Up, Close and Personal with the Unconscious

“I”, the user is a mystery. Sometime in the 19th century a great man called Freud suggested that only 1/10th of what I do, is actually the result of my logical thinking. The rest 9/10ths is governed by my unconscious self – a repository of my emotions, my past experiences and such other things which I choose to hide from the outside world and sometimes from my own self too.

It is this ‘unconscious’ part of me that has lately become the pivotal point of major marketing decisions. My fears, my anxieties, my joys and my comfort factors all have found an echo in the marketing strategies of all major and minor brands. Though I do not like the idea of being ‘sold to’, I simply love the idea of ‘buying’. And this love is what marketers are exploiting to the core.

I am bombarded with advertisements almost every minute of my waking hours. No matter I am online, or watching the TV or just walking on the streets, something or the other is being sold to me. My conscious mind might not register everything but my unconscious self stores everything in its repository. So the next time I plan to buy a dress online, the discount coupon in my mail inbox from Myntra suddenly flashes in my memory and I just happen to land up on their site.

Being a girl I simply love the idea of looking good. Many a times I have wasted hours (which could have otherwise been more productive) hunting for beauty and spa deals on Snapdeal, Crazeal and the likes. I may not really need an immediate pedicure or a body massage, but if there is a good offer, why not?

One friend once seeing me buy flight tickets from MakeMyTrip asked why don’t I try Cleartrip? It has a cleaner UI and supposedly a better navigation. But I have been using MakeMyTrip since the time I first booked tickets online. My old PG uncle’s son worked at MakeMyTrip and I feel somewhat duty bound to help him. It is another matter that I have not met my PG uncle since four years now.

And I am not the only one whose unconscious self is on sale. My sister is a well educated, fairly net savvy individual residing in one of the biggest metropolitan city of India but she never uses her debit card online. Why? What if the information leaks out from their system! And before you write her off as a lost lead let me add, she loves shopping online but only uses Cash-on-delivery option. She is ready to pay 100 bucks etc. which some of these sites charge for COD but not ready to give out her card credentials.

Some wise men think that my conscious and my unconscious self always run parallel. My unconscious takes the decision and my conscious tries to find a logical justification to it. So while I try to sound logical by appreciating the processing speed of Mac, it is actually the ‘Wow’ factor it adds to my status that lures me to it.

Kierkegaard , a 19th century philosopher , once said “Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask?” Perhaps that midnight hour is here and marketers are leaving no stones unturned to exploit these mask-less faces but are we as consumers ready to face this onslaught? I leave this question unanswered, may be for the last time, for my conscious self.

Author Bio: I am a freelance writer based out of Bangalore. I write about books, movies, technology, entrepreneurship, social media … in short anything and everything that affects my life in some way or the other.  I blog at  Kaleidoscope.




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Comment by Rahul Ramchandani on October 17, 2012 at 5:38pm

Really nice read.

"Its not what you think. Its what you dont know you think that makes you wake up in middle of the night!"

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