We would like to
thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students
to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
In 1957, a perspicacious young journalist from Pennsylvania named Vance Packard wrote a book called The Hidden Persuaders. It was meant to explain to the public at large why they buy the products they do and to warn them about the psychological aspects of consumer appeal that lie beneath the levels of consciousness. A red car, for example, has hidden stimuli, for red is a color that makes people angry. If you think I'm nuts, (I am, but not about this), check with some insurance companies. I was dumbfounded to learn that the collision rate was slightly higher for a red car! Packard's premise was mind-boggling and insightful for its day. Even he, however, under-estimated the full extent to which modern advertising has penetrated our psyches.
The next time you need a "kleenex" or "xerox" stop and think for a moment. Don't you really mean a tissue or a copy of a piece of paper? And when someone walking in front of you "shakes like Jell-O," do you realize that you have created a metaphor using a brand name in vain? I myself used Q-tips for years before I realized they were really cotton swabs incognito, and that by any other name they cost at least $1.50 less per box! How and why did these brands become synonyms for the things that are so much a part of our every day lives? Sometimes I feel like that little kid in the movie, Invaders From Mars, who was the only one his block who didn't have a strange little mark at the base of his neck which meant he wasn't "one of them." Who is "they" anyway? And worse, how did "they" get from our necks to our brains and become a part of us?
The answer to these and other not so penetrating questions lies in the arrogance of the media. Their influence is like a giant, intimidating shadow that sneaks into our brains when we sleep and tells us which products to buy. Lets look at how this works. My child needs aspirin. Am I going to buy some generic brand that I have never heard of or am I going to get the product whose name has been shoved into my memory so consistently that when I think of aspirin only that brand comes to mind? This is true even if the contents in both of the bottles are exactly the same. I want the very best for my sick child that my hard earned money can buy and how could something that costs less be the answer?
Well, the very best product is not necessarily the one you have heard the most about. That may just be the brand produced by advertisers who can afford to saturate the media with Saran promises and DiGiorno delivery. There are other makers of blue jeans besides Levis and other tampons besides Tampax, but who ever thinks about them when the others has been so indelibly implanted (like that little black mark at the base of the neck) into our consciousness?
The other side to that coin is that familiarity can and often does breed contempt. The media today seems to believe as PT Barnum did; "there's a sucker born every minute." The only difference is that their influence is far more widespread and millions and millions of suckers comprise their sideshow. Unfortunately, that includes me and everyone I know, even though the old adage that you can't "fool all of the people all of the time" is still floating around somewhere (probably in a pool of the most effective detergent.)
The unmitigated pomposity of the media is a travesty of human intelligence. It is as if they say to us whether we want to hear it or not: You will buy our product because we made it and because you used to buy our products. It has nothing to do with whether or not our products are better than any others on the market. Ours is better because we have the money to say that it is- over and over and over again. Then our buys become emotional and not conscious. Theirs is a most subtle brainwash; a mental encounter of the forty-sixth kind. It is this presumption which bothers me the most and yet I and everyone I know keep falling into the vortex of polyunsaturated pledges and half told truths.
In my home state of Pennsylvania it is legal to substitute prescriptions with lower costing generics as long as the ingredients and dosage are comparable. Time and again, I have paid for pills and secretly wondered how effective they could be because I don't know the brand name and if they don't cost as much as I paid before, how could they possibly be as good? Wake up and smell the coffee, whatever brand you like. Scotch tape isn't from Scotland and any other brand will seal any package just as well. Brillo is not the only soap pad in the world and cowboys do wear other brands of jeans besides Levis. (Maybe their horses don't, but they do.) Search for others that work just as well and you will find that they are also a lot cheaper. I should not have to pay for someone's advertising costs and that's exactly what we are all doing when we fall prey to the prestige of name brands.
Don't get me wrong. I do believe one gets what one pays for in most areas of life, especially professional services of any kind. I am not parsimonious or even frugal by any standards. But what's true is true. An item is not necessarily better because it is cheaper. Conversely, a familiar and/or more expensive item is not necessarily better either! There has to be a balance between cost and quality and that's what missing today. Some standards never change and that's why brand names backed by a solid reputation should never be ignored. For example, if I were going to buy a new television, I would look for a name with a history and credibility such as GE, RCA, Sharp or Sony. Between those examples however, it is an advertising contest to the death as to which is better, and my decision would have to hinge on other factors. I would probably choose the brand I bought before or the brand my father had or one that a friend or colleague recommended. That's a far cry from purchasing something because the name sounds "familiar."
Sales in generic products are rising, as the public is becoming more and more discerning and sophisticated. Awareness has crept into the Wall Street market as well. On The Motley Fool (A program of stock recommendations) a pharmaceutical company that waits for the patents on brand name products to run out so that it can purchase generic ones was recently highlighted as a good investment. Although some might argue that this company awaits profit somewhat like an alligator hiding patiently in a leafy glade, others consider the move a simple case of hungry free enterprise. In either case, sales do reflect a trend and a change in consumer awareness.
