Changing Behavior

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Does the media merely reflect the condition of society? Or does it shape behavior?

These questions have been debated intensely. Many TV producers and network executives have argued that their programs are just harmless entertainment, and they cannot be held responsible for the impact of their work. However, to understand the power of the media to shape opinions and change behavior, just ask any advertising agency.

Over time, some advertisers and agencies have thought of their work as an art or an exercise in creativity. But many of the giants of the advertising world had no question about how the media was to be used to shape thoughts and actions.

Rosser Reeves stressed that writing ads is not about creativity but selling: “If a copywriter isn’t a salesman, then he is a bad copywriter.” In 1953, seeking to correct what he thought were erroneous models, William Bernbach stated that advertising is “the art of persuasion.” And the classic motto of the Benton & Bowles advertising agency stated, “It’s not creative unless it sells.” The goal of these men was simple: to sell…to change behavior.

Today, many people seek to influence your life and change your thinking—to sell you on something! These aren’t just advertisers and marketers, but politicians, authors, and celebrities. Their arguments can sound convincing. But you need to realize that the words and images you hear and see are having an impact on your mind and your family. When you watch a program or hear a message, remember that someone wants to change your behavior, your ideas, and your life.

These are times to make sure your life is founded on faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t allow the secular media to shape your thoughts. Stand strong for Jesus. Commit your life to the Gospel. Live according to God’s unchanging Word.