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January 31, 2012 at 9:57 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

YOU DON'T DECIDE YOUR DECISIONS

By Dayton from SLN More Blogs by This Author

Everyone wants independence, the ability to make their own decisions regardless of what others say. People strive for this power, working long hours to achieve financial "security" and sacrificing time and strength in exchange for prominence. Anyone would rather be at the top of the corporate ladder than the mail room because they want more freedom to do whatever they want.

But how free are we really? Many people would say that no one can tell them what to do, want, wear, or feel. And that's true to an extent. If person A commands person B, with completely unfounded authority, to do something that's against person B's will, person B won't likely comply. Person B would feel resentment and resist person A's agenda. We do this because we have a sense of identity. We want to be our own unique person. But as it turns out, we don't always pick what we want.

Take, for example, your personal style. What made you like argyle socks and thick rimmed glasses? Or, what made you choose a Nissan Altima over a Ford Fusion? Are you a Coke drinker or a Pepsi drinker?

Chances are, you learned what you "should" do through the media. Most people refuse to acknowledge that advertising works on them because they don't immediately feel compelled to go out and buy the product or service as it's advertised. But it works, incredibly well. Take for example the Superbowl. Companies pay incredible sums of money for one thirty second slot (over $3,000,000 in 2009). If these marketing campaigns didn't cause YOU to go out and buy things, they wouldn't exist. 

Companies use multiple techniques, depending on who's watching. For men, we have the fast cars dodging explosions with scantily clad women throwing their bodies around. Because advertisers know the life MOST men want to lead, however fantasized it may be. Every guy wants the gorgeous woman on his side while he's stepping on beach with his abs showing through his shirt in a world always picturesque and sunny. And brands that manufacture things like expensive cologne and fancy watches try to make you believe that if you buy THEIR product with THEIR name plastered to it, YOUR life will be just as glamourous as the picture perfect model. 

According to Harvard business professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our decision making regarding a new purchase is made in the subconscious part of our brain and it's very likely that we know what product we'll to buy, even before we compare it with competitors. 

SO! Moral of this blog? When you're about to purchase something, ask yourself, "why?" because it might be an advertisement subconsciously logged away in your brain. That's right, they're in your head...

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3 Comments

  • It's so true. I am a coke drinker. I like to say the reason is the taste. For me I like a more bitter taste than sweet. BUT when I was little (and still today) I was a HUGE fan of their polar bear advertisements. So I am sure that has something to do with it.

    Also, random thought....I loved charlie brown when I was little...ironically I am wearing brown pants and a yellow shirt today. Ah! :)

    Awesome blog, Dayton!

  • Is this a play at being able to wear designer clothing in an office capacity? If so, well played sir...

  • I know that I am easily swayed by what sound like facts. Without checking into it, I'll be like, "ah, so this is better than that. I thought so." So, the good news is, that regardless of how I feel about certain products, I'm too broke to buy any of it anyway! The advertisers may be controlling my brain, but they can't have money that I don't have. So, I call that breaking even.

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