Advertising and Psychology


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To begin, I am a marketing major. There are many fields of marketing you can go into with this degree. I would like to go into market research. I knew from the start I was not entirely interested in anything along the lines of sales or advertising. I'm more interested in getting inside the mind of the buyer/consumer and analyzing what makes them buy the products they buy. But, the decision to purchase the product generally begins with advertising. 

A blog post I read earlier got me thinking about how different advertisements, and the techniques of advertising influence the consumer. This is where diving into the mind of the buyer comes in. It's all about the psych. 

"Advertisements are sometimes spoken of as the nervous system of the business world ... As our nervous system is constructed to give us all the possible sensations from objects, so the advertisement which is comparable to the nervous system must awaken in the reader as many different kinds of images as the object itself can excite" I think this quote from this article, portrays the link between science, specifically psychology, and advertising perfectly. As we know, certain triggers cause specific effects on our body. Since advertisers goal is to affect the consumer in a certain way, they need to find ways to trigger the appropriate effect on the nervous system.

An example of this that is used very, very often in advertising is color. Colors give humans different reactions and feelings. For example, psychologists have proven the first color processed by the human eye is yellow. In turn, the color yellow is used to catch immediate attention. A more specific example is pink. Pink is associated with sweetness, both taste wise and feelings. So pink is used for advertising candies and pastries. Here's a little video clip that further explains the major affect of colors and a few other advertising and psychology facts.

.                      Another major example of psychology's affect on advertising is not selling the product, but selling how the product will make the consumer feel. In the book From Séance to Science: A History of the Profession of Psychology in America Ludy Benjamin and David Baker, Baker says "...ads sold toothpaste, not because of its dental hygiene benefits, but because whiter teeth would presumably increase an individual's sex appeal" (The Psychology of advertising). This goes to show how people decide to buy what they buy. When looking at toothpaste in the store, there's many options, so what makes the consumer buy your product opposed to the competitors? It's all based on how the different products make the buyer feel. "There is a positive relationship between emotional response to the advertisement and attitude towards the advertisement. There is a positive relationship between attitude towards the advertisement and behavioral intentions" (The Role of Advertising in Consumer Emotion Management).

It's certainly not a coincidence that you feel the way you do when viewing an advertisement for a product, or even just looking at a product. Going into my field of study, I never knew it would involve so much science, but it really does! All fields of marketing would be nowhere without psychology and even biology research! 

Tell me this ad doesn't make you so excited to drink cool, refreshing, liberating Dasani water! Just an example! 

Dasani ad1.jpg

4 Comments

I'm an marketing major too! well, I'm pursuing marketing as my major. And I could not agree more with you on how you said advertising involves psychology and biology. Advertising is all about psychology of customers. That is industrial psychology. I'm thinking about minoring in industrial psychology. "Industrial and organizational psychology (also known as I-O psychology or work psychology) is the scientific study of employees, workplaces, and organizations. Industrial and organizational psychologists contribute to an organization's success by improving the performance, satisfaction, safety, health and well-being of its employees"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_and_organizational_psychology


And here is the industrial psychology program at Penn State if you're interested.
http://psych.la.psu.edu/graduate/programareas/ioArea/Home.html

Wow!! I'm not a marketing major, but you just gave me life!! Yes!! That ad does want me to drink water. I didn't really put that much thought into how psychology and advertising go hand in hand. They way the producers sell their items all go how they project their item. Exactly, with color is what gets me. I love color and anything that stands out, I lose focus. This article just showed how our minds go and what we feel when we look at something. It's funny because I love online shopping and I saw the site Swaychic: http://swaychic.com/. I was attracted to the different colors and it made me feel excited and happy to be on there. You should check it out and see how the maker put it together to grab your attention.

Wow!! I'm not a marketing major, but you just gave me life!! Yes!! That ad does want me to drink water. I didn't really put that much thought into how psychology and advertising go hand in hand. They way the producers sell their items all go how they project their item. Exactly, with color is what gets me. I love color and anything that stands out, I lose focus. This article just showed how our minds go and what we feel when we look at something. It's funny because I love online shopping and I saw the site Swaychic: http://swaychic.com/. I was attracted to the different colors and it made me feel excited and happy to be on there. You should check it out and see how the maker put it together to grab your attention.

This definitely holds true and it's interesting to point out how much marketing really does relate to psychology. I use to work at Hollister and another thing I've realized work are "marking tricks" because the way people think when they're faced with a sudden situation they have to make decisions on. For example, the sale is 50% off mens shorts. But the ad actually only says 50% off in big bold letters with (men shorts) much smaller and barely visible. A lot of people will come in to buy other products then only because it's 50% off. When they find out at the register it's not, they're much more likely to buy it anyway because of being at the register ready to make the purchase. Here's a link to a website explaining the different knacks and tricks of advertising.

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/market-studies/AoP/OFT1291.pdf

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