The flashy advertisements put out by cynical advertising companies today might seem harmless, but for several reasons TV advertisements are bad for your brain. I am not suggesting that advertising is bad in all cases, but generally there are three major problems with TV advertisements.
Problem one: distraction from important information. One reason that TV advertisements are bad for your brain is that their subject matter is almost always trivial and unimportant. On rare occasions, and add might actually contain useful information, but generally it is merely a distraction. Advertising is bad if it makes you focus on something trivial when you could be focusing on something important. The cynical advertising companies that turnout low end advertising are aware of the problem, and do everything in their power to make trivial things seem important to viewers. It should be comical when we see actors in a TV commercial acting like it matters what kind of toothpaste someone uses, but at some level your mind accepts such impossibilities as legitimate when they’re presented frequently. At a minimum, such banal advertising consumes our conscious minds focus when it could be focusing on something that matters.
Problem two: appeal to your mind’s basest motives. Cynical advertising companies use sexually provocative ads to sell everything from lingerie to hamburgers. These ads are bad for your brain because they appeal to your minds least worthy motives. Advertising is bad when it lowers people’s moral sensitivities or treats people like mere animals. There are, of course, some uplifting commercials out there, but they are few and far between. Most ads seek to be sexy, mouthwatering, hedonistic, or whatever else they need to be in order to get us to buy products that we don’t need.
Recent three: training us to have short attention spans. TV advertising is bad because the constant movement and flashiness teaches us to have very limited powers of focus. A 90-second TV spot does not leave much room for exposition. Cynical advertising companies know this and fill their limited time slots with as much motion and bling as possible. Consumers would be better served by a more deliberate approach. It would be a beautiful world is advertising companies presented logical, well reasoned arguments in their ads; unfortunately, a have learned that they get more mileage out of emotionally charged, visceral ads.
If you wonder why TV advertisements are bad for your brain, just consider the arguments described above. TV advertising is bad for your brain — and cynical advertising companies know it — because it distracts you from important information, appeals to your mind’s basest motives, and trains us to have short attention spans.