In the end you may get what you pay for in reference to some things but not others. In this case, the whole isn't even equal to even some of its parts. (Like my brain.) The contradiction is not as black and white as being pregnant, for example, which is either a state of being or it isn't. Gray is an individual color, and each of us must decide what works and what doesn't.
But if you should awake tomorrow morning with a little black mark on the base of your neck, don't say I didn't warn you. It's too late to run to Mr. Packard as he no longer lives in the world of breathing consumers. Just know that the time has come to either join the others with their little black marks or fight them and create your own little black mark. Consider changing the color, name or configuration on yours. Be sure you don't call me though, whatever you do. I'm having enough trouble living with mine!
Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. She now lives in Doylestown, PA with four cats who keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing in the last five years. She maintains seven web sites covering a wide variety of topics and writes feature articles for several local newspapers. The author of a book entitled: A Taste of Funny, her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) features many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.
Facebook Tries to Calm Advertisers After Cambridge Analytica Crisis
Wall Street Journal
A handful of marketers suspended advertising on Facebook Inc. as the company hustled to quell anxiety about its platform in the wake of revelations that an outside company improperly handled data on tens of millions of its users. In recent days ...
Advertisers are turning up the heat on Facebook
Mozilla Announces End To Advertising On Facebook Amid Cambridge Analytica Breach
Facebook data leak scandal won't deter advertisers unless two things happen, industry insiders say
Sonos temporarily halts advertising on Facebook, Google
Why is Sonos suspending advertising to those platforms for only a week if it's so concerned? Apparently they're too important to its business. "Despite the flaws of these massive digital networks, we fundamentally believe in the power of technology to ...
Sonos pauses advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter and gives the money to charity
Sonos pauses social advertising and gives the money to charity
Why We're Pulling Our Ads from Big Tech Platforms Next Week | Sonos Blog
What the World Would Look Like Scrubbed Free of Advertising
“I erase advertising like the plugin does in our browsers,” Higuera says. Advertisers spend $29 billion a year plastering highways, train stations, and other public spaces with ads. Higuera had mostly tuned them out until one day several years ago when ...
To understand digital advertising, study its algorithms
ALAN MISLOVE studies algorithms. Recently, his research at Northeastern University, in Boston, has shown that Facebook's software was leaking users' phone numbers to advertisers. He has also found new ways to audit that same software for racial bias ...
Anchorage Daily News
Groups trade barbs over campaign advertising on Anchorage transgender proposition
Anchorage Daily News
Both sides of the debate over an Anchorage ballot initiative that would regulate restrooms and "intimate facilities" by sex at birth traded accusations over campaign advertising this week, a sign of escalating rhetoric as the mail-in election reaches ...
Firms start to pull Facebook ads following data scandal
Commerzbank and Mozilla have suspended ad campaigns on Facebook following the data scandal that has seen more than $45 billion wiped off the social network's market value this week. "We are pausing our campaign on Facebook. Brand safety and data ...
Mozilla pauses advertising on Facebook
The Three Issues Keeping Brands From Going All-In On Podcast Advertising
The lack of a standard measurement protocol has been an issue for the podcast industry for years. When podcasts are streamed, only the owner of a podcast player app knows how long a person listened to an episode, where they skipped and stopped in that ...
Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Shows The Importance Of Data And Trust In Advertising
"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media. Today's column is written by Joshua Lowcock, executive vice president and chief digital and innovation officer at UM ...
Ant and Dec: Suzuki ends advertising campaign after drink-drive charge
Suzuki has axed TV adverts featuring Ant and Dec after Ant McPartlin was charged with drink driving. The car firm will still sponsor the last two episodes of the series of ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway, but the duo will not appear in its commercials ...
Ant and Dec lose advertising deal with Suzuki
Suzuki withdraws Ant & Dec advertising campaign following Ant's drink driving charge
Ant and Dec: Suzuki ends advertising campaign after drink-drive ...
City OKs providing advertising dollars from fund to TDC
Project funds are nice, but Key West needs advertising dollars to keep business coming in, the City Commission voted this week. The board went against a resolution urging the Monroe County Commission to keep leftover Tourist Development Council money ...
ADVERTISING RELATED ARTICLES:
What Does Your Business Card Say?
Business cards are the most underutilized and misunderstood marketing tool in business. Many people spend the bucks for cards and don't make an effort to get them into the hands of those who can hire them or buy from them.
Books, Bibles and Fast-Talkers
Every community has 'em. Fast talkers who roll into town with a clever idea to sell to people in business.
The Secrets of High Money Classified Ads
When used effectively, classified ads can be one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to increase your sales. A well written classified ad can generate thousands in sales, yet could cost you pennies to write and run.
Change, or Reinforce?
Do you know about the distinction - and it's a useful one - between communication that tries to reinforce and communication that tries to get change? If you follow politics you'll already be familiar with this idea: Incumbents send messages that reinforce existing voter behavior, while challengers call for changes. Any thoughtful marketing communication (and political communication is marketing communication) will be strongly influenced by this distinction, which affects not only the content, but also the presentation, and perhaps even the medium.
Forgot The Ad Budget? Don't Panic!
Bob is excited about his new business. He secured funding.
