Book by Anne Hart
Some people listen to the radio at night to relax or even to help them fall asleep. But with all the ads that begin with a loud telephone ringing, fast clicks, screams, beeps, ambulance or police car siren noise, and other noises, do you find your central nervous system suddenly over-aroused, perhaps to the point of anxiety or sudden awakening?
Does it feel like there's a speeding up of your body's electrical system, that your pulse increases, blood pressure rises, and you feel agitated or experience anxiety? Is the amygdala of your brain having a fear response or perhaps a feeling of over-arousal instead of relaxation and calmness?
How are the fast clicks affecting your vagus nerve and sense of quiet relaxation or ability to calm yourself after hearing a loud noise or very fast clicking sounds that seem to speed up your pulse or arouse your brain when you want to stay calm? Or is there an adrenaline rush that you don't want when you turn on the radio (or TV) to relax? Some people even put their radio on to fall asleep, that is, until the fast clicks, sirens, ringing phones, and sirens or screams wake them up as ads begin with those noises faster than you can turn off the overly-arousing advertisement.
Could some types of TV and radio special effects food advertising interrupt signals in your brain? Are crowd control techniques, without deploying actual scream machines, used on individual viewers of food and drug TV shock advertising? Are human screamers used to sell sugary snacks by increasing traumatic stress hormones? Be aware of the effects of distorted auditory stimulation.
The higher your stress hormones rise, the more you crave sweets, beverages, and comfort foods or even quick-fix pills. Advertisers are trying to get a rise out of you. When you're agitated, you gravitate toward the products being advertised.
Behind the fast-talking, loud voices on some TV and radio advertisements are quick, thumping clicks and beats. These are fast sob shocks, ticks, clicks, and booms that kick-start your brain and heart into beating faster.
You hear an undertone in some ads of beats that are so fast they arouse your autonomic nervous system. You watch the ad, hear the script, and listen to those ticks, clicks, thumps and beats, by which the hearts of cardiac patients are overstimulated.
You wish the beats and ticks were taken out of those ads, or at least timed to what the brain picks up as a 'normalizing' sync state of 50-60 beats a minute. At slightly less than 60 beats a minute, your brain and heart beat calm. You can learn with music at that speed playing in the background. That's what some types of classical music contain.
For example, listen to the sounds in some of the Advanced Brain Technologies recordings of classical music featuring those 50-60 beat per minute instrumentals designed for relaxation, learning, inspiration, thinking, de-stressing, or motivation. At that slower beat or undertone, such music or sounds help normalize some viewers' overstimulated autonomic nervous systems. But when you hear (or sense below the level of hearing) those fast, metronome-type beats or clicks in an ad, your heart rate speeds up and may soon jump to a faster rate that is in sync with the beats that you hear in the advertisement.
Only if you're falling asleep while driving could you want to hear that sound to wake you up. But those clicks are used in many TV and radio ads to arouse your autonomic nervous system. With some people, including many older adults, it's over-arousing. the latest weapons against crowd control to see what else screams (or loud, frightening ambulance and police sirens) can simulate and stimulate to sell food? Presently, one of the latest weapons against crowd control used by U.S. and foreign military forces is a scream device that simulates seasickness.
One loud scream from the machine and nobody feels like protesting anymore when they are hit with nausea, headaches, and buckling knees. The technology is something like the LRAD, short for Long Range Acoustic Device, used by U.S. forces in Iraq to control crowds.The scream device isn’t necessarily loud. It’s made of low frequencies at high intensities.
What it does is interrupt input signals in your brain so that you lose your balance. Even though you’re not tilting, you feel like you are, and that feeling causes the nausea and headaches similar to being sea sick. You lose your balance.
It can happen if similar frequencies, with those low-frequency sounds, are being emitted from industrial air conditioning units. Everyone in an office can become sick, and no contaminants would be found. No one would know unless the acoustics were tested. But cotton earplugs can filter out the sound.
This may be one less lethal way to control crowds, but the sad note is that advertising agencies are picking up the idea of scream advertising without actually using the military machines. They are using human screams to shock and traumatize some people in a way that imprints the viewer’s brain with the product.
It’s a brain imprinting similar to the way flashbacks in traumatic stress syndrome work where you remember the expression on the beautiful, young face with the scream and then the recall the product being advertised. It’s visual and auditory conditioning.
You’re tossed into a ‘hell’ of a negative place when you hear the scream, and then emotionally ‘dragged’ into the heavenly taste of the sugary snack.
Only it’s brief, and you only think of the relief of ending up on a positive note—eating the snack. The advertisement never mentions what the snack can do for your health or the benefits.
