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A Study on The Marketing Strategies Used to Control Consumer Behavior

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An average American spends fifteen hours per week watching television. During that time, viewers are exposed to countless number of advertisements. Although not everyone is affected by all advertisements, each one of us is bound to become a sucker to advertisements sometime in our life. Billions of dollars are spent by American business in creating, running, testing, and measuring advertising effectiveness. American businesses utilize various advertising techniques to manipulate consumers to purchase their products.

One essential element of advertising techniques is capturing the viewers attention and making them remember the product after watching the commercial. Without accomplishing these tasks, the commercial is useless regardless of the quality of the product. One way of obtaining viewers attention is to arouse their curiosity at the beginning of the commercial. For instance, a Powerade commercial had a football player painting his fingernails in a locker room before a game. The scene may seem peculiar to most viewers. The image intrigues viewers and leads them to keep watching the commercial. Slogans in commercials help viewers remember the products. Nike is one such commercial that has generated much success with its slogan: Just do it. Consumers worldwide are associating the imperative with Nike shoes. When someone is considering purchasing a pair of sports shoes, he or she will remember the slogan and think of Nike shoes.

When advertising their products, companies keep their potential consumers in mind. After all, the consumers will be the ones to determine the effectiveness of the commercials. Commercials make their products seem potentially useful to their intended audiences. For example, most of Handi-Snacks intended audiences are young children. Although Handi-Snacks is not an important part of the childrens diet, the commercial makes the snacks appear to be something delicious to eat. For this reason alone is powerful enough to lure the children to beg their parents to buy Handi-Snacks for them. Some companies also make viewers’ concerns, needs, and problems more important than its product featured in the commercial. They focus on how their products can solve viewers problems. To illustrate, instead of saying we have more than fifty service centers nationwide, the commercial would feature the saying You’ll be assured of courteous service and fast delivery of replacement parts from one of our fifty service centers located nationwide.” By doing so, the company is making the audience the focus of the commercial.

Another advertising technique employed by some companies is to make consumers think that their products are different from and more valuable than their competitors offerings. The result is attracting customers by creating a positive and unique identity for the company and its offerings. In a world where there are more and more products and services everyday, customers are exposed to infinite amount of advertisements. So they pick something to believe and hold that notion until a message breaks through and persuades them to change. There may be very little difference between a companys product and its competitors’. Nevertheless, the company is promoting its product successfully if it finds a way to communicate uniqueness and connect it to a need of the target group. The company is making the target consumers believe that due to this uniqueness, they should buy the product.

Companies also utilize the status of celebrities and titles of professionals to convince consumers that their products are worth purchasing. One of Burger Kings recent commercials features the Backstreetboys. In the commercial, the band originally said they do not do commercials. However, they agreed to participate in the Burger King commercial when they were told that they would receive life supply of free whoppers. The implied message was that if the Backstreetboys was willing to do something that they did not want to do to have whoppers, then these whoppers must taste extremely delicious. By having a popular band in the commercial, Burger King must be attracting numerous viewers. Using the title of a professional such as a doctor also helps in promoting a product. For example, if a doctor in John Hopkins said that Vioxx is effective in treating arthritis, then arthritis patients who saw the commercial would try the medicine. The doctor may not be famous, but his knowledge earned him the credibility.

Sometimes businesses use promotional techniques such as offering coupons and discounts to increase their product sales. Such promotion adds value to the product offered. It stimulates sales for reasons other than the product’s benefits. Business offers coupons and discounts to persuade consumers to try its product and to shift their buying habits so those light users find reasons to buy more. Coupons and discounts work because people like something for nothing. They respond to buy one get one free offers, and they love a good deal with their purchases.

Images presented on television and magazines manipulate consumers by appealing to their desires. Many images present ideal elements and conditions in peoples lives that almost everyone would want but few possess. Most people desire to have physical beauty, to be successful in life, to be loved, to be rich, to be healthy, and to be happy. People envy others who have what they want and wish they could live other peoples lives. The desire is so commanding that they are willing to try anything to achieve it. Some are willing to believe that the products being advertised hold the answers to their quests. For example, the Nike company features famous athletes such as Michael Jordon in its commercials. Jordon shoots baskets wearing Nike shoes in the commercials. It is widely known that Jordon has led his basketball team to win countless games, and he has been named NBAs most valuable player many times. Nike commercials featuring Jordon presents an image that Nike shoes make a significant contribution to his success. The implying message is that if a successful basketball player like Michael Jordon wears Nike shoes, then consumers who wear it will perform better in their sports. Sports players who are really trying to improve their performance in the games will purchase Nike shoes without thinking twice. Consequently, they allow images to manipulate them and thus, fulfilling advertisers goals. Businesses utilize various images to appeal to consumers desires, persuading them to purchase their products.

Advertisement placement in magazines and television time slots is determined by the particular consumers that businesses are targeting. When advertising through magazines, businesses consider extensively the type of magazine suitable for placements of their product ads. They need to reach specific groups of audience with relatively minimal waste to groups outside the target audience. Product advertisements are placed in magazines often read by its target consumers. That is, advertisements promoting products such as make-up, shampoo, lotions, and shoes would appear in teenage girls and women magazines since this group of consumers are more likely to purchase these products than any other groups. In the same manner, health magazines are filled with advertisements of medicines, dietary supplements, and insurance companies. Likewise, the same principle applies to television advertising. Product commercials are run in time slots during which its target consumers are likely to be watching television. For instance, the Pillsbury Toaster-Strudel commercial is always shown during morning hours when most children are getting ready to go to school. This product is targeted toward children and their parents. The child in the commercial did not want to go to school. Then her mom told her she could have Toaster-Strudel for breakfast. Then the girl became excited and ran to the kitchen to have breakfast. Later she went on the school bus smiling. The message of this commercial was that having Toaster-Strudel for breakfast can make childrens mornings brighter. Eating the product might even make them want to get up in the morning to go to school. In a time when parents are doing everything they can to keep their children in schools, they might purchase this product to help make their children want to go to school. Also, children would be lured by the tasty image presented by the commercial. In addition, they would believe that Toaster-Strudel is worth getting up in the morning for school. Other commercials of products such as toys and cereals appear more often during Saturday morning cartoon hours than any other times. Although the target audience, children, do not have purchasing power; they have their parents to buy those products for them. During soap opera hours, commercials of household items such as dish detergents and toothpaste target housewives. Sports drinks and athletic wear commercials dominate the time slots of sports event broadcasts. Therefore, potential buyers of products play a major role in placement of product advertisements.

No one has discovered a magic secret that will ensure a winning advertisement every time. At the same time, some ads are successful, while others are not. Certain companies produce triumphant ads most of the time, while others do not. Nevertheless, numerous advertising techniques being utilized by businesses have been effective in promoting their products. The reason for their success is the consumers who buy into advertising tactics.

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A Study on the Marketing Strategies Used to Control Consumer Behavior. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
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