What Makes Us Buy What We Buy?

I’ve decided to take a turn with this post. I have recently read a book by Paco Underhill called “Why We Buy—The Science of Shopping.” Although a little dated, this book is interesting in that it contains research of what make consumers do what they do. Do we buy certain items just because our friends recommend them to us? Well according to Underhill, there are a number of reasons why “demand” is the way it is for certain products. Some of the main reasons he described for why we buy were item positioning, the butt brush, internet use by businesses, and, of course, ADVERTISING. Item positioning describes placing different products around the store according to the guidelines researchers and “trackers” (the shopper-watchers) make. For instance, stores should place toys and dog food on the middle and bottom shelves so they can be accessed by the dominant consumers (older people and children). You may think children have no power since they have no money, but if you read the book, you would see the evidence that the power of the toddlers amazing. Needless to say, I suggest that all future advertisers read this book for further information. It’s not a bad read. It’s actually like 15% data and 85% Underhill talking about his experiences with watching consumers react to small changes that make a big difference with business. The other topics seem to stray away from The ADdict’s theme, but the you can’t talk about shopping without talking about what I, as an advertising major, will set out to do in the future: make a difference in people’s opinions about products.

Underhill talks about how advertising is a very effective phenomenon. The right advertising in the right spot of a store or online will get consumers to do just about anything you want them to (at least to an extent). I’m not saying that people do not have their own minds; they can just easily be altered by the hundreds of thousands of advertising messages they view each week, consciously or subconsciously.

For all you future advertisers out there, you will want to know about the two main ways advertising works.

The first way is what many may think is the dominant tactic companies you when they want you to buy something. This is push advertising. You know that feeling of insecurity and violation you may have at the end of watching a commercial that is PUSHING you to do something? Well although it may see obnoxious, it is rather effective. Here is a popular example:

Here is moderate, and humorous, example:

Now you have probably guessed the second method advertisers use to get your attention and get you to buy something. This is pull advertising. It’s when the ads try to get you to get their product by appealing to your emotions, morals, rationality, values, etc. Here is a great example from advertisers for Orlando, FL.

There’s a saying that advertising either PUSHES you to buy something or PULLS at your heart strings. Underhill reviews the topic of advertising placement and how it helps products get sold. Before an ad can be placed, we have to work to make the advertisement be scene, analyzed, and effective. We have got to use the right methods to get our ideas across. Although this may be my final post for the course I’m taking (that made me start The ADdict), I plan on posting a lot more in the future. Pick up Underhill’s book (PUSH). All your future audiences will want to know that their favorite advertisers care about why they buy (PULL).

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be back with more advertising commentary, news, and information

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Refined Advertising: Turning ads into artwork

Credit: La Curacao

As I have stated before, I admire the ability of AdsoftheWorld to constantly produce monthly advertising showcases that display the ability of advertisers to effectively utilize a medium (print, video, etc.) to convey their respective messages. To pay homage to them and their talent, I am posting a series of advertisements that I believe effectively use art to make a simple ad concept more appealing. The above advertisement is for a hispanic department store chain that is headquartered in Los Angeles. They sell many different items, including this blender. The name of the image is “Naranja con Zanahoria” which means “Orange with Carrot”(representing a couple of things that can be blended to make a shake or smoothie in one of their blenders) in Spanish. The tagline of the advertisement is “Mezcla es un arte” which means “mixture is an art”. I agree with this statement, and the mixture of advertising with art is a skill that can make for a very effective tool of persuasion.



BFW Badminton: This advertisement for the Badminton World Federation makes great use of action lines to bring life to a sport that some people may look at as casual and not very competitive. People actually put forth as much effort, if not more, than a volleyball player would in a professional match. This ad helps show that the sport can be much more exciting than it may seem.



Purell Hand Sanitizer: This advertisement surprisingly doesn’t draw a completely grotesque image that scares consumers into using their product. Instead, the creators of this ad decided to go in another direction and went with a simple portrait of awareness. The hand depicted in this ad contains various images of all of the things you may come in contact with in the course of a day. Some of the things, as people may not be aware, have germs on them and can potentially harm them




Invaders Pest Control: The simplistic artwork used in this advertisement drives the point what the business is trying to accomplish. The mosquito is being disintegrated and basically removed completely. When the image of disintegration comes to mind, you think about Marvin the Martian with a ray gun leaving only a pile of dust. I believe that was the message that they were trying to convey: When you enlist the services of Invaders, they set out to completely remove any pest you may have in your house/office/other space.




