WILL KNOWLEDGE SET YOU FREE?

Consumer Culture Editorials
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Understanding money, debt and income. Deceptive advertising and marketing manipulation, how to get the best values, the Columbine tragedy, and even a little history of mass marketing. Editorials by Rick Doble, Editor.
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22.0 WILL KNOWLEDGE SET YOU FREE? - CONSUMER CULTURE ARTICLES, FROM SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com

If you know how advertising and marketing works, are you less tempted to buy things you don't really need?

A reporter I was talking with pointed out that she rarely goes into a supermarket and just buys a quart of milk. She always seems to buy something else.

"You know why that is?" I said.

"Because they put the milk way at the back of the store so that I'll be tempted to buy other things that I see along the way," she laughed.

"Yes," I said. "Supermarkets put things like dairy products at the rear and then also create a zig-zag path so that you can't walk straight back. You have to walk around the fresh baked bread in the deli and the ice cream in the freezer. They do this on purpose to slow you down."

Then she said something very interesting, "Do you think that knowing the store is designed this way helps you to avoid buying things you don't mean to get?"

My immediate answer was,"Why yes, of course." But it is a very good question with wide ranging implications.

For example, a new series of anti-smoking ads is being run in Florida. These ads show rugged cowboys who have died of lung cancer from smoking. Teens who see these ads are not nearly as susceptible to ads with the rugged individual image fostered by some cigarette brands as those kids who have not seen the anti-smoking ads.


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For some odd reason, most Americans feel that advertising and marketing do not influence them and that they do not need to be educated on the methods ads use to persuade them. Yet advertising experts say just the opposite. The latest commercials are designed to fly below our personal radar and reach us in ways that we don't realize.

It is even odder that we seem to assume that children with no other frame of reference (unlike adults who might remember a world with less or no television and fewer ads) can somehow "see through" advertising and avoid being influenced.


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