Tricks of the trade

Advertisers seduce buyers on a daily basis - and giving into the tricks of the trade has never been more tempting. Author of ‘Buyology’, Martin Lindstrom, exposes advertisers’ tricky techniques.

‘Buyology’ looks at the ways advertising influences our buying decisions, including subconscious thoughts, feelings and desires.

According to Lindstrom, ‘neuromarketing’, the combination of marketing and science in advertising, is responsible for our spending habits. He explains the psychology behind our decisions to buy certain goods is influenced by mirror neurons; when we see a product presented in a way that appears as cool, sexy or successful, we buy the product in the hopes of mimicking the specific image. Additionally, childhood memories, religious beliefs and our sense of smell also shape our tastes and influence the buying decisions we make.

Somatic markers are a main factor behind spending and brand loyalty – where advertisers use subconscious memory to sell products. Somatic Markers are created in our minds during our lifetime using images and fragrance in conjunction with good and bad events. If advertising incorporates an image that evokes a memory, consumers will be more compelled to buy a certain product.

Fast facts about advertising:

  • In 2005 corporations spent $7.3 billion on market research in the U.S.
  • In 2007 corporations spent $12 billion on market research in the U.S.
  • Marketing costs, including packaging and displays, TV commercials, online banner ad, celebrity endorsements and billboards totalled $117 billion in the U.S.
  • 80 PERCENT of products launched in the U.S. Fail in the first three months of their release.
  • 21, 000 new brands are launched on the world market every year.
  • By the age of 66, most of us have seen two million TV commercials.
  • In 2006, companies paid a record $2.4 million for a 30 second commercial.

Lindstrom has invested much of his time to research consumer responses to advertising. His study of 2081 volunteers from America, Germany, England, Japan and China involved brain-scanning technology to monitor reactions to advertisement visuals, hearing slogans, tasting rival food brands and watching programs sponsored by major companies.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Anti-smoking campaigns unwittingly encourage smoking - quite simply, when smokers see a cigarette or a person smoking they want to smoke because the part of the brain that responds to craving is triggered.
  • Negative messages from politicians win votes.
  • Product placement in films rarely works - there is approximately $150 million worth of product placement in the latest Bond film, but unless the products are incorporated into the storyline of a show or movie, viewers won’t remember them.
  • Many multi-million dollar advertising campaigns are a complete waste of time - two out of three corporate sponsors of American Idol wasted million of dollars on their campaigns.
  • Scent and sound are important influencing positive or negative sales - The scent of melons help to sell electronic products.
  • Ritual associated with a product can increase sales - putting lime in your Corona was invented by a Californian bartender.
  • Brands with a history are often favoured.

Another significant finding is that the ‘sex sells’ theory isn’t always correct. Lindstrom insists that sexual content used in advertising generally only sells sex itself – that sexually suggestive content or "sexy" people in fact distract viewers from the product itself.

The only instance that sex will sell is if it’s associated with controversy or if the consumer is made to feel as though they need to mimic a certain behaviour or look a particular way.

So, how can you best avoid the common traps that companies use?

  • Make sure you're not hungry when shopping - you will buy 35 percent more.
  • Don't grab the trolley or basket - you buy 30 percent more.
  • Don't take your credit card with you – for that brief shopping spree, you're under the illusion that you have free money.
  • Don't fall for special offers.
  • Don't take the kids shopping! They will increase your purchase rate by a staggering 40 percent.
Follow us on Facebook
Most Liked on Facebook
advertisement
Our sites - most read articles
Top stories
Latest news headlines - Ninemsn NewsLatest news headlines and breaking news from Australia and the world. uuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=135502014-09-21T14:05:15Zhttp://9news.static9.net.au/content/images/rss-logo.pnguuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13551‘It can get quite traumatic’: the Australian surgeon trading the comforts of Sydney for a Gaza hospital<p>Australian surgeon John Swinnen has swapped the comforts of life in Sydney for the dangers and devastation of Gaza in the Middle East.</p>2014-09-21T22:38:04+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13552Families of German MH17 victims to sue UkraineRelatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace.2014-09-21T21:26:07+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13553Explicit images of Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens leaked online<p>Kim Kardashian and actress Vanessa Hudgens are the latest celebrities to become embroiled in the recent nude photo scandal, with explicit images of the pair among a set released online over the weekend.</p>2014-09-21T20:42:49+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13554Blaze tears through Central Queensland marina<p>A fireball has ripped through a Yeppoon marina, destroying two boats and setting off multiple explosions.</p>2014-09-21T18:41:49+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13555Man stabbed in Port Macquarie main street after argument<p>The sunny, sleepy town of Port Macquarie on the NSW&rsquo;s mid-north coast has become the scene of staggering violence after a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death early this morning.</p>2014-09-21T19:14:08+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13556Owners face big repair bill after Lamborghini collision in Sydney’s westThe owners of a rare Lamborghini are facing a big repair bill after colliding with another car at Edensor Park.2014-09-21T19:24:26+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13557G20 'test run' a success: Queensland PoliceQueensland's police commissioner has labelled the G20 finance meeting in Cairns a success, saying no-one was arrested in relation to the two-day summit.2014-09-21T17:50:43+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15ZAAPuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13558Prison rejects reports of jihad from jailCorrective Services NSW has rejected reports that security is not strong enough if terrorists plot while inside Australia's most secure prison.2014-09-21T19:51:22+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15ZAAPuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13559Police to scale back search for missing NSW three-year-old William Tyrell<p>Police have begun to scale back the search for missing three-year-old William Tyrell today, nine days after his unexplained disappearance. </p>2014-09-21T17:49:58+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13560Terror laws won't target Muslims: GovernmentThe terrorism crackdown won't target Islamic preachers, rather criminals who incite others to violence, the government says.2014-09-21T16:44:55+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15ZAAPuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13561Environment crusader 'privileged' to be attacked by sharkA popular environmental activist says she feels "privileged" to have been attacked by a shark, as she reveals she nearly died at the jaws of one last year.2014-09-21T14:05:16+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13562Decomposing body found in boot of car on Sydney street<p>A decomposing body has been found in the boot of a car in Sydney's west.</p>2014-09-21T15:59:06+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13563Police hunt woman in violent road rage attackCCTV cameras have captured the shocking moment a British woman grabbed another motorist by the hair and pulled her to the pavement in a daylight road rage attack.2014-09-21T15:47:56+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13564Gadget-obsessed husband tries to win back wife with iPhone 6<p>A jilted husband has queued for 44 hours to buy the new iPhone in a desperate bid to win his wife back.</p>2014-09-21T13:28:59+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Zuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13565Victorian taxi driver and good Samaritan bashedPolice are seeking a man who bashed a Melbourne taxi driver and good Samaritan.2014-09-21T09:39:29+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15ZAAPuuid:0a6be72c-5b37-494a-89bf-49777438e13b;id=13566G20 to ‘change global destiny’ through ambitious two percent growth target: Hockey<p>Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey expects this week&rsquo;s G20 gathering to lay down the framework for an ambitious plan that will grow the world&rsquo;s economy by two percent, paving the way for increased infrastructure and more jobs.</p>2014-09-21T14:37:36+10:002014-09-21T14:05:15Z
Search the site
Search