All illusions are potential ways of ordering reality. The goal of criticism should therefore be not to destroy illusions but to make us more sensitive to their workings and their complexity.
Vance Packard was an American journalist who wrote an influential book, The Hidden Persuaders in 1957. The book offered a popularized but serious look at America's postwar prosperity and the explosion of consumerism. The book exposed the growing and potentially harmful influence of the nation's advertising industry. He wrote, "Many of us are being influenced and manipulated, far more than we realize, in the patterns of our everyday lives." He was among the first to describe subliminal advertising, a concept which captured the public's imagination even though advertisers disputed their use of these techniques.