Difficult Decision? I Think Not...

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Imagine you just paged through a popular magazine and saw both of these toothpaste advertisements. Shortly after, you find yourself using the last squirt of your old toothpaste, which means it is time to head to the grocery store to pick up some new toothpaste. What a coincidence! I cannot speak for everyone, but personally, after seeing these advertisements, the usual 4-hour debate between buying Crest or Colgate would now be a lot easier.

It was no accident that a beautiful woman, with a beautiful smile ended up on the same page as a tube of Crest toothpaste. To create this advertisement, those in charge of marketing at Crest headquarters were relying on psychological manipulation to get us to buy their product. They are basing this advertisement on the human tendency to react to the unconditioned stimulus of seeing a beautiful person (with beautiful teeth), with the unconditioned response of wanting to look like that person. By pairing the beautiful woman with a tube of Crest toothpaste, the marketers are hoping to establish their product as a conditioned stimulus. As a conditioned stimulus, consumers like ourselves would see Crest toothpaste in stores, feel the wanting emotion that was originally elicited by the unconditioned stimulus, and throw the Crest toothpaste into our carts.

Undoubtedly, tossing this toothpaste into our cart would be adding it to a stack of other products that have been similarly conditioned into our minds. This kind of advertising technique is applied in many scenarios. In this election year, another popular place to find this conditioning is in presidential candidate commercials like this one, for Republican candidate, Rick Santorum. As you will see, all positive emotions are associated with Santorum, while negative emotions are associated with President Obama.

Can you think of other ways that we are constantly being conditioned through advertising?


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That's really interesting how you used the toothpaste analogy as well as the political analogy to get your point across. When we see ads we don't really think of these types of things.

Interesting topic, as we are conditioned to expect a lot of different things from various products all the time. All toothpaste companies advertise being recommended by dentists, yet this clearly can't be true, unless dentists recommend anything that makes it to their office. Also, if we all use Crest or Colgate toothpaste, why do these companies have whitening products and toothpastes specifically for whitening if we are supposed to have teeth like the woman in the advertisement?

I feel like this totally happens all the time and we're not even aware of it! Of course we want beautiful teeth like the woman in the Crest ad, but if someone were to ask why we bought the Crest, I don't think our immediate response would be "to look like the woman in the magazine ad!" We would probably just say, because I just felt like it was better! Sometimes we don't understand why we do the things we do -- but advertising like this may contribute to that answer.

I definitely agree with and02471. We are constantly surrounded by this type of conditioning and it goes unnoticed all of the time. I feel like we are simply just use to it now unless there is something really different about it or gives us a different reaction than were use to. I would hope that everyone would want to buy Crest instead of Colgate if they saw these two advertisements. Otherwise, you may want to check yourself. I really enjoyed reading your post!

This was a really catching blog! It really shows how advertisements, even though we may not realize it, can make a huge impact in our decisions. I think it shows how easily we as a society are influenced by everything around us. Very well done!

I think you did a great job finding these advertisements and explaining them. Both articles would really draw your attention if you were paging through a magazine. But I agree with you that I would get crest after seeing the lady with no teeth in the colgate ad.

I love the two advertisements you used. They really depict how people make many of their everyday simple choices such as toothpaste off of these ads. Ads really do influence everything around us- the better it looks the more appealing it is.

Both of your examples got your point across very well. It's interesting to take a step back and realize that we don't automatically recognize why we buy one brand of an item over another, but it probably is due to the advertisements we have seen for each brand and which ad appeals to us the most.

Great choices of examples for your article. Both of these examples made me realize the power of subconsciously being conditioned to different stimuli. By having the contrasting pictures of the toothpaste adds, I realized that I would definitely buy the other toothpaste. I think that it is very interesting the thought process that goes into the marketing that these companies go through to market their products. Very good blog post.

I would buy the crest toothpaste without a doubt! It is interesting how much we are influenced just by the appearance of things and how influential advertising can be. This is a super interesting blog post, great job!

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This page contains a single entry by brand790 published on February 24, 2012 9:31 PM.

Dirty Mind? This One is for You was the previous entry in this blog.

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