Quick Social Experiment
Would you buy a certain brand of hair oil if Jason Statham endorsed it.
We all know the answer. Okay, lets do this again. Jason walks in all muscled up and reveals his health secret as ACME brand’s protein shake. What is your reaction now ? You don’t entirely brush this recommendation aside specially if you have been working on your fitness lately. You make a mental note of this ad associating gleaming abs with ACME brand’s health drink.
What are your reasons for trusting Jason with his advice on muscle but not Hair oil ? Think about it. The only reason why Jason is shooting for an ad instead of holidaying in Hawaii is because he was paid an enormous amount of money to endorse the Hair oil and Protein shake. Do you see the point now? Our decision making process is a little flawed here.
Brands have a string on you
Marketing has always been a science and a rather advanced one at that because it deals with your brain and maybe even your Central nervous system in extreme cases. Invention was easy, Production and supply chain easier. The difficult part that companies face is how they get you to pick up their brand against the hundred other competing ones on the shelves. The astronomical figures that marketing gurus earn is for a good reason. They know exactly what you need to see and hear to make you feel a certain way. You are almost like a puppet in their hands. They can make you want to slim down, they can make you want to grow a beard, they can convince you its time you upgraded the phone you bought 3 months ago.
Successful marketing strategies rely on the fact that the human mind is ultimately gullible. You are bound to believe something to be true if you hear it long enough. Moreover the Brain works with pictures which makes it necessary for leading brands to hire people with whom you associate the desirable traits. Seeing a well known attractive actress on the advert for a beauty product makes it easier for your brain to process and store information.
Whats wrong with all of this ?
The only thing that is wrong is that one tends to forget the thin line between facts and information.
An advert typically brainwashes with information like this: Slim Milk
A fact would be: The Slim Milk contains 3 gms of Fat and the Normal Milk contains 4.5 gms of fat Per 100 ML. Ultimately the difference is negligible but seeing and hearing the term Slim again and again makes us believe having 1.5 gms of fat less a day can reduce our weight by 1000 gms in a month. You are simply having 30 gms of Fat less a month – why would your weight reduce by 1000 gms ?
Make informed decisions
Adverts persuade us to believe what they say. This is achieved through clever tactics using audio and visual aids. Evidence that an advert is trying to create a biased influence on you are:
- Brand ambassadors for the product – making you associate the product with traits the brand ambassador is seen to have
- Not all text is same size or color – Some text is highlighted more while others are merely existent as fine print
- Any other graphical imagery that helps you associate an attribute to the product.
Why should you care about this ? As a consumer you should be buying the product that is fit for purpose at the most competitive price. The one person you cannot rely on is obviously the company that’s selling it. So you need to perform the analysis yourself by reading through nutrition facts, comparing contents, analyzing weight to price to weight ratio etc. That would be an informed decision. The easier thing to do is of course marrying a Virgo – they are very analytical by nature and would love to do the math for you.