If I were willing to frivolously spend large sums of money (but we all know I’m not), I would be a marketer’s dream. I am so easily influenced by what I see and read. Sometimes I will think critically about what I’m seeing, but a lot of times things will just flow right over me without me really pausing to reflect on what I’m picking up from it.
Actually, come to think of it, I’m a marketer’s nightmare because what I take away from something is normally not the intended message. With most commercials, I don’t remember specifically what product it wanted me to buy. I love those insurance commercials where the guy is “mayhem” – a raccoon, a Christmas tree rolling off the roof of a car, etc. I have no idea what insurance company it is, but I love the ad. Considering how my brain works, I really shouldn’t be surprised by this!
I also don’t always get the intended message. My senior year of high school I read the book Of Human Bondage.
For years it warped my concept of love. The moral that I got from it: If it isn’t an all consuming, sacrifice everything for someone you “love but don’t really like” kind of love, then you are “settling”. I’ve re-read the book several times since then, and I have no clue how 17-year-old me got that message! I’m so glad that I now realize what a wonder of the universe it is when you find someone you both love and like, and they feel the same way about you. (I love you, DH2U!)
On the other hand, if the marketer is really good, I not only get the intended message, I also remember what it was! These are not very common. $5 Footlong worked. (Admit it: You’re singing the song in your head right now, aren’t you?)
Inconvenient Truth was also excellent in that respect. When I got home I researched exactly what could be recycled through the city collection program. A heck of a lot more than I thought! Now for every bag of trash that I throw away, I have 2 bags of recycling and a bucket of compostables for our garden. I examined the amount of products I was using. I cut it down to where I still felt satisfied by it, and noticed for most things (shampoo, hand soap, liquid soap, toothpaste, even toilet paper), I only needed a fraction of what I had been using. I also started my obsession with reusing the back of envelopes as scratch paper – that is what I use to write my goal setting exercises. Also, my notepad that I write my expenses in as I pay them is actually used paper from work that otherwise would have been recycled.
Whether or not the science is proved or disproved (I am so not going there with this blog!), I have saved a LOT of money and kept things out of the landfill. That’s a win for me regardless. Leave it to the tightwad to take the financial approach!
Am I the only one who doesn’t remember what product a commercial is for? Or has anyone else completely missed the point of a book altogether?