Ever gotten home after buying a new item and realised you didn’t really need or even want it? Feeling defeated by that “For Sale” or “Buy One Get The Second Half Price” deal?
Ever just all of a sudden felt really tempted to go and buy a burger, a chocolate bar or fizzy drink and feeling an uncontrollable urge, though nothing you’re aware of has triggered that? and damn it, you were going so well on your diet!
Why? Well, you have become victim to the wonderful art of Psychology in Marketing and Advertising.
Companies are very clever… Their advertisements and marketing campaigns are designed purposefully to tap into your subconscious emotions and desires to make you want their products. This is not new information but this is how it works:
They use a process called conditioning or anchoring to associate their product with particular stimulus, that we may encounter in everyday life (sounds, a picture, symbols, words), that also (and most importantly) arouse a certain positive emotion. Which in turn, sets up a trigger for us whenever we’re encountered with the stimulus to feel that positive emotion, therefore desire it and then purchase the product.
This explains why it’s so easy to get sucked into a sale. Most of us love to save money! Having more money, saving money AND getting nice new bargain item brings us lots of good fuzzies. So we’re inclined to “take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! My purpose is simply to raise awareness around how powerful the art of suggestion is to your unconscious mind. If you don’t control your mind, then someone else will. And while many companies have honest intentions, some may not have your best intentions in mind. We can’t stop seeing advertisements but we can control our awareness and what we choose to accept.
This is a great quote by Freuds Nephew, Edward Bernays who is the founder of Public Relations:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society, constitute an invisible government which are the true ruling power of our society.
We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes are formed, our ideas are suggested largely by men we’ve never heard of…
It remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct of our ethical things, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”
I hope this has brought some awareness to art of Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising and the amount of control it can have on our behaviours and desires. AND by having this awareness, you will have the power to defend against any unwanted suggestions.
I’ve found some interesting articles around this topic if you’d like to learn more about how it works. AND If you’d like to learn more about how to get in control of your behaviours and produce your desired results, then I’m here to help 😀