The influence of advertising on consumers

As a company, you advertise to sell your products and/or services. This is done in order to have an impact on consumers and to encourage them to consume. But what is the true nature of advertising’s influence on consumers?

Advertising is a form of communication. It seeks to attract the attention of a pre-defined target. Its purpose is clearly incentive and is to adopt a desired behaviour, for example, the purchase of a product or service, as discussed here. For the company, it therefore refers to all commercial or industrial actions to make its products and/or services known to the public and to promote their sale. Its objective is therefore to influence the consumer to push him to the act of buying.

Determined advertising objectives

However, it is the need that remains at the root of the majority of purchasing actions. The purchasing process linked to the need involves a certain amount of rationality.

However, consumers who are going to buy a product or service do not necessarily express a need for it at the grassroots level. One of the roles of advertising is to create the need. People who would not necessarily need a product or service in the first place are thus led to the impression that they still need it. Advertising creates a feeling of need through envy. By making the consumer want, advertising creates a sense of need. This is where, in some cases, the act of buying will emerge from this consumer.

In terms of communication, advertising aims to deliver a specifically designed message. This message must be clear, concise and well argued in order to convince the audience to whom it is addressed. Above all, it is essential that this message be intelligible, that is, that it be comprehensible so that it can be understood by as many people as possible. The objective of advertising communication is to take psychological action to generate favourable economic action on the part of the target audience, represented here by a purchasing action.

Studies show that advertising, after 4 visualizations, in terms of explicit memory, causes viewers to retain 50% of the elements in the following week, and 30% in the following two months.

Regarding the visual aspect, as is the case for brand logos, which are seen several times, they are all the more easily recognizable for the target audience. The more original a logo appears, the more likely it will be identified more quickly, retained, and thus contributes to closer contact with the consumer.

This is a real way to build consumer loyalty sooner.

A sense of belonging

Advertising promotes brands and offers the consumer the opportunity to belong to a certain social group. For example, the influence of clothing brands has a strong impact on young people, especially teenagers. The latter see in this a means of identification, acceptance and belonging to a certain social group. They are a highly valued target of brands because they do not detach themselves from the consumer society, at least in most cases.

The same applies to the food sector, where food standards and habits can be identified among consumers.

Food advertising

Food ads are placed as the main advertisements. They are the ones that most influence the consumer. Half of the ads are for a product of an edible nature. In a competitive logic, they are always more appetizing than each other. More and more attractive, and often slipped between films, they are very persuasive when it comes to encouraging people to buy.

Alcohol is also highly regarded by young people through advertising, and again, especially by teenagers. As an incentive to drink alcohol, advertising can then reveal negative aspects and has a dangerous side because it can be harmful to health. Advertising can encourage people to consume the « bad » products.

Advertising in the field of equipment

After the food sector, there follows the material sector, which is very present in advertising. This is the second most widely used category of advertising on television, radio, newspapers, etc. The competitive process is very clear. Each brand aims to sell its product and will focus on quality or low cost. And the more convincing the advertising is, the more likely the consumer will be to buy even a relatively expensive product.

Finally, advertising benefits from a personality trait that is present in many people: the desire to please. By promoting the merits of a particular product, advertising arouses the envy of the consumer who, driven by his desire to please, will express the desire to buy this product.

Influence for the consumer… of an unconscious nature

Although they are not always aware of being exposed to these advertisements, consumers are all the more affected, particularly in terms of their consumption behaviour. So-called « implicit » ads have a stronger influence on consumers who are unaware of being affected and make stronger judgments.

When consumers see their thoughts and judgments affected by a certain influence, and this in an unconscious and therefore involuntary way, we speak of « mental contamination ».

In other words, in the consumer, the ability to analyze and reason can sometimes be replaced by desires, intuitions, feelings.

Children, who have a strong influence on their parents’ purchases, are also targeted. Advertising benefits all the more and sees them as a target of choice because of their ignorance and vulnerability.

Consumers buy products sold through advertising when they do not necessarily need them. Advertising thus holds the art of buying consumers…