How does marketing manipulate us?

The concept of marketing is to get us to buy a product or service. In marketing, all tricks are allowed. To influence our buying decisions, marketers use common manipulation practices or subtle subliminal messages. Your opinion may change due to the news that you see on TV, read in newspapers or on the Internet. In addition, many of these stories are intentionally shown in a certain light to influence your mindset or to trigger emotions. As an example, let’s talk about discount promotions. We all love discounts, and many of us are crazy about shopping and bargains during Black Week or seasonal sales. The truth is that sometimes you can get a really good opportunity, but on other occasions, the alleged promotions turn out to be manipulative. Some sellers increase prices immediately before selling and then announce discounts. In the end, the price is just as high as it was before the discount campaign, but we unsuspecting consumers who are tempted by loud messages like “50% off” buy without thinking. Often expert opinions are used for these purposes.

You certainly know this type of advertising on television – an expert with a very professional appearance talks about the advantages of the product. This is a common way to build trust. Often, “experts” are presented as physicians or members of organisations with serious-sounding names that are reminiscent of the names of official institutions. Are these organisations really there? Are these people really experts or are they actors? No one knows that and nobody verifies it. But even if we do not recognise it, we unconsciously remember the product that was recommended by credible “experts.”

Businesses love to evoke positive emotions in order to build the brand image. That’s why many ads are purely entertaining and try not to sell anything at first glance. Instead, they create an interesting story so that we will want to see them again and again and show them to our friends. After all, the ad is so moving, cool, cute or funny. In this way, viral advertisements are created that give the brand a positive feeling. If you associate a brand with cute dogs or cute babies, you will not feel bad about it but trust it.

Each word is important in the history of the message, and the other implications depend on how much attention you pay to the message and how much prior knowledge you have. The power of believing in the media can be very strong if you are not aware of these mental processes. Often, we just do not have a chance to oppose it, as we are unaware that someone has manipulated us. And although this consciousness can not stop them from controlling your thoughts from outside, at least you can face them. Of course, there are more manipulation techniques, because marketers can be genius and imaginative. But what do you think about such manipulations? Do you oppose them as consumers or exploit them yourself in marketing campaigns? Maybe it is a must in today’s time and society? Tell us what you think!

Author: Sarah-Johanna Hamera – MAC