You only sense the raw adrenaline of the negative scream followed by your body’s release of insulin into your bloodstream at the sight of the snack being eaten. From the shock of a piercing scream, you’re transported to the pleasure of consuming food. You don’t know it, but you’ve just been mentally deflowered. The price you might pay is post-traumatic stress hormones that add up.
Have you just been imprinted? And it’s trauma you’ll remember because after the scream that hits you, comes the reward of the taste of the sugary product. If you have an under-aroused nervous system, you may welcome this type of advertisement to bring your brain up to normal arousal. But if you have an over-aroused nervous system to start with, you’re pretty much left trembling in the wind with stress hormones.
The same effects are produced in those ads telling you to be prepared by showing someone talking calmly when suddenly he gets punched in the face or hits his head on an object and is in your mind, seriously injured. The message is expect the unexpected.
Meanwhile, you’re the guinea pig for unexpected trauma to your brain. And the resultant stress syndrome, fear, and anxiety you feel as you lurch and breathe faster (due to a sudden adrenaline rise) are caused by your own stress hormones.
Ask your health professional whether watching this type of advertising actually shortens your life. Find out whether physiological tests actually have been done on real people watching specific scream and sudden shock advertisements.
Measure your blood pressure and heart beat rate before, during, and after watching a scream-centric advertisement on TV. Measure other physiological responses. Is it traumatic for you or not? Decide for yourself.
What happens is that you’re watching a serene, calm G-rated travel video, for example. Suddenly, a face appears on the screen with no warning. It’s a close up of a face, a young person’s face screaming loudly. The loud scream shocks you for a few seconds. It shocks you so deeply that if you measure your blood pressure and heart rate, it will shoot up, especially in sensitive people with over-aroused nervous systems prone to anxiety.
The scream is loud and the facial expression could be interpreted as someone who suddenly is surprised by something so moving (or painful) and so unexpected as to scream loudly and involuntarily. The scream shakes you. Then the scene quickly moves to the snack food product being advertised.
Other ads show people running and screaming to a vendor selling the snack product. Some ads even show children running and screaming loudly with high-pitched hair-raising screams. It’s shocking to the nervous system. At the end of the advertisement, you’re left shaken, disturbed, with narrower arteries, and with high blood pressure and a faster pulse. There’s no pleasure, no serenity, no harmony in watching the scream-based food advertisement. You simply want to click off the television and do a meditation to calm down.
The problem is shock advertising. First drug-related advertisements showed screaming ambulances with flashing lights, hospital gurneys following patients, and scenes of individuals suffering sudden serious illnesses without warning signs. The purpose focused on scaring people sick enough to call their doctors and ask whether they needed a drug or more tests. Then the advertising agencies for various snack foods, usually sweets, picked up on shock and scare drug advertising to imprint brains by suddenly starting a food-related advertisement with loud screams.
It could be a man opening a refrigerator door and screaming, a close up of a woman’s face screaming, or children screaming and running, even a crowd of women screaming and running toward a goal. What they are screaming and running toward is either a truck where a vendor is handing out the sweet snacks.
Or an adult (or several children) run towards a refrigerator door where they are handed another sweet snack by a parent or authority figure. Another advertisement features a young man opening a refrigerator door and screaming loudly. It’s not only disturbing. It makes some people sick.
Some of these sudden scream advertisements on suddenly, interrupting travel programs watched by the frail, low-mobility elderly and people with disabilities who can’t travel in real life. Retirees watch a lot of travel programs. The scream advertisements frequently appear in mid-morning when young people usually are at work or in school.
Who’s at home watching? Young mothers with infants and toddlers and retired people who aren’t out walking. Or people recovering from illness and operations. Almost no one would choose to be frightened into trembling by the loud screams of an advertisement for a sugary snack.
Most people’s first response at the loud scream is to turn off the TV. There’s one consolation, if you can call it that. The close-up of the young woman’s pretty face loudly screaming that suddenly flashes on the TV in the middle of a serene travel video is screaming in a certain way.
The corners of her mouth are turned up in a clown’s grin, even though her face is that of an attractive woman with natural-looking makeup. The advertisement wants your brain to recognize that there’s a smile on her face as she screams. But does your brain figure out in an instant that the grin is really a smile?
Look at the corners of her eyes. Are they also turned up? You don’t know what to figure. Has she just been stabbed close up? Or is she screaming with a smile because there’s a vendor over there there handing out that sugary snack food?
