Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 12.03.36The University of Sunderland is holding the latest installment of their FREE Community Lecture Series next week (June 17), this time investigating how advertisers manage to convince us to buy their products.

Techniques of Persuasion: the Psychology of Advertising is a talk by Professor David Sanders, former Head of the Department of Psychology at the University, showing how our unconscious mind and basic instincts are being appealed to by big companies.

With advertising spend at an estimated £20bn per year in the UK alone, marketing is big business and highly competitive, so the slightest edge in knowledge or understanding can bring with it lucrative success.

Professor Sanders first joined what was then Sunderland Polytechnic in 1976 and remained at the University until his retirement in 2012.

He said: “As soon as we realise someone is trying to sell us something, the natural response is to resist.  Advertisers therefore try to get around this resistance in a number of different ways, some subtle, some not so subtle, often to persuade us to buy things we don’t need, or are actually harmful.

“This lecture looks at a variety of techniques advertisers have used to promote cake mix, cars, cigarettes and chocolate, and is illustrated by TV adverts from the last 60 years.  Hopefully the talk will be entertaining as well as informative, and will influence the audience to look at advertising in a slightly different light.”

The University of Sunderland’s Community Lectures, now in their 20th year, are FREE and open to all. Each entertaining lecture is given by authoritative speakers at the award winning Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s.

Lectures start at 2:30pm and last approximately one hour. There is no need to book but those attending are asked to arrive at the Prospect Building between 2pm and 2:30pm to register before the lecture begins.

There is (pay) parking in the grounds of the campus and St Peter’s Metro Station is within a few minutes walking distance. Alternatively the regular 700 bus service runs from Park Lane Bus Station to St. Peter’s Campus itself.

For more information about the 2015 Community Lectures Series contact Leigh Johnson on (0191) 515 3169, or

2015 Community Lectures Series

June 17 – Professor David Sanders – Techniques of Persuasion: the Psychology of Advertising

July 15 – Mrs Maureen Martin – Four Saxon churches of the North East

August 12 – Sharon Vincent – The Mitford Sisters

September 9 – Dr Robert McManners – Shafts of Light