There is this weird phenomenon that happens when you work in marketing.
It happens slowly at first, but eventually, you become extremely in tune with how other marketing campaigns are trying to reach you. It’s a weird feeling, falling for these ploys even when you know exactly how they are getting you to fall for them.
I first noticed this happening near the end of my time in college.
During my late nights working in the Miller communications building, I would often find myself heading over to the vending machine for a motivating snack. Hungry and needing something to hold me over, I would glance at the chips and pretzels…but 9 times out of 10, I would choose a snickers bar. I mean snickers are great, but one day I realized the true reason why I chose to get them time and time again. Because in my head I was telling myself…
I realized right then and there that I had been buying this candy bar for the sole reason that I thought it would fill me up and satisfy me. Why did I think this? Because Snickers told me so.
Their marketing ploy had been placed in the back of my mind without me even realizing it! That slogan had made me take action and It made me feel as if I had been violated somehow. I was amazed at how cool and sneaky and powerful good marketing is.
I still see this in my life today…
I buy dawn dish soap because if it can save baby ducks from oil spills, surely it’s safe and effective enough to use in my kitchen.
I go out of my way to complete the challenges on the Starbucks app, winning those extra stars because it’s an “efficient” way to get rewards.
I choose books with beautifully designed covers, and crackers in earthy organic boxes, and drinks that come in trendy sleek glass bottles.
I browse flash sales that pop up online and feel the pressure to “get it while it’s cheap”.
Now I know that a generic dish soap does the job well, that Starbucks just wants more of my money, that another flash sale is just a few days away, and that there are multiple vending machine items that will fill me up. But even being a marketer myself, I still make those decisions.
We all do and if you ask me, that is pretty fascinating.