Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Psychology Of Advertising

It's quite obvious that today's modern society is based on consumerism. It is very difficult to say if this is a good or a bad thing when you try to think about it in a very pragmatic manner.

For example, one can argue that "consumerism is bad" because it makes us buy things which we don't really need. That's a true fact which has multiple implications: distorted human value system, pollution, wasted natural resources, and so on.

On the other hand, one can claim that "consumerism is good" because it's sustaining the ever growing population of this planet.

Obviously, when we go shopping, we don't buy a TV because we think about some poor folks from Indonesia which will starve if the TV is not sold. We buy it because it is alluring to us,  because something in our brain is triggered and we choose that particular TV.

But what's that trigger? Do we decide to buy a particular product based on a rational set of thoughts which objectively decide that product A is better then B and C?

We like to thing that the answer is "Yes", but most of the time we are manipulated. That is not a bad thing, nor a good one, it is just the effect of the competition between companies for profit and their tool is called "The Psychology of Advertising".

Nowadays  the advertising and the psychology behind it is a stand alone business, and a science, which require many years of study and experience to master.
Without a proper education it's impossible to learn it just by browsing the forums and blogs, but we can scratch the surface and be aware of some of the methods applied.

Here is a very interesting video which deals with the methods of persuasion. The authors of the video have a very interesting website: Influence At Work. The video is based on the research of Dr. Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University.It presents 6 "short-cuts" which people use in order to take some decisions. These are:
  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Liking
  6. Consensus
Watch the video and learn a little bit about these principles.

So next time you buy something, try to identify these persuasion methods so that your free will will have a higher percentage in the decision that you will take.

An other short funny video presents in a very easy-to-understand manner the theory called Elaboration Likelihood Model (E.L.M.). You can find out from here how colours are used in advertising.

That's it for today! Hope you've enjoyed this article, and, as always, keep your finances under control with Troosby!

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