It was Freud (check me out), who came up with the concept of sublimination as a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms are tools we use to deflect people seeing our issues/feelings or even to hide those issues/feelings from ourselves.
Being Freud he believed that sublimination was a result of deep instinctual sexual drives, and because these sexual drives were socially unacceptable, individuals would use sublimination to channel these sexual urges into succeeding in other more socially acceptable areas, maybe science or the arts, anything to distract from what was truly going on. So basically, you have a feeling that you don’t want to share or feel that its unacceptable, so instead you take up a new sport for example and put all that pent up frustration/desire/anger into that.
Now I like Freud but the man was pretty obsessed with sex, however when it comes to sublimination and subliminal messages I reckon we can apply freud theory to the alcohol advertisers of today.
Beware of the Ad man/woman
Advertising relies heavily on psychology, and finding out what makes people tick, from placement of products on supermarket shelves, to super expensive adverts suggesting the perfect life of only you buy their product.
Let’s apply this to alcohol, we know its causes millions of pounds worth of damage each year, we know at the weekends in the UK the NHS and emergency services are under incredible strain from individuals being drunk. We know that alcohol is addictive and is a known carcogen. We know worldwide over 3 million deaths are as a direct result of drinking alcohol and is responsible for over 5% of the global burden of disease.
It is freely available and in many cultures actively encouraged.
Want fun? Add alcohol
Want to commiserate? Add alcohol
Want to be glamorous? Add alcohol
But if you get addicted and lose everything you are weak.
Alcohol advertising is everywhere, from daft signs that get displayed in houses and bars across the world to make us feel better about consuming a carcogenic poison to million pound beer adverts at sporting events.
I wonder what the signs would read if we were honest about alcohol?
Would we advertise class A drugs in the same way? ‘Want to chill out after a tough day a work’? Do some heroin or instead of wine Wednesday, let’s have crystal meth Tuesday. It wouldn’t happen. OK ok, I know these are illegal drugs, but a certain report by Professor Nutt, established alcohol as the most harmful from all the drugs they investigated, and part of its danger is becsue it is widely available and totally accepted by society.
Often advertising is seen as harmless, we don’t think about it too much, but you can bet your backside, someone somewhere is being paid a bundle to think about it and how best to get into the potential customers subconscious.
Freud was right, and advertisers use subliminal messages to dress alcohol up, putting poison in pretty packages and use it as a distraction from the dark truth.
The sober movement is gaining momentum but there is a long way to go, we sober warriors need to keep pushing back against the tide. We are regularly being sold a lie and this one is quite literally poison.
Till next time