Page images
PDF
EPUB

everything tastes which I have eaten, but dividuals in their ability to form certain I cannot imagine the taste of a thing classes of mental images. which I have not touched to my tongue. All persons seem to be able to form Analogous descriptions could be given of at least unclear and indistinct visual images of movements, of smell, of touch, images; most persons seem to have some of heat, of cold, of pressure, and of pain. ability in forming auditory images ; very

We have no direct knowledge of the many can imagine movements with some minds of our neighbors ; we assume that degree of satisfaction. There are many their thinking is very much like ours, for who cannot imagine how pickles taste; their actions — outward expressions of others cannot imagine the odor of a thought -- are so similar to ours. It was flower. There are persons who have a formerly assumed that, given any partic- limited ability to form all sorts of images, ular object of thought, all normal minds but most persons have a very decided would reach the same conclusion con ability for one class and a corresponding cerning it, and, furthermore, the differ weakness for others. This difference in ent stages in the line of thought and the ease with which certain classes of the “mind stuff" would be the same images can be formed, as well as the difthroughout. Such a conception is wholly ference in individuals in imagining differfalse. Normal minds reach different ent classes of sensations, is followed with conclusions under apparently identical practical consequences. outward circumstances, but there is a In a former age the seller, the buyer, greater difference in the terms of thought, and the commodity were brought toor the mind stuff with which the think- gether. The seller described and exhibing is done. One man thinks in terms of ited his wares. The buyer saw the sight. He is said to be “ eye-minded.” goods; heard of them, tasted them, smelt His thinking is a rapid succession of pic- them, felt, and lifted them. He tested tures. When he thinks of a violin he them by means of every sense organ to thinks rather how it looks than how it which they could appeal. In this way the sounds.

buyer became acquainted with the goods. Another man thinks in terms of sound. His perception of them was as complete He is "ear-minded.” His thinking is a as it could be made. In these latter days succession of sounds. When he thinks the market-place has given way to the of his friends he hears their voices, but office. The consequent separation of buycannot possibly imagine how they look. er, seller, and commodity made the comHe does not know that there are other mercial traveler with his sample case seem possible forms of thought, and so assumes a necessity. But, with the growing volthat all people think in terms of sound ume of business, and with the increased as he does. If he should describe a need for more economical forms of transbattle his description would be full of acting business, the printed page, as a the roar and tumult of the strife. An form of advertisement, has superseded other man is “motor-minded." He the market-place, and is, in many cases, thinks in terms of movements. Even displacing the commercial traveler. In when he looks at a painting he whispers this transition from the market-place and inaudibly to himself a description of the the commercial traveler to the printed painting. Later when he describes the page, the advertiser must be on his guard picture to a friend he may do it in the to preserve as many as possible of the terms which he whispered to himself good features of the older institutions. when he was looking at the picture. In the two older forms of barter all the

Thus it has been found that there are senses of the purchaser were appealed to, great personal differences in normal in if possible, and in addition to this the VOL. XCIII. No. 555.

3

word of mouth of the seller was added One of the great weaknesses of the preto increase the impressions, and to call sent day advertising is found in the fact special attention to the strong features that the writer of the advertisement fails of the commodity. In the printed page to appeal thus indirectly to the senses. the word of mouth is the only feature How many advertisers describe a piano which is of necessity entirely absent. In so vividly that the reader can hear it ? deed, the printed page cannot appeal How many food products are so described directly to any of the senses except the that the reader can taste the food ? How eye, but the argument may be of such a many advertisements describe a perfume nature that the reader's senses are ap so that the reader can smell it ? How pealed to indirectly through his imagina- many describe an undergarment so that tion.

the reader can feel the pleasant contact The function of our nervous system is with his body ? Many advertisers seem to make us aware of the sights, sounds, never to have thought of this, and make feelings, tastes, etc., of the objects in our no attempt at such descriptions. environment, and the more sensations The cause of this deficiency is twofold. we receive from an object the better we In the first place, it is not easy in type to know it. The nervous system which does appeal to any other sense than that of not respond to sound or to any other of sight. Other than visual images are the sensible qualities is a defective ner difficult to awaken when the means emvous system. Advertisements are some ployed is the printed page. In the sectimes spoken of as the nervous system of ond place, the individual writers are defithe business world. That advertisement cient in certain forms of mental imagery, of musical instruments which contains and therefore are not adepts in describing nothing to awaken images of sound is a articles in terms which to themselves are defective advertisement. That advertise not significant. This second ground for ment of foods which contains nothing to failure in writing effective advertiseawaken images of taste is a defective ad ments will be made clear by the examples vertisement. As our nervous system is taken from current advertisements which constructed to give us all the possible are quoted below. sensations from objects, so the advertise A piano is primarily not a thing to ment which is comparable to the nervous look at or an object for profitable investsystem must awaken in the reader as ment, but it is a musical instrument. It many different kinds of images as the might be beautiful and cheap, but still object itself can excite.

