Social Question

hominid's avatar

If we are all immune to advertising, why is so much money spent on it?

Asked by hominid (7337points) February 9th, 2014

Nearly everyone seems to feel that advertising doesn’t work on them. Yet, corporations continue to pour money into it. In 2012, U.S. advertising expenditures were close to $140 billion.

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19 Answers

Pachy's avatar

As one who has worked in marketing and advertising for 40 years, I can assure you that people are far less immune to advertising than they admit. I myself, who wrote that stuff for decades, am an extremely susceptible (bordering on gullible) consumer. Look around your house, especially your kitchen and bathroom, and think about where you first learned about the products you bought—and why you continue to purchase “New, Improved” versions of many of them.

Cruiser's avatar

You think you are immune to it…but my guess is a vast majority of advertising is subliminal and you are not even aware to this element of the manipulation of your subconscious to buy and consume their products.

gorillapaws's avatar

Some ads are definitely more effective than others, and good ads are often honest and straightforward. I think the immunity bit is how we’ve become jaded to lots of the gimmicks in the advertising industry. “Results not typical, may cause impotence, bleeding from the nose and ears, dirahea, or in some rare cases suicidal thoughts and death.”

Cruiser's avatar

One of the more famous uses of subliminal advertising is the hidden Mickey at Disney.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Who is silly enough to believe that they are immune to advertising? We all have our switches, and there’s a great deal of money to be realized in tripping them.

marinelife's avatar

Because advertisers have research that shows it does work.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Who said we are immune to advertising? That’s the flaw in what you wrote.

We’re all susceptible – but at different levels. And to different stimuli.

The bottom line: if it did not work, it would not be an industry.

hominid's avatar

Thanks. For the record, I know that advertising is extremely effective. I intentionally limit my exposure (and my kids’) because of this.

The interesting thing is that nearly every person (before this thread) that I have spoken to about this seems to feel that advertising works on “others”, but not on them.

Since we are all in agreement here, let me offer this question: To what degree do you expose yourself to these direct attempts at manipulation (advertising)?

WarmFuzzies23's avatar

Wouldn’t it be grand if we we’re all immune… or would it?

We are human beings who operate on an emotional and sometimes in an irrational state of being. If we truly we’re un effected you wouldn’t remember the jingle, the one liner or the logo of any of these companies.
Marketing and advertisers have studied the human condition and now invest big $$$ to discover the phycological connections.
I doubt even they are un-effected by a good ad that pulls their heart strings, sense of something missing, their pocket book, or sense of patriotic duty. Using emotional intelligence has become a tool for many areas of life I don’t think it was intended for.

WarmFuzzies23's avatar

@Hominid I don’t own a TV and limit my exposure on social media and radio. I find being living simply, doing my own research and having a plan for all my spending limits the effects of advertising.

gailcalled's avatar

Does that explain why I have four Clydesdales in my newly constructed barn?

(I clean only iwth white vinegar, salt, and baking soda.)

bolwerk's avatar

Nobody is immune to advertising, unless they are catatonic or something. Sometimes advertising is less effective on other times. Some advertising isn’t relevant to some people.

filmfann's avatar

We may be resistant on a conscious level, but the subconscious is quite receptive.
@Cruiser is right about the subliminal advertising found everywhere. My favorite topic is how artists and advertisers often hide the word “sex” in their work.

hearkat's avatar

If you put a catchy melody together with a catchy phrase, it will become forever entrenched in my memory. I am susceptible in that way. (Digger the Dog, anyone?) However, I’m a skeptic by nature and inclined to ask the questions they don’t want us to ask. I’m sure I was much more susceptible to marketing ploys when I was younger, but the more I’ve learned in life, the more I become annoyed or disgusted by hype and manipulation.

I believe a product should sell itself, and advertisements should simply be the way to inform people that this terrific product exists. Tell me what the product does that makes it useful, and what sets it apart from the competition. Just the facts, please.

Why would seeing a tennis player’s face superimposed on a sumo wrestler make me want to buy a particular brand of razor? Even just showing a famous actor drinking a certain brand of tequila isn’t going to convince me that this brand is the best tequila available.

I avoid television because I hate all forms of hype – whether it’s overt in a paid advertisement, or whether it’s covert product placement or gossip in the guise of “news”. I avoid print media because it’s a waste of paper and ink, and because it’s mostly advertising. I believe that avoiding the main sources that feed the advertising industry, I am also expressing my opinion that I do not want it in my life. Our household is just one of millions, but if everyone stopped feeding the trolls, perhaps they won’t troll as much.

On the web, it’s fairly easy to ignore banners and pop-ups, but there are more insidious marketing ploys disguised as articles, now. Dishonesty and deception suck. I am also torn, because I do know some folks with apps, and the only way they make money is to charge the customers or to have ads. I will purchase the ‘pro’ version to opt-out of ads (another way to vote with our dollars), but some apps don’t have that option, so clicking the ads is their only revenue. I want to support the app and keep it alive, but I don’t want to encourage advertising – which presents me with quite a dilemma.

I am a comparison shopper and label reader, and I always have been. I buy something based on how well it suits my purpose, not whether the 30-second clip made me chuckle. If an advertised product piques my interest, I will research it by going to the product site and then to larger shopping sites where I will be better able to compare competitive products and choose which best suits my purpose. For larger products, like appliances and cars, I will go to independent sites for expert reviews and product comparisons. I am a Consumer Reports subscriber, but don’t consider them the utmost authority on product reviews – it’s more to support the work they do to keep manufacturers in check, and to inform the public about safety issues and recalls.

CWOTUS's avatar

Everyone seems to feel that Congress is lousy, too… but “their guy” is okay. This explains a 90%+ re-election rate in the USA, despite typically dismal “overall” outlooks on Congress. Ditto schools: “everyone knows” that schools everywhere are ineffective, that kids can’t do basic math, writing, logical thinking, etc. – but “their school” is fine, and has the best teachers in the world.

The fact is that advertising is highly effective and advertisers know that, even if they would prefer that you not learn all of the techniques that make it effective, the ways that those techniques are used, and how the effects are measured (aside from the bottom line of “sales increase”, of course). Advertising is effective. Congress is lousy – including “your guy”, and schools in the USA are generally poor, as evidenced by the fact that no one seems to believe that advertising is effective—or that Congress isn’t.

bolwerk's avatar

@CWOTUS: it may be less that their guy is okay and more that their guy is better than the other guy.

The dynamics would probably be vastly different if races were open to multiple candidates or parties.

ibstubro's avatar

Obviously, advertising does work. The only way one can be immune to it is to avoid exposure to advertising.

I don’t have a TV channel, but I’m still affected by radio, billboards and other forms of adverts.

Name recognition is ½ the battle, whether it’s a product, a celebrity or a politician.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

We are not immune to advertising most of us are suckers for it. Even in current events, if the media tells an outright lie and says it often enough people believe it. If only people could think for themselves but that’s asking too much for most people. Too many followers.

livelaughlove21's avatar

People aren’t immune to advertising. They just like to say/think they are. We’re affected by ads and commercials without being fully aware of it.

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