Not because it launched me into a high-dollar marketing career, but because it opened my eyes to multi-layered elements that marketing companies and retailers use to essentially brainwash the public into spending money.
What You Need to Know
Sure, my opinions about advertising could be taken by many people as some incoherent ramblings of a conspiracy driven mind damaged by too much television.
But the fact is this, there is a war going on for your money. Everyone wants it. And they spend millions, even billions of dollars in marketing research and advertising to find the best way to convince you to do so.
One of my favorite quotes that simultaneously makes my blood boil comes from Will Rogers. It reads, “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.”
What’s So Bad About Advertising?
I’m sure there are those of you out there with a rebuttal that sounds something like, “What’s the big deal? Everyone has the choice not to spend. It’s not the company’s fault if someone can’t stop spending money.”
Although there is plenty of truth to those statements, when you consider the financial, psychological, emotional, and social extremes marketers go to in advertising their products, you have to wonder if we even have a chance to withstand it.
It’s a well-known fact nowadays that many of the country’s top marketing firms have professional psychologists and psychological experts on their payroll to help assist in the creation of ads. They’re picking apart our weaknesses to exploit the money in our bank accounts.
Don’t even get me started on all of the Lobbyists that are sent to Washington in an effort to influence laws and regulations on behalf of retailers.
Tricks of the Trade
There were times in this country when Listerine was touted as a cure for the cold virus and doctors told us that cigarettes were healthy. Seriously!
Although there are government institutions in place to help protect comsumers against false advertising, there are still plenty of lies that sneak through your television.
What’s worse, we don’t hear about most of the false advertising out there unless we’re directly affected through some sort of class action lawsuit or some other public disclaimer.
Admissions of guilt are far less public than the original ads that contain the lie. It’s just like newspapers running retractions on the back page after running a false story on the front page.
Stand Firm Against the Attacks
My Advertising 201 professor once said that the only way to avoid the influence of advertising was to be asleep. When asleep, he argued, your senses are turned off and the ads cannot penetrate your mind.
I disagree with this idea because I (and I assume others) have had numerous dreams throughout my life about cars, clothes, and numerous other items that I wish I could possess.
I go back to the tried and true information of ‘G.I. Joe’: “Knowing is half the battle.”
I’m not saying there should be a total ban on advertising. I appreciate our freedom of speech. But I do think we should be better informed about practices that are employed within advertising efforts.
We can’t bounce around this life without understanding the fight for our hard earned money. Arm yourself with information, develop your budget, implement your spending plan, and develop your self control.
Photo By Fugue