Do advertising trick your mind?

When you buy a thing, do you make the decision logically, or do the brands influence your mind? Most people think of themselves as reasonable, including me. But, don’t you wonder why big brands spend a lot of money on Advertising? In 2019, Amazon spent 11 billion US dollars on promotional activities. If we don’t care what the advertising campaign says, why are they using this much money?

Maybe we are wrong!! Advertising influences our decision and behaviour on a psychological level. And it’s stated by various studies. Generally, brands trigger our dopamine reward system. In this article, we will focus on five main ways how they control our mind.

What is the Dopamine Reward System?

Suppose you love to eat crispy outside and juicy inside KFC chicken drumsticks. When you smell the scent, you get excited to eat. You get pleasure after getting those. But, how does your brain store those things?

Dopamine is a hormone responsible for our feeling good. There are other things they do, but it’s the major one. The wise man says our experiences build who we are. This reward system is somehow supporting the fact. It makes us move for what we need for survival, like food, sex, or avoiding pain. You get dopamine releases when you get pleasure and don’t get it while doing things that you don’t like or need much effort. 

In simple words, it gives us a signal by storing data of our emotions. We get a reward for doing pleasurable things, then we memorise it and repeat it. Our behaviour and dependency are formed by this reward system. You can read deeply about dopamine in this link. So, how do Brands influence our mind for shaping an addiction to them? 

Marketers connecting Emotions : 

Emotion is a powerful tool for marketers. They want to connect their brand with Joy and positive vibes. So, during a campaign or advertisements, they tell us stories. You can see the marketing strategy of Coca-Cola. In most of their ads, we see framing relationships, like friends, family. During the festivals, they narrated coke as a source of joy. Or, who can forget the campaign, share a coke? We can see the term Friend on Facebook too. Various brands portrait Mother-child, lover and family bonding in advertisements.  All they trigger our emotional response toward bonding to release dopamine. In some advertisements, you see a positive message, like women empowerment, helping others etc.  Our brain associates those brands with relaxation, love, positivity. 

Advertising using Need of Social Acceptance:

Humans are social animals by nature. We love social interaction. Albert Bandura stated our brain wants us to associate with a Group. We make groups of people with one or more common traits. Nationalism or Momolover, all those categories represent our need for social acceptance. Our brain serves this to increase the chance of getting a spouse or protection. We adopt the behaviour of our group or reject those of groups we oppose.

Social Acceptance in Advertising
Social Acceptance use in Advertising

Again, in the group itself, we want more approval. When we get acceptance or appreciation, we accept it as a reward, which means dopamine. Various Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Instagram use this trick to consume our time. 

We accept likes or comments as a reward and make groups of similar people build sociability. Humans need approval to get motivated, and these social platforms use this nature to hook us. 

Advertising to Trigger our Pain :

We need joy and want to avoid pain. That’s when brands trick us into using their product. It has several shades in several campaigns. Think about going to a fast-food chain restaurant. You are trying hard to read the menus, so go near the billing counter. It’s presenting a lot of savoury food pics with prices. But now you have no time to order as you are on the counter. So you pick up any combo meal that seems tasty and budget-friendly. But, did you calculate it? How much money did you save? Or did you buy more than what you thought before? This scene happens a lot of the time. And there lies the marketing strategy. Your brain automatically accepts those banners to avoid the pain of calculating, get panicked and choose whatever you want to sell. You get a reward by not choosing discomfort. They also used lots of Colour psychology and delicious photos and aromas to make you feel hungry. 

food advertising to trigger hunger

You can see this trick in sales and those 199 price tags. In some advertising campaigns, they use your fear by giving a solution, which is their product.  They address an issue, tell stories to state that as a problem, and provide a solution- use my product. Sometimes it’s toothpaste for sensitive teeth or sometimes as cringe as a face cream for a successful career. 

FOMO in Marketing:

FOMO means the Feeling of Missing Out. This human tendency also has a root in social acceptance. We want to be updated, alert and trendy. So, when you open social media, you get excited to know what people are doing. In E-Commerce sites, you don’t want to miss a sale. And How could you miss that Web series everyone in your group is discussing? We can’t ignore these and get stuck using their services. You can see how notifications make you irresistible to open the apps. Even OTT platforms make memes and all to trigger your excitement. 

Prime Video Advertising

Customising your feed:

In recent times, internet advertising is much more effective than the traditional way. To make it more effective they customise adverts to your needs. I mean, they show up to you if you are in their target audience/buyer. You can notice advertisements of some coaching institutes, after searching for answers related to the field. Or you get adverts about various cooking utensils, after watching several culinary videos. If the product is content, like YouTube marketers satisfy your ego by recommending suitable content. You feel comfort, and reward eventually getting hooked up in those feeds. 

Does Advertising mean selling? 

Why do brands advertise? Anyone can answer that to boost up sales. But, of course, they seek more than that. Establishing a brand needs a devoted buyer group. They try to influence you to believe in them.

That’s why some businesses make it a huge success, and some even fail to enter the market. And it’s not always the quality that makes someone unique, but the marketing strategy.

These are just a small portion of the marketing strategy. We are not discussing other psychology they use to make us buy. But, do you think you are a Logical buyer now?

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