Why are advertisements so far-fetched from feelings in real life about a sugary snack food or drug? Cars aren’t advertised on TV with as much shock value as ads for food and drugs.
You don’t see advertisements for cleaning products suddenly appear on the screen with a screaming face. You see demonstrations of advantages and benefits. The advertisement is about what the cleaning product, broom, hair color tint, or vacuum cleaner can do for you. Apparently there’s not much a sugary snack can do for you. So the advertisements substitute a shocking, loud scream.
Vitamins, minerals, supplements, and books on healthy living appear in TV and radio infomercials and with guests interviewed on health-oriented radio shows much more than in the more expensive, brief TV advertisements. If I had a choice of what advertisement on TV to view of someone eating a sugary snack of one kind or another, it would never be presented by people who are screaming.
I’d like to hear soft music, view a nature landscape, gentle waterfall, rain, fog, beach and lake, flowers, pine trees, palms, mountain scenes, or the tropics, and vicariously enjoy the quiet pleasure of consuming the food item.Do people really need to see on TV advertisements for sugary snacks, frozen treats on sticks, sausages, and cereals? And why are so much of these foods appearing as advertising on children’s TV programming such as the morning cartoons?
The key words I’d prefer to experience in an advertisement are soothing and comfort in the sounds, moods, and textures of the advertisement and the food or any other product. Screams and scare advertising doesn’t work. It just makes the viewer withdraw from the source of anxiety.
Thrill-seekers featured on TV travel documentaries may not always have viewers/fans that also are thrill seekers. Thrill seekers may have those specific genes for risk-taking that may or may not be characterized by under-aroused nervous systems. Take into account, dear advertising agencies, that audiences want splendor, not screams.
Under-aroused nervous systems need to be stimulated with adrenaline-stimulating excitement such as sudden, loud screams, bungee jumps, and diving from 50 foot cliffs into deep waters just to bring their brains up to normal arousal level. But the general viewer may not be genetically under-aroused.
Most over-roused people’s nervous systems would prefer the serenity of an advertisement that brings them to a positive, happy garden
If you don't like the way food advertising on TV is presented, write to the advertising agencies that produce the screaming productions and to their clients as well as the shows that air the advertisements. Let them all know how the advertisements are affecting your health. Send them proof from physician's reports or exams showing what the advertisements are actually doing to you. Show them the evidence needed in print by writing letters that contain attached reports of the evidence. Perhaps someone will listen to what kind of food advertisements you'd prefer to see in the media.
Do you often see videos that are mild and acceptable because they don't suddenly cut from the regular TV show to the commercial and open instantly with a close-up face of a woman loudly screaming? If you watch ads on TV or online, do you still have time to hit the mute button before the screaming or siren or other shocking scene starts? Are you being frightened into buying a product?
Some loud-clicking, siren-wailing, phone ringing, or screaming TV ads offer no time to prepare for the scream. Is there a scene before the noise starts such as actors walking that signals you that it's time to screen out the screams, child-shouts, loud clicks, phone ringing, or ambulance sirens?
Do you even have a choice whether or not to hit the mute button or change channels? Do any actors walk calmly before the actual screaming noise starts to shatter your serenity?
Screaming, ringing, beeping, and loud, fast clicking noises are not necessary to sell a product. Show benefits. That's the way to find customers. Why advertise emotional immaturity when you can advertise responsibility and care for others, like in the ads showing couples of different generations walking hand in hand in a park-like setting (to sell a keepsake). The message is that love lasts.
In some TV and radio food, computer, and beverage ads, toy ads aimed at the very young, and at risk-takers, the ads may focus on stressing the viewers through distorted auditory sounds and/or flashing lights that induce the over-arousal of central nervous systems, quickening the heart beats of viewers/listeners, and possibly induces seizures in the vulnerable. The sounds and/or lights are supposed to wake up audiences to attention. You decide when or if that's what you want. Those ads are not for people with over-aroused nervous systems, the aged, or individuals vulnerable to stress-induced arrhythmia.
This domestic violence PSA (public service announcement) isn't an ad to sell food or medicine. Keira Knightley becomes the center of attention. This PSA played in theaters beginning on April 6. Directed by Joe Wright. When you go with your family to a movie theater, do you want to see this kind of public service announcement? You can write letters to the producers, the ad agencies, and their clients.
The decision is yours.Think about it. Aren't TV advertisements for food and other products emphasizing with humor, the scary side of life to sell information, food, medicine, or any tangible product? Would you prefer ads offering benefits and advantages? The message to advertisers is to show more values that the products offer to consumers. For PSA producers, show how to solve problems.