be very undesirable. The chief thing A person can be appealed to most easi about a piano is the quality of its tone. ly and most effectively through his domi- Many advertisers of pianos do not seem nating imagery. Thus one who has vis to have the slightest appreciation of this ual images that are very clear and dis- fact. tinct appreciates descriptions of scenes. When they attempt to describe a The one who has strong auditory im- piano they seem as men groping in the agery delights in having auditory images dark. Their statements are general and awakened. It is in general best to meaningless. As an example of such a awaken as many different classes of im failure the advertisement of the Knabe ages as possible, for in this way variety Piano is typical: is given, and each reader is appealed to in

The KNABE the sort of imagery which is the most pleasing to him, in which he thinks most Its successful growth and experireadily, and by means of which he is ence of nearly seventy years guarmost easily influenced.

antees to new friends the greatest

degree to tried and tested excel Many of the advertisements of the lence, judged from any stand Emerson, Weber, Everett, and of a few point of criticism or comparison. other piano firms are equally poor atWM. KNABE & CO.

tempts to present the desirable features New YORK BALTIMORE WASHINGTON of pianos.

This is a half-page advertisement, but In recent advertisements of the Blait contains no illustration, makes no re sius piano an attempt is made to present ference to tone or to any other quality of a piano as a musical instrument. A music, and does not even suggest that the music score is used as the background Knabe is a musical instrument at all. of the advertisement; there is a cut of a Many advertisers describe the appearance young lady playing the piano ; and in and durability of the case or the cost of the text appear these expressions: “ Exthe entire instrument, but ordinarily their cellent tone,” “the sweetest tone I ever statements are so general that the adver heard,” “sweet and melodious in tone," tisement could be applied equally well “ like a grand church organ for power to perfumes, fountain pens, bicycles, au and volume : and a brilliant, sweet-toned tomobiles, snuff, or sausages, but would piano in one." Thus the background, be equally inefficient if used to advertise the illustration, and the text all unite to any of them. They do not describe or awaken images of sound, and to suggest refer in any way to the essential charac- that about a piano which is the real teristics of a piano. They awaken no ground for desiring such an instrument. images of sound ; they do not make us In determining which foods I shall eat hear a piano in our imagination. it is a matter of some importance to know

The following is a quotation in full of how the goods are manufactured, what an advertisement of the Vose Piano, but the prices are, how they are prepared for with the words “sewing machine” sub- the table, and whether they are nourishstituted for “piano.” This advertise ing or harmful to my system. ment, like the one quoted above, contains essential element, however, is the taste. no illustration, and it will be noted that When I look over a bill of fare I choose there is nothing in the text which does not what I think will taste good. When I apply equally well to a sewing machine. order groceries I order what pleases and

tickles my palate. I want the food that VOSE

makes me smack my lips, that makes my SEWING MACHINES

mouth water. Under these circumstances Have been Established over 51 Years all other considerations are minimized to They are perfect examples of sewing the extreme. machine strength. The Construction of In advertisements of food products it the Vose is the result of fifty years of is surprising to note that many foods are development and the application of the advertised as if they had no taste at all. highest mechanical skill to the produc- One would suppose that the food was to tion of each separate part.

be taken by means of a hypodermic inBy our easy payment plan, every family in jection, and not by the ordinary process moderate circumstances can own a fine sewing of taking the food into the mouth and machine. We allow a liberal price for old in- hence into contact with the organ of struments in exchange, and deliver the sewing

taste. The advertisers seem to be at a machine in your house free of expense. You can deal with us at a distant point the same as

loss to know what to say about their in Boston. Send for our descriptive catalogue H, foods, and so have, in many cases, exwhich gives full information.

pressed themselves in such general terms VOSE & SONS SEWING MACHINE CO.' that their advertisements could be ap

161 BOYLSTON EET, BO on, Mass. plied to any product whatever.

The one

The following is the complete text of a when I read them I feel sure that Nafull-page advertisement which appeared bisco would agree with me. in recent magazines. The only change is This illustration of the

way

in which that here we have substituted "scouring one chapter of psychology (Mental Imsoap" for the name of the commodity : agery) can be applied to advertising is but “The grocer's smile. The smile that one of a score of illustrations which could wont come off.

grocer said,

be given. Psychology has come to be one More scouring soap the

of the most fascinating of all the sciences, No other brand will do instead ;

and bids fair to become of as great pracAnd o'er his kindly features spread tical benefit as physics and chemistry. As The smile that won't come off.

these latter form the theoretical basis for Look for the coupon in the package." all forms of industry which have to do

The illustration was that of a grocer with matter, so psychology must form thel looking at a package which might as well theoretical basis for all forms of endeavor have been scouring soap as Quaker Oats. which deal with mind. There is nothing to suggest taste.

