Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

How many people would say they are influenced by advertising?

Asked by LostInParadise (29658points) November 16th, 2021
21 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

It is a huge industry. It finances television and radio stations. I would like to believe that it has less influence among more educated people, but it is hard to imagine many people saying that they were uncertain what to buy until they saw an ad for a product.

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canidmajor's avatar

Interesting wording of your Q. I know a lot of who claim that they are not influenced by advertising at all, but I think they have missed the mark by a mile. We are influenced by everything. Marketing gets much more clever and sophisticated with age. Many ads these days are geared to make someone notice a product name. Packaging is advertising. Humor is advertising. If seeing a product in a store subtly makes you feel good, it is likely that an ad on TV or a billboard or on the radio or in print or online may have triggered a dopamine reaction.
A puppy, a background song, a color combo, they got you.

It takes an astonishingly aware person to resist altogether the influence.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Betweem internet, radio, TV, and newspapers/magazines I probably hear or see 250 ads a day. Probably many more.

Most of them I simply ignore; they are irrelevant, not something I need, so I pay no attention to them.

The only time I actually pay attention to ads is when I am specifically looking for something. For example, a couple weeks ago my fridge started making clicking noises and essentially was crapping out. At that point, I paid very close attention to appliance ads, print ads, and Internet ads especially to halp me understand the products out there. In the end, it was my research – prompted by the ads – that led me to purchase what I did.

But to directly address your question – 95% of the time, advertisers are wasting their time on me. Ads slide off my back like water.

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s pretty effective when done well. People tend to overestimate their ability to avoid being persuaded.

@elbanditoroso I can’t say this with certainty of course, but I suspect ads are affecting your purchasing decisions way more often than you realize.

product's avatar

How many people? Everyone. Every single person is influenced, yet every single person claims to be the exception (“It might work on other people, but not me.”)

@LostInParadise: “but it is hard to imagine many people saying that they were uncertain what to buy until they saw an ad for a product.”

It isn’t designed to work this way, and it generally doesn’t. The ubiquity of marketing and the techniques that are used are designed to generate certain feelings of inadequacy and to tap into genuine human desires (to belong, to feel agency, etc). In a capitalist system, people are consumers. 95% of purchases are completely unnecessary, harm the planet and our psychological/spiritual well-being, and leave us needing to buy more. This is the purpose of advertising.

The specific brands or products are all swimming in this general marketing pool that we are all swimming in. We can’t help but be influenced by marketing overall, and the specific product marketing allows people the only type of meaning (they believe) is possible: consumption and defining ourselves by our consumption.

If you were completely off the grid, and never consumed corporate media with advertising or underwriting, you would be so out of the norm that you’d likely be an outcast on every possible level. You wouldn’t wear the clothes you currently wear, eat the food you eat, get around the way you currently do, etc. We can rationalize it and say, “Well, I would would live the same way had I not been exposed to a lifetime of marketing.”. But there is really no reason to believe this, and plenty of reasons to believe that we’re a result of decades of marketing.

Kropotkin's avatar

Imagining that we’re free of external influences is one of the ways we flatter ourselves and defend our self-esteem.

Advertisers understand the importance of self-esteem, which is why a lot of adverts are about making the viewers feel better about themselves—particularly effective in a world where other factors make people feel inadequate and fearful.

I suspect that education makes little difference, or makes it even worse. Consider that educated people tend to have higher incomes with more disposable income—they’re the prime consumers and most lucrative targets for advertisers.

rebbel's avatar

Would say: a low percentage, say 30%.
Are: all of us.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t like advertising and the only influence I am aware of is that it raises my blood pressure. For that reason I mostly avoid watching any television station that broadcasts adverts. I don’t doubt that advertising influences me nonetheless and I am protected only partially by my frugal lifestyle.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

I don’t believe that it ever had a lot of influence on me. When I was much younger and into jogging, I might have been swayed by ads for the latest track shoes or jogging shoes, for the benefit of my own comfort while I was out running. Other than that, I have always tended to ignore it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m no exception and yes they influence me.
Because I am not materialsitic, I often dismiss the product but even medical ads get my attention, regardless of my lack of consumerism.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Got to love those medical ads. “Men: Ask you Doctor about Perk Me Up, the latest from Big Pharma for men with low libido. Side effects could include, but are not limited to, agonizing joint pain, bleeding from the eyes, or instant death. If you experience an erection lasting more than six months, stop taking Perk Me Up and consult your Doctor immediately”. Nineteenth Century snake oil salesmen never had a better pitch than all of these modern poison pushers.

JLeslie's avatar

In my opinion everyone is influenced unless they never read or watch anything.

I do think a good majority of people understand advertising is trying to sell something or persuade the listener, and so people can counterbalance just getting sucked in with no thought. Children not so much, but adults know better.

Consider that even knowing advertising tries to be persuasive, we are still bombarded with products and services and it affects the buying habits of most people. Just being aware of a product when I wouldn’t have been otherwise can be because of advertising.

KRD's avatar

I got a game from an ad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

All of us whether we know it or not.

gorillapaws's avatar

For those who claim not to be influenced by advertising, Think about what goes into your shopping cart at the grocery store. The packing, naming, labeling, shelf-position/merchandizing, pricing and discounts all factor into it. I imagine most people drive cars, how did you make that decision? Are there brands you do/don’t trust? What about the insurance you have (home/auto/life/heath/dental)? The bank you use? The credit cards you have? If you have investments, the broker/advisor/online trading firm you use?

It’s not just about encouraging people to go out and buy this or that frivolous widget with their discretionary income.

Caravanfan's avatar

If advertising didn’t work then advertisers wouldn’t advertise. Simple as that.

filmfann's avatar

I listen to music on my iPod. No commercials.
Most television I watch is on the DVR. I skip the commercials.
My biggest exposure is through product placement in film and television. There it is so nuanced I can’t say how influenced I am.

canidmajor's avatar

@filmfann, you, personally, may be less influenced by direct advertising than your peers, but you are likely influenced by the opinions of those peers, who do watch TV, read magazines, listen to the radio, notice things online. It’s pervasive and insidious.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In a round about way we all are, while we think we are not but when it comes time to need the service or product we think of the time we saw it advertised .

SnipSnip's avatar

Those who allow themselves to be exposed to it.

smudges's avatar

Advertising is done in ways most of us would never dream possible. We’ve all heard about why the dairy products are at the back of the store – so we have to walk from front to back and see things we decide we want to buy. There are so many examples of this, and that’s just one we’re aware of. Those of you who don’t watch the commercials or don’t have TVs, etc, every single time you drive away from your house and go just a short distance, unless you live in a desert you’re going to be bombarded by advertising – billboards, business signs, the colors and fonts have all been selected for a reason.

Watch movies or sports, music videos? Advertisers either pay or give the actors/athletes/ singers clothes to wear, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. That’s just one way certain brands become the ‘latest thing’ that so many people want to run out and buy. Even the least consumers among us are affected and influenced by advertising. That doesn’t even include children who are affected by it and then in turn influence Mom and Dad.

Years ago I thought of pairing my degree in psych with a degree or experience in advertising. I think it would be fascinating. I know I’m influenced by it; I just hope I have at least a little power and it’s subconscious.

jca2's avatar

Advertising is not just on TV or print or internet. It’s everywhere – on the sides of trucks, on signs at the checkout at the grocery store, on packaging – and it’s subtle and subversive.

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