Crazy Ads? Maybe You're Just Out of The Demo!
My father called me to complain, again. He's 82 and he's angry.
Secrets to Profitable Mail Order Products
The most profitable mail order products are simple 3-to-5 page informational reports such as this one. Once you've got your act together, these 3-page reports can be produced for $10 per hundred or less, and sold for at least $200 per hundred.
Effective Promotions Through Local Classified Sites
Today's online marketplace is extremely competitive. People want to market their products and services with the most cost effective manner possible.
Good Design Makes Good Sense
Organized your pencils and pens lately? Sorted your clothes into a logical system in your drawers? Then you already understand the basic elements of good design: it's practical, it's systematic, and it makes life easier.In the same way, marketing materials that use good design make business easier for your customers.
The Internet and Beyond - 12 Tips on Writing Better Brochures
Every year thousands of online businesses fail. None of them begin with the idea they'll fail, in fact they have high hopes of success, but they fail all the same.
How To Track Your Advertising Like A Hawk
Tired of pouring endless money into advertising? Do you wonder which ads are "REALLY" working for the business you manage? Would you like a bullet-proof system for capturing the results from your advertising and marketing? Below are three concepts that will enable you to track your advertising and marketing like a hawk! Really, it's that simple! Developing a tracking system: As a business owner/executive/manager, you need an efficient way to record and evaluate the results from your advertising and marketing programs. To get started, you will need a "prospect card" which includes a list of ALL the places you advertise and market your company.
How to Write Ads that Pull Orders
If your ads aren't paying off then you need this quick method in writing ads that get orders. Step 1 - Write a headline that will draw attention to your product or service.
Why Your Ads Aren't Working
The president of a manufacturing company recently asked me, "Why isn't my advertising working?" Have you ever been asked this question? Have you ever asked it yourself? Like most marketing communications questions there are no simple answers. After all, communication is a high level activity.
Boost Headline Believability With Specifics
Don't use vague generalities in your headlines. Be as specific as possible.
Radio Interview 101
Different Types of Station ContactReaching radio hosts (for the purpose of trying to get booked for an interview) can take on various forms, depending on the type of station the show is done at. What's best? All of them at the same time, of course.
13 Facts About Newspaper Advertising
Advertising in the paper works for many people in business. The astute merchant understands the newspaper's weaknesses and works to avoid them whenever possible.
The SKINNY on Newspaper Advertising
The SKINNY on NewspapersUsing the paper is considered gospel by many people in business. Use it wisely and it can be a good tool.
Why I Like The Ads I Hate!
It's been said that the antidote to liking/loving is not hating, but indifference. So, when an ad makes you angry or disgusted or evokes any other strong emotion, it has done it's job.
80% of All Advertising Is Wasted Due To This Common Mistake
You're flipping through this publication as you wait for your latte, when suddenly you decide to stop and read an ad. What made you stop? I'll bet it was an attention grabbing headline.
Magnetic Signs: Where Do They Work Best?
Recently, a woman called to ask about replacing a magnetic sign she had purchased from another company. Her original sign had actually blown off the side of her car.
Find used office equipment in Ohio at www.OfficeJax.Has.It
Find the best fleamarkets at www.FleaMarketWorld.Has.It
Find electric powered vehicles at www.NoGas.Drives.It
Find homes for rent
Jim (James) Baughman Hosting Company of Akron, Ohio offers the finest in the CLOUD internet hosting service and solutions at affordable prices. The Hepsia control panel is a superior control panel unlike the old school cpanel you may be familiar with as well as downloadable daily backups, 24 hour tech support response time is less than 30 minutes, php version selection, unlimited bandwidth, are all included at no additional cost.
advertising agency advertising supply and services marketing and advertising internet advertising pay per click advertising newspaper advertising promotion online advertising free advertising business marketing and advertising promotional advertising specialty print advertising banner advertising agency promotional product advertising radio advertising company classified advertising web advertising outdoor advertising ppc advertising advertising agency and services local advertising art layout production service advertising direct internet marketing advertising web site advertising business advertising television advertising jobs advertising services restaurant advertising yellow page advertising agency tv advertising web banner advertising directory advertising services advertising slogan advertising photographer adsense advertising adwords apis cashing billboard advertising advertising balloon pay per click banner advertising gambling online magazine advertising yahoo advertising email advertising free internet advertising internet online marketing advertising business search engine advertising direct mail advertising services advertising design advertising age creative advertising targeted advertising advertising campaign media advertising career free online advertising mobile advertising ogilvy vintage advertising pen internet advertising agency car advertising subliminal advertising idea advertising and marketing employment cheap advertising pen advertising space online advertising company advertising sign career in advertising direct mail advertising small business advertising history of advertising internet marketing online advertising advertising card communication content integrated marketing perspective premium promotion internet banner advertising advertising outdoor billboard affiliate advertising advertising art advertising display advertising product advertising copy advertising affiliate program free web site advertising real estate advertising brand advertising advertising brand communication guerrilla unconventional advertising business internet online internet marketing promotion advertising advertising firm contemporary advertising coroplast akron ohio custom signs and advertising solutions at OfficeJax online flea market