Anthropomorphism, or the appearance of human traits or emotions in a non-human entity, is used in this commercial for Maynards wine gums. Maynards is a candy manufacturer based in the United Kingdom and Canada. Their main candy is wine gums, so it makes sense to portray their candy in the way that they do in the commercial. The mouth and the gummies are given human bodies, and the mouth exhibits an unrelenting desire to eat the candies. He chases them around any location the candies may be; whether it may be in a tennis court like they are in this commercial, a park, a fishing hole, or anywhere else. The gummies show fear and run off every time one of them may spot their hungry pursuer. I think this is an interesting way to show consumers that their candies are both delicious and in high demand. It’s goofy, but effective.

For reference, here’s the link again to the page that inspired this post: www.adsoftheworld.com

Super Bowl Sprinkles a Hefty Profit

Football lovers, it’s almost that time again. For those who don’t know, the Super Bowl is the big American football championship that comes around every year after we fans have our laughs, cries, rage, pride-betrayals, and turkey. This is the end of the road until football season comes around again. The Super Bowl is not just famous for its game and half-time show. What many may note when watching the Super Bowl is the massive number of commercials and marketing criteria during commercial breaks. When most people connect advertising with the Super Bowl, they have to mention that advertising expenditures have always peaked on that big day.

Some of the top companies and categories, according to MarketingProfs, include automobiles, beer, motion picture, regular soft drinks, and tortilla chips.

The automobile companies have the highest year-over-year spending, expelling about $172.2 million from 2007 to 2011 in the super bowl.


General Motors (GM), after dropping many of its Facebook ads, has decided to drop out of the next Super Bowl commercial lineup.

You would think that this would cause lots of commotion with the CBS advertising team, but many companies have jumped on the opportunity to reach millions of viewers at once, pulling their heart strings and/or giving them giggles.

It’s reported that CBS has already sold 95% of their advertising spots, showing General that they can reverse into a lake is need-be. It’s clear that they don’t NEED them this year. The cost of having your company’s brand aired for only 30 seconds has reached an all-time high. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “with less than 5 percent of inventory left, CBS expects a sellout — and more than $225 million in revenue.” If your math skills are giving you a brain fart (like me), don’t worry, I’ll help you out. Thirty second commercial slots are going for 3.8 MILLION DOLLARS this upcoming year.

This goes to show how much these companies are shelling out to make you by their product. I mean do you really need another car commercial? What’s going on now? Maybe the built-in GPS you found in last year’s car has inherited the ever-popular HD features… Well at least we’re getting some entertainment.

As an aspiring advertiser myself, I can’t help but obsess over the happenings with advertising expenditures for different company’s but in times like these when charity is most-needed, that the companies wouldn’t be selling their souls to the Super Bowl… Maybe they are capable of doing both. If you look at some of the big names that bought the slots, you’d see why I say that. I’ll just name a few: Disney, GoDaddy, frito-lay, PepsiCo, and the list goes on.

JoAnn Ross, president of network sales at CBS Television, said “the automotive category is extremely healthy in the game, regardless of General Motors.” There’s obviously a little saltiness in that situation, but at least CBS isn’t LOSING profits.

On the topic of expenditures, my main reason for this post was to talk about the advertising Buffalo Wild Wings got for FREE during a recent game between the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins. You read correctly: FREE ADVERTISING! If you’re not into football, I apologize for the possible boredom you must feel, but hang on. I thought nothing was free in this world… What happened? Well during the game, the sprinklers went off unintentionally. This was due to some computer glitch, but what many pointed out during and after the game was the event’s connection to this Buffalo Wild Wings commercial from last year. Epic! I’ve posted the video for you and you can look at the story on Businessweek.com. Sometimes the best things in advertising life come free.


And a side note for all those Beyonce fans, you can look forward to this Super Bowl’s halftime show. I’m sure if you just tune in to half-time, you’ll be subliminally hit with at least 30 advertisements (print, commercial, and symbolic) by the time Mrs. Knowles-Carter gets to the chorus of her song. Isn’t it just amazing how advertising works?


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If you can’t beat em, join em: Gillette’s decision to back the long-running Movember campaign

Gillette is a sibling to Mr Clean under the Procter & Gamble parent company. In support for Movember, the usually bald mascot for cleaning products is growing a virtual moustache. [Credit: Advertising Age, Procter & Gamble Co.]

Movember was a concept developed in Australia in 2003 as a way to promote awareness for prostate cancer. The main idea of the program is to have men grow their mustaches out during the month of November. Needless to say, a company that draws profits from their customers being clean cut and well-shaven would be upset to hear that the idea was quickly growing into a large scale movement. Gillette, after 9 years of staying out of the way of the event, has decided to show support of it for the promotion of men’s health awareness. Did I say for the sole purpose? That would not be the case because the timing of Gillette’s support was well met with the release of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler which was developed with the purpose of trimming and edging facial hair. The market had been noticing trends that note an increase of men wearing a moderate amount of stubble for part of the year, and it would make sense for Gillette to evolve with the growing popularity of facial hair and create products that can help maintain and possibly attract new customers.

