How Advertisements Control Our Mind
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Aug 25, 2012

How Advertisements Control Our Mind

If you switch the television on, you will notice that there is an advertisement break every fifteen minutes or so.  Each advertisement lasts for 30 seconds and the entire break is generally three minutes, which means you are bombarded with around ten advertisements in each break.  Not just that, because advertisers anticipate that people walk away during an ad break, the volume of advertisements is actually higher.  Seems like cheating doesn’t it?  So how does advertising actually work?

Creative Commons Photo by Evan

Aren’t Advertisements Just Stupid?

Although there are some funny advertisements out there, most of them are just plain stupid.  Someone telling you that buying tampons allows you to walk, cycle and even swim is just being annoying, basically.  Someone trying to sell a woman’s perfume by showing scantily clad women in highly sexual positions isn’t going to make a woman buy it.  Showing people picking up a car from their local market is also not really a seller.  But yet, we keep getting bombarded by these types of things, so what is going on there?

The Psychology Behind Advertisements

Advertisements aren’t actually about their fantastic message.  This means that the actual advertisement doesn’t really matter.  What an advertisement is after is making you hear a particular brand name and this then gets implanted into your brain.  It is, in a way, a little bit like subliminal messaging.  You’ve probably heard the expression that there is no such thing as negative publicity and that is certainly true.  If you find yourself totally irritated by a certain advertisement – and it is likely that there are quite a few of those – you are still recognising the brand name, probably even remembering it better.
What then happens is that you find yourself in a supermarket or faced with a range of products and you will automatically be drawn to the name of the product you have heard of.  Even if you have heard of that brand in a way that really irritated you, you will still feel more confident buying that one than buying a product that you have never heard of.  In fact, your brain will probably subliminally tell you that the product you have never heard of must be bad because you’ve never even seen an advertisement about it.

Creative Commons Photo by Robert S Donovan

So Are all Advertisements Evil?

Absolutely not.  There are plenty of products out there that run ethical businesses or that actually offer you a really great service.  However, next time you find yourself choosing something you haven’t bought or used before, ask yourself why you are tempted by that particular product or service.  Is it because they really offer you what you are after, or is it because you have seen them in magazines, billboards or the television, or heard of them on the radio.  Make sure you think carefully about your reasons for buying and try to demonstrate how that actually meets the needs you set out with.  This is the only way to make sure you buy what is good, rather than buying what you know.

The same is true for 0 credit cards.  There are many of them out there and you need to find the one that best suits your circumstances, not the one you have heard of the most in popular media (including the internet).