As the Lilienfeld text says in chapter 6, "Few people grasp the principles of classical conditioning...better than advertisers". Since advertisements bombard us everyday on the radio, television, and billboards, I think classical conditioning is a very important concept for everyone to understand. It is a source of learning where an animal or human comes to respond to a previously neutral stimulus when it is paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. In layman's terms, classical conditioning is a type of association. In the commercial above, there is an unconditioned stimulus, the beautiful Amazonian women. Such women tend to elicit a natural or unconditioned response, arousal and other positive emotions. The women are paired with Axe Body Spray, the conditioned stimulus. This association then elicits the conditioned response, the desire to purchase Axe Body Spray. I chose to use the Axe Body Spray commercial as my example because it is one of the most shameless attempts at classical conditioning through advertisements that I could think of, because it elicits the idea that putting on Axe Body Spray will automatically cause thousands of beautiful women in bikinis will run like animals to get close to you.
By pairing products with upbeat music, A-list celebrities, and beautiful people, advertisers are conditioning viewers and listeners to buy their products. When I sat and thought about advertisements, I realized how susceptible I am to classical conditioning. I use Neutrogena face wash because I want flawless skin like Hayden Panettiere, an actress who probably spent hours in front of the mirror with a make-up artist, trying to achieve the "natural look". Furthermore, I am sure her skin was then airbrushed after the commercial was shot to make sure her face was blemish-free and smooth. I apply Lancome mascara because the advertisement makes me believe I will have eyes as sparkling as Julia Roberts. I also use hair products from Pantene because I believe it will make my hair as smooth and voluminous as Eva Mendes'. Since buyers like me are so susceptible to classical conditioning, advertisers are some of the most powerful people in the world.