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Innovation, comparison and aspiration

One of the main ways ads have an effect is through the portrayal of someone the target audience aspires to be. Enormous thought, effort and investment is put into choosing exactly the right actors for the ad, making sure they are someone the target audience admires and that they are wearing exactly the right clothes and depicted in exactly the right environment.

Some advertisers defend the constant pressure to acquire more, look more 'perfect' and spend more money. They say it encourages progress…

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What has been deleted?

We were talking about creativity the other day and my mother said “I don’t have a creative bone in my whole body”. This is a woman who brought up two children, one seriously ill, who managed a household through her husband’s battle with cancer and developed a very successful career as a single parent. She found ways to be in two different hospitals, in the office and looking after a child simultaneously. She has written 15 books.  She found ways to manage school pick ups and holidays. She would …

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"To enjoy good ...

"To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him." Buddha

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Question 'reality'

To have my two children I went through three rounds of IVF and 10 attempts at re-implanting frozen embryos.  I did the final round in a controversial London clinic which had a reputation for the ferocious intensity of the treatment. For over a month I had daily blood tests and ultrasound which the clinicians used to prescribe specific amounts of hormones to be injected - usually two or three different injections a day in the stomach and bottom.

I remember one day, half way through the treatment m…

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The Sirens’ call

In Homer’s Odyssey, the Sirens sing in the sweetest, most beguiling voices to lure sailors to their death.

Everyday there are thousands of beguiling voices using ever cleverer ways to attract us eg. with humor, drama, friends, protest, shock, envy.  Attention determines what we will be conscious of at any given moment. What we are conscious of is our experience of reality. Our attention is therefore the basis of our experience of life.

Do we really want to allow our existence to be at the mercy of…

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Protest

Advertising and communication can have a hypnotic effect. They create bright, attractive, aspirational worlds that we most often encounter when we relax into the suspended reality of a magazine, film or tv programme.

If we are not careful we can float into unconscious acceptance of everything that the ad is projecting.

When we look back at archived ads we can see how racist, sexist, insulting and degrading many of them are. The cultural acceptance of disrespect to certain groups was so strong that…

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Who is in the car with you?

When I was a relatively junior consultant in a PR agency, I was responsible for running a specific meeting with a very volatile client and it soon became clear that his view of the purpose of the meeting was not at all the same as the one I had planned for.  Within 30 minutes of it starting he stormed out of the room, shouting to my boss at the  other at the office that this was the worst meeting he had ever been in. I spent the whole afternoon crying in the toilets. Eventually I made it out, cr…

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We live in the map not the world

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Neurolinguistic programming distinguishes between the ‘map’ and the ‘territory’. The map is the representation of the world that we have in our minds. The map is our reality but it is not the ‘territory’, which is the vast flux of space and atoms that make up the world., the universe and beyond. We live our lives through this map, our own version of reality.

The important thing to constantly remember is that it is just a map, our own creation which we have the power to change and evolve into th…

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Become aware of what you can’t perceive

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There is an enormous amount of sensory information swirling around us that our human sense organs are not able to detect. There are clear limits to human sensory detection. Each species has its own set of limits. Bats, dogs, dolphins are living in a completely different sensory experience than ours.  ‘Reality’ is species specific.

There is also an enormous amount of information that is detected by our sense organs but which because of personal subconscious filters does not enter our consciousne…

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Choose your train carefully

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A man was on a train.

He looked out of the window as the train passed through the station.

What an ugly place he thought.

The train carried on.

The surroundings were gloomy and miserable.

"I don’t like this journey at all. This isn’t where we should be going," he said to his friend.

His friend looked at him in confusion: ‘You are the driver. There is no one else. ”

Thoughts come into our consciousness. If we fuel the thought with energy and emotion, it quickly leads to another, cre…

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