Monday, April 27, 2015


If you want to get someone's attention....Whisper. 

Does anyone else remember that ad?

It was so accurate that it lasts in my head to this day and it, surely, it was sometime in the 80's when it was out. I believe it was for a perfume? No one else could remember, exactly, when I searched for it. That shows that it was an invalid ad unless the perfume was called Whisper, in my opinion.

But the Madison Avenue guys got it right on target. Who turns around when they hear a whisper? Who leans in closer to understand what's being said? Who will pay more attention to your whisper than your yelling? Everyone! Sorry, everyone.

There is a lot to be said for body language and many have focused on that for personal and business reasons, in modeling, politically, and in advertising, of course. There are plenty of sources written about using the same concept in marketing of the effect of "whispering". It's been shown over thousands of years, it is just as effective in interpersonal communication and in manipulation. It's obnoxious ads that annoy us and can actually cause anxiety and stress-responses. They've figured that out. That's why those cute little cartoons or happy families are in the ads with pleasant music for pharmaceuticals with the gentle voice telling you the drug may cause gastric distress, psychotic episodes and death.

There was a time when the public was convinced we were receiving subliminal messages in advertising, in films, in the music we listen to, and more. Have a look at the John Carpenter movie called, "They Live"*, with the one of the best scenes between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David in an alley. The public may not be wrong. Would we really know how influenced the average Joe is in daily living without closer examination? (I love increasing paranoia in others! Just kidding!)

Manipulation of our senses and our subconscious mind does happen, through media sources, the Internet, in stores with the music they play, where items are placed on shelves, and even in classrooms. You study this in school and actually can receive a degree in Manipulation, I'm sorry, Marketing.

The result is non-reaction. It's as if the Human Whisperer is training us. I'd laugh if it were funny.

I've said before that what we tolerate now, we accept later. That has come true in many ways over years to the point we are no longer surprised by violent or sexual visuals in media forms or art. We've not only become comfortable but our apathy has increased. In fact, we are more likely to scroll past pictures and stories that would have brought shock to us before. The pictures aren't screaming at us. The news is quietly reporting the facts, and then some. We just get used to it because of how it's presented. We adapt. If it only targets our subconscious, we are not disturbed. Yet.

I think we've been whispered to sleep.

There is something to be said for whispering or at least speaking softly. If you do it in a quiet place but glance at others around, insecurities appear and people think you are speaking about them. (This happens when others speak in a different language, also.) If you whisper in a theater it's appreciated, unless the film's rolling. The man in the film whispers into an ear or stares into the eyes, and you get that he's a menacing character. But he's being listened to, isn't he? If you do it privately, it brings about softer emotions. If you do it in response to one who is angry, it may calm them. Or it may make them take your head off, if their meds haven't been adjusted properly. It's a shot in the dark on that one.

At the time your ire is up and you are ready to scream, try it instead and see what reaction you get. We may be able to stop wars with such a simple solution. Too much to hope?

Either way, a soft voice is supposed to turn away wrath.

P.S. Put on the glasses!*

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