations.  
  2. American psychologist Edward Bernays is called the father of mass persuasion.  His contribution (and that of fellow psychologist Ernest Dichter) to advertising changed how products are marketed from a “needs-only” basis to a “wants” basis.  This change was thought at the time to be a savior of American democracy.  Dichtersaid, “The consumer may have basic needs that the consumer himself or herself doesn’tunderstand.  Is it wrong to give people what they want by taking away their defenses?”  What is your answer to his question?
  3. What have you learned from the video about the use of psychology in marketing that motivates marketers to target certain market segments? 

Watch from 18 minutes 10 seconds (18:10) to Twenty-five minutes, fifty-three seconds (25:53) of “The Engineering of Consent” video:


Note: You may also want to watch the first segment of the 4-part documentary entitled “The Century of the Self — Happiness Machines” for further understanding.  It is quite interesting and you get to see a lot of very old films from the early part of the 20th century.

“Happiness Machines” video: