Do you think of yourself as a rational consumer? You know, the one that doesn’t pay attention to ads and always purchases only the most indispensable products at the most reasonable prices? You might think so, but the truth is that most of the choices you make as a consumer are at least to some extent manipulated and navigated by marketing experts.
Let me give you an example I read about in Psychology Today, which I found absolutely fascinating. When people want to whiten their teeth, what do they buy? Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash, right? Now, why would they do that, when they clearly see that the mouthwash they are buying contains bright blue or green artificial dye? The answer is simple. You see green and automatically associate it with the feeling of cleanness and freshness. And it is because marketers know how our minds associate colours with feelings that they add blue or green dye to mouthwash.
As it turns out, using certain colours for promoting products in marketing strategies is a wide-spread practice. Advertisers use red to provoke appetite, green – to promote health products, and blue – to persuade you that the effects of a certain product are scientifically proven.
So next time you come back home with your heavy shopping bags and realise you don’t actually need half of the things you’ve bought, don’t be too hard on yourself. You didn’t spend all that money just because you’re not thrifty, but because marketers know how to provoke your brain into thinking that you always need to buy more.