Call it what you want, but advertising usually leads to discontentment. Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle made a funny and true statement about advertising:
Advertising exists to create in you a sense of discontentedness. Things you didn’t even know you needed. And the truth is you don’t really need them. Have you just watched a car commercial lately? “Oh, it’s a new car. I have an old car. My car does not have all of those speakers. Those are amazing. Oh! Heated seats. I—oh. My bum is cold. I don’t have heated seats. I need heated seats.” All of a sudden you’re discontented. “I need heated seats. I need one for my bum and one to warm a muffin on the way to work for my breakfast. That’s what I need, heated seats.”
Think about “window shopping”
If we’re honest, walking through the mall and window shopping often leads to thoughts like “I need that. I need that. I need two of those. I don’t even know what that is. I better go in and find out just in case I need it too.” Thankfully I don’t go to the mall unless I have the intent of buying something but even in these situations I find myself wanting a shirt in the display window that I didn’t even know existed five minutes earlier…but it’s on sale…
Think about TV shows
MTV’s “Cribs,” for example. I can tell you that I’ve never finished watching that show and thought about how much I love my 1999 Honda Accord and my Dell Inspiron I got in 2006. In between the show I see commercials for laptops that are only $[insert good deal here]. My Dell works well and I don’t need a new computer, but now that I know I can get a brand new one for not that much, I think I need it.
Think about food commercials
Don’t want to make dinner tonight? Even though you have plenty of food in your fridge, there’s no wait for a $5 Hot N’ Ready from Little Caesars! I don’t get how commercials with celebrities promoting food works but I’m sure Dr. Pepper got a boost in sales from using Dr. Dre or Fergie in their ad. Just last week my friend and I met up for lunch and as we were talking about where we should go a bus drove by with a giant Panera Bread ad on it. I enjoyed a wonderful “Pick Two” meal from Panera Bread that day. Suckered in by advertising once again.
Totally affordable. Plus you deserve it.
What gets me is how the pricing is made to look so affordable. A monthly payment of $200 sounds doable but is the car worth $40,000 after all the payments and interest? An extra $0.50 for a larger fountain drink doesn’t seem like much, but is it worth the extra 200 calories that can add up to 20 pounds in a year? Add the personal touch to advertisements and you’ve got a lot of people hooked. “Detroit, you deserve better” is a slogan I saw on a billboard aimed to get those driving by to open a checking account with their bank. Even the bible sitting on my kitchen table was purchased because of an advertisement! I was fine with the paperback version I got for free until I saw this black leather one that has a cute black and white flower design on it. If you take a look around your home, can you identify any purchases you made that were influenced by advertisements?
Are you a sucker for advertising? What advertisements have led you to purchase a product?
This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.