Gillette has never, in the 150+ years of the company, had actors with facial hair in their advertisements. They always had a actor or model that was clean shaven. So now they are taking a [relatively] radical change in the way they do business, and have to embrace alternative ways of maintaining facial hair.

The marketing director for Wahl Clipper Co. delivered a bit of insight on the ‘”traditional” facial hair looks and the transition into current trends. Incidentally, Wahl had been backing the Movember campaign since 2009 in the United States, and since 2008 in the United Kingdom and Canada. Facial hair was not allowed during World War I so that the standard issue gas masks would fit all soldiers. After the troops returned from overseas, Col. James Schick (of the current Schick brand) began using ads that connected being clean-shaven to being a patriotic citizen. Now, facial hair is viewed as a form of expression and is beginning to grow in momentum. 

Andre “3000” Benjamin went on a free, three-city (NYC, Houston, Chicago; November) eMo’gency Styler Tour with Procter & Gamble Co. as a feature riding off of the “Masters of Style” ProGlide Styler campaign. Gael Garcia Bernal and Adrian Brody are the co-stars of that campaign, and are seen in the above commercial. In addition to the tour, Gillette is hosting a comment for charity event. The event is hosted on Gillette’s Facebook page and encourages fans to post comments with images to track their Movember journey. For every post they receive, Gillette will donate one dollar (up to fifty thousand total) to support men’s health and prostate cancer awareness. For anybody that could not donate themselves or wants to show off their interesting mustache, the link to post your comment (Facebook account required): https://www.facebook.com/gillette.

Pages that inspire me: Ads of the world

Ads Of The World

As an individual with an interest in advertising, I find myself looking at current ads from local and national businesses with a critical eye. The owner of this page gives on new advertising trends and sometimes offers his own views on the matter. Whether I disagree or not with the ideas the page holds for what is or isn’t a good ad, it’s important to see polarizing views on anything. The posts seen on this site are primarily archive image/video ads, but the monthly blog posts sum up the quality ideas coming from advertisers around the globe. This post includes major forms of media such as print, video, and outdoor advertisements and ranks them with an Olympic-style 3-medal system. The users of the page post regularly with valuable input on the content and ultimately decide what makes it in to the monthly spotlight post. 

This page inspires me in its ability to maintain such a wide scale approach to ad review and active user base. If the scope cannot be matched, this page will be dedicated to providing valuable content and not simple posts that take up space and ultimately waste the time of the both the reader and writer. I value the input of my followers and hope that I can create a discussion board that can amplify the meaning of my content with meaningful posts and well-thought discussions. I will do my best to provide content that will engage my readers and lead to a greater understanding of advertising and where the advertising world is going. For example, one of the ads posted on Adsoftheworld comes from a French agency, and uses comedy to show the strength of its product:

Credit: Essilor and AdsOfTheWorld

I feel that humor tends to draw away from what makes people self conscious. People who are sensitive about their glasses can be delighted to see the contrast between the extremes portrayed in the advertisement and a simpler situation where they may need to clean their glasses. While I am not familiar with the company in the commercial due to it being a non-domestic entity, I did find it easy to remember the OptiFog technology used in the glasses by the somewhat rhythmic delivery of “Stop the fog with OptiFog.” That delivery makes the ad last longer than the 20 second duration in the minds of the viewer.

Last month’s Gold medal winner in the spotlight article was created by a Swiss advertising agency for UNICEF:

Gold Medal Print: Unicef

Credit: AdsOfTheWorld and unicef.ch

The simplicity of the ad strengthens the charity’s purpose for placing it. Some people believe that when you make a donation to a charity, the money wouldn’t be allocated correctly or would be wasted on extraneous spending such as paying executives or extravagant ad campaigns. The ad simply places the images of both a hand and fork, the combination of which essentially tells the consumer that their handout would be so somebody less fortunate would be able to eat. There is no way to misconstrue that message and it was done as efficiently as possible.

About the two ads displayed: Do you think the ads do a good job of supporting their product? Is there a better way to get the point across?

About the blog: Would you like to see me make a spotlight similar to what this blog has done featuring ads I have seen on TV, outdoors, or the web?

Thanks for your input. It is greatly appreciated.

Link to the blog: http://adsoftheworld.com/blog


Welcome to The ADdict. Feel free to browse around. While this blog is still under construction at the moment, there is an “About” page that tells you a bit about the author (Me), and a few links that relate to this blog in some way, shape, or form. Enjoy! Hopefully you guys will become ADdicts, too!