I’m sure you’re aware of advertising. If not, this is going to be one of those Matrix, red pill moments for you.
One of the most important rules for effectively managing your finances is spending with purpose, with thought and with rationality.
Advertisers get paid to make you forget all that; to act on impulse and emotion and buy their products. And they are darn good at it.
Take these his and hers shampoos I pulled out of the shower this morning, for example.
- His: “Football tackles” “strength and resilience” “Thicker and fuller looking… vs. limp hair”
- Hers: “Lusciously bouncy body” “get everyone’s full attention”
Ignoring the completely sexist and icky undertones, isn’t that great? Seriously. I think it’s pretty darn amazing the power that the right words have to cause me feel emotions about a product as benign as shampoo.
People go to college to learn how to do that. That’s how important it is.
Companies spent almost $200,000,000,000 on advertising in 2013. If they are willing to spend that much, imagine how effective it must be at getting money out of consumer pockets, out of your pockets. Yikes!
Awareness can go a long way in combating the influence of marketing geniuses on your life.
- Next time you pick up a product and you don’t know why, shrug, say, “wow, nice marketing!” and put it back.
- Leave the store and come back a few days later if you still think you can’t live without it.
- Whenever possible, shop with a list.
If you want to learn more about marketing methodology, I thought this video was fantastic.
Disclosure: I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with any of the implied political messages – it’s just food for thought (HA! You’ll get that joke later). And we eat both meats and veggies in this house. So that’s that.