[ This fantastic doco is well worth a watch if you haven't seen it. ]
Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, invented the public relations profession in the 1920s
and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas and apply them to manipulating the masses.
Bernays showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn’t need
by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.
Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion,
using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.
Also see archive.org for all Adam Curtis’ productions: