Instructor: Aaron Ahn
Advertising Techniques Persuade Consumers
I was humming to myself the other day, it turned out to be an old seventies song, then the lyrics struck me, “Signs, signs,
everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind, Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Then I remembered this assignment. Advertising has infected everything around us
from lyrics to product placement just short of knocking on the door to take your money (well, they knock on the door too). The messages can be good or bad, informative or even persuasive. We will
be looking more into the persuasive side of advertising and the techniques used on consumers.
First technique advertisers use is multiple platforms to advertise from, billboards, radio, newspapers, flyers, TV, internet, on the backs of athletes, on open spaces on sport fields, and just
about anywhere one could imagine. They even use us consumers as walking billboards. Just take a second and look at the shoes your wearing. Who do you advertise for? One could try to get away from
persuasive ads but it’s nearly impossible. I was on a hike way back in the giant trees; far enough away I couldn’t hear the roar of traffic or a hum of a plane, what did I see, garbage, a can soda
pop. No need to say the name of the product, the can was cased in bright colors and was covered with ads. We as consumers are harassed like a young child would harass their parents on the breakfast
cereal aisle. A relentless bombardment of advertisements from every angle, and like a tired parent we give into these ads.
Second technique advertisers try to use is to tap into the ego and make consumers feel that their product is needed to look beautiful and to be surrounded by beautiful people (the in crowd). Either
you’re in or you’re out. Perfect hair, bright teeth and boobs is what it is all about. If I drink a particular type of beer I will all the sudden be part of the in crowd. Who doesn’t want to be
part of the in crowd? And if one doesn’t want to be part of the in crowd they will still be bombarded with the message that they should.
Third technique advertisers use is to manipulate consumer’s fears with the scare tactic. “Your house is covered in germs”, oh no I need their product so my kid doesn’t stick things in their mouths
and ingest cooties. I’m sure anyone with a TV has seen disinfectant commercials. Those ads scare me the most for some reason, I start looking around the room and I can see germs multiply at an
exponential rate. And that’s not counting the germs I’m not seeing. I’m not a clean freak or a germ-o-phobic like Howie from Deal or No Deal but those ads show me how those people feel. Sometimes
the scare tactic can be used for good things too, like if one is over the age of such and such these precautions can be taken to insure longer healthier life.
There is one type of commercial that one would think was just a good message with no strings attached, like ask your kids questions, spend time with them, tell them you love them, but at the end of
the ad there is a plug. This message was brought to you by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Even though the message has a good underlying message they are still selling themselves.
Gag me with religion. If we can’t pray in schools they shouldn’t be able to bring it into my house at any hour of the day. Go ahead, make commercials with good messages just don’t push your
religion on me in my own home (they knock on my door too). Ok, this last paragraph was my soapbox and I’ll get off it now.
Advertising techniques have been refined boiled down and scientifically proven to brainwash consumers into needing their products. It’s you the consumer against a team of scientist, professional
sellers with many years experience and studies. Doesn’t seem far, it’s hard enough as an adult to combat these ads and to separate fact from fiction, think of the young kids that can’t separate
truths from lies. I would like to see more regulation on ads. And I would also like to see way less of them.
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