The Marketer’s Gaze: Storytelling In A Digital Age

By Ginger Shimp

I write this in the wee hours of the morning after a long day of conference calls, and to say I’m punchy is a bit of an understatement. I’m accompanied by the far end of my cable television service. On channel 357 I found, appropriately enough, a rerun of the 1963 TV show, “The Outer Limits.” For those who don’t recall the show, it features an iconic opening in which the announcer intones:

“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur … or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to ― The Outer Limits.”

Somehow, in the early morning hours, the paranoia is more palpable. Is the television set really in control? As long as I don’t grab for the remote, I am forced to concede it so.

In the same way, as long as you, my fellow marketer, don’t close this browser window, I’m in control of the discussion here. I could make the next paragraph about something completely irrelevant if I want to.

Did you know that there are 35 species of water lilies in the northern hemisphere? Additionally, there are numerous hybrid water lilies. One, the Mexican water lily, is an invasive species.

See what I did there? I told you I could.

Back to the subject at hand.

Jacques Lacan, the noted mid-twentieth century French intellectual psychoanalyst/ philosopher touched on this subject, but given that I know very little about psychology, philosophy, or paranoid French intellectuals, it’s of little help. The only thing I can tell you is this: He noted that when a child sees his reflection in a mirror for the first time, that child realizes that he can be regarded by others from an external perspective. In short, we are being watched. We are being judged.

But …

Can we be manipulated by the gaze of others?

Before the Age of Enlightenment, people believed in the “emission theory” of sight. It was thought that some sort of rays emanating from one’s eyes were responsible not only for sight, but also for the ability to affect the world around us. This is where the concepts of “the evil eye” or “the all-seeing eye” come from. Check out that freaky eyeball on the back of your dollar bill: are the rays going into the eye … or emanating from it? This idea is also responsible for phrases Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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