Earlier this week I was listening to Lindsey Stirling, my new favorite artist, on Pandora. A commercial came on that served as a terrible ad and a great example. The commercial was promoting a limited-time sale on lasik surgery. The commercial was not great, but it wasn't the worst. What struck me about it was how incredibly un-targeted it was. Here's the thing ... Lindsey Stirling plays the violin with a hip-hop beat. This is super trendy stuff, right? It's got hipster written all over it. The only problem for the lasik company is this: Hipsters love their glasses. They don't want to stop wearing them. Some of them wear them even without needing them. So, where did the lasik company go wrong?
From time to time we have all been taken in by the wonder of a Buy One Get One sale. Even if we didn't make an unplanned purchase, we were intrigued by the idea of getting more proverbial bang for our literal buck. What is it about this form of advertising that makes these sales so appealing to business and consumers alike? Is it fuzzy math or is it actual magic? What can we learn from BOGO sales and their undeniable audience appeal? Is it just a cheap gimmick or is there something more to it? Read more and you may get more than you bargained for.
If you were to ask most people the question "Does advertising influence what you purchase," most of them would say no. We don't want to believe that we are easily influenced by images and slogans that we see everyday. I believe the reason for this is that we assume advertisements aim to provoke action in us as soon as we encounter them. We can't recall a time that we watched an Olive Garden advertisement on T.V. and then immediately hopped in their car to go savor the featured dish. Lets be honest; this doesn't happen. At least this doesn't happen without some initial planning or a mental debate on whether or not you really need to go try the new Moscato Peach Chicken right this second. Even if you really did react this way to an advertisement, chances are you certainly would not admit that you are that easily influenced and even provoked to immediate action from a little television advertisement.