The most useful tool in the marketing business is shrewd trickery. By applying simple scientific knowledge, a marketer is able to deceive a person’s mind to his or her advantage. The use of this common tactic to delude the public is both brilliant and alarming. After watching an episode of the Nat Geo program Brain Games, I wanted to learn more about our brains and how they can be so easily manipulated.
As teenagers, we are constantly bombarded with advertising. A lot of the ads on TV and the internet are created with us as targets. We are subconsciously being brainwashed into thinking what the marketers want us to.
One of the main techniques used to mislead the public is anchoring. In this example, you are asked to compare the two buildings. The labels are the set anchors. The Eiffel Tower is given a higher potential height, giving us the first impression of it being taller. Someone who answers the Empire State Building has escaped the illusion because of rational reasoning and use of previous knowledge.
This applies to everyday grocery shopping in real life. The decision we make of which brand we purchase is heavily influenced by anchors as well. We tend to pick brands we are familiar with and trust. But the price of the item plays a huge part in the decision-making process. Many promotions are designed to confuse. When it comes to prices, it is not hard to give different items very vague potential prices. This distracts the brain and makes choosing a product more of a math problem than a comparison of quality.
I have realized that this unique ability to manipulate our own minds is amazing, but can be very dangerous. People who are inexperienced must never be allowed to exploit the science of our brains for petty reasons. This may not seem to be much of a problem, but an individual’s opinions should never be influenced by external forces. Everyone should be in total charge of their choices. By thinking through decisions rationally and basing your choices on previous knowledge, you can avoid being dominated by constant advertising. It is important to be able to say no and step away from the situation to remain in control of your judgement.