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Hook, Line, and Sinker: How Advertisers Reel Us In

how advertising works

Do you feel that it’s almost impossible to get out of debt despite your best efforts? Have you ever wondered why that is? Perhaps you blame the high interest that credit companies charge, but that’s only part of the problem. Take a moment to consider all of the purchases you’ve made during the past six months. How many of the purchases you made were absolutely necessary? How many non-essential items did you buy? Most people are surprised when they find out how much money they waste on products they really don’t need.

Why do so many people get into debt buying luxury items they can do without? People spend money on luxury products because they succumb to the lure of successful advertising. Corporations and advertising agencies are well aware of what people want. Most people want to be cool, popular and sexually attractive. They also want to be successful, own the best of everything, and do better than their peers.

Get this, feel happy.

Advertisements, promotions, and commercials address these intrinsic desires directly. The target audience is led to believe that if they use the product being advertised, great things will happen and they will feel happy. Of course, these commercials and advertisements also imply that the opposite is true. The corporations who run the advertisements and commercials want you to feel that not buying a certain product will make you miserable. Take weight loss products for example. Overweight people who see commercials for weight loss products are meant to feel unattractive after watching them. In other words, corporations and big businesses know exactly how to cash in on peoples’ insecurities.

So how can you resist the lure of clever advertising? Hopefully an awareness of how advertising dupes people into buying unnecessary products offers some incentive not to buy. You should also consider how many of the non-essential products you’ve purchased recently have dramatically improved your life. The chances are that most of products you’ve bought recently haven’t made you any happier than you were before. That’s because happiness does not come from owning material possessions. Being successful and attractive doesn’t make a person happy either. Happiness always comes from within. What’s more, a person can only be truly content when they stop desiring things. Therefore the next time you see an advertisement or commercial, you might want to stop and think for a second. Do you really need the product being promoted? Will it make you more attractive or successful? Can it make your life more convenient? If you don’t really need the product, don’t buy it. You may be surprised how much debt you manage to clear when you stop spending money on things you don’t really need.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/people/toasty/

Filed Under: Featured, Shopping

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