The householder in glancing through Some advertisers of food are evidently his morning paper has his attention chronic dyspeptics, and take it for grant- caught by the more attractive advertised ed that all others are in the same condi ments. The mechanic in going to and tion. They have nothing to say about from his place of employment whiles their foods except that they have won away his time in looking at the display derful medicinal properties. To me a cards in the trolley or the elevated cars. food which is only healthful savors of hos The business man can scarcely pass a day pitals and sickrooms, and is something without being forced to look at the adwhich a well man would not want. vertisements which stare at him from the

There are other advertisers who appre bill boards. The members of the family ciate the epicurean tendency of the ordi turn over the advertising pages in their nary man and woman. They describe favorite magazine, not because they are food in such a way that we immediate forced to, but because they find the adly want what they describe. The man vertisements so interesting and instrucwho wrote the following advertisement tive. These persons are oblivious to the belongs to this class : “ That very old enormous expense which the merchant proverb about reaching the heart of a has incurred in securing these results. man is best exemplified with Nabisco su They are unconscious of the fact that the gar wafers. A fairy sandwich with an results secured are the ones sought for, upper and a lower crust of indescribable and that in planning the advertising camdelicacy, separated with a creamy flavor paign the merchant has made a study of of lemon, orange, chocolate, vanilla, the minds of these same householders, strawberry, raspberry, or mint. Ask for mechanics, business men, and members your favorite flavor.” The picture repre of the family. Advertising is an essensents a beautiful young lady presenting a tial factor in modern business methods, gentleman with the commodity described. and to advertise wisely the business man

This advertisement has character and must understand the workings of the individuality. Its statements could not minds of his customers, and must know be applied to anything but foods, and, in- how to influence them effectively, — he deed, to nothing but Nabisco. They do must know how to apply psychology to not say that Nabisco is healthy, but advertising.

Walter D. Scott.

BACHELOR'S FANCY.

her ways.

CYNTHIA GALE sat by the window in long road. Her first memories were of the long shed chamber, her hands at mo the poorhouse near the sea, where her mentary ease. She was a slight, sweet mother, a sad waif out of the drift of creature, with a delicate skin, and hair life, had been swept, to die. Cynthia etherealized by ashen coverts. Her eyes knew nothing about her father, except were dark, and beauty throbbed into that he drank and played the violin. them with drifting thoughts. Cynthia People said he invented things, what was tired. She had been at work at things she never heard. He was clever the loom since the first light of day, and with his hands and brain; but nothing he now she had given up to the languor of had was used to his own advantage. He completed effort, her head thrown back, was one of life's pensioners. Cynthia, her arms along the arms of the chair, growing up at the poorhouse, seemed to in an attitude of calm. Her hair had have no more to do with life as it is than slipped from its coil, and fallen on he. She did the housework set her as either side of her face in gentle dis her portion with an absent care, and array. She was very lovely.

then escaped into the open for some The room, the scene of her toil and mysterious sustenance that she underresting, was dark with age and signifi stood as little as the people who watched cant in tokens of a disused art. The

There were hours when, loom stood well in the centre, its great tramping inland, she lay prone under upright beams obstructing the light the pines in the pasture, smelling at life from window to window. All about and very happy. There were more when were the lesser implements of a weav she sat looking at a great island of fern, er's trade: the linen wheel, the reels entranced by something she could not and swifts. On a chest were skeins of apprehend, and had no need to, because indigo-blue yarn Cynthia had dyed, and feeling was enough. Though she did near by, the flaxen thread she had un her tasks, she was called lazy, and she earthed from an ancient hoard under lived, in a sense, apart from people unthe rafters. At last, she knew how to til one day Andrew Gale, driving about weave. She had walked a weary way to buy cattle, met her in the country in the pursuit of her trade, and now she road as she was coming home like Ruth had reached the first of many goals. from her gleaning, only that Cynthia's

The stillness of the autumn day made arms were piled with golden-rod instead a great world about her where every of grain. Her eyes were brimming thing was happy because everything was with still happiness. Her cheeks bad busy. A woodpecker settled on the a bloom over their summer tan. Anlocust outside, and began drumming. drew caught his breath and stared again. She looked out at him from the idle. The next day, after patient watching, ness of a well-earned rest, and smiled. he found her by the sea, and again he It seemed to her a wonderful earth met her when she went to gather grapes. where there was so much to do. From In a month he married her and took her first to last, she saw, creation moved home to the great house where he had and toiled, and she moved with it. lived alone since his mother's death, Without conscious thought, she felt the with only old Hannah to do the work strength and beauty of the twisting in a perfect fashion that left him lonechain.

lier than before, in the solitude made Cynthia had come to happiness by a by her deaf ears.

« PreviousContinue »