Persuaders: Advertising and Market Research Methods

The Persuaders covers their market research methods that helps them understand consumers, and how they can get us to buy into their product. It has many short case studies from different companies on how they are selling their product whether it is an airline or laundry detergent. The documentary even dives into marketing effects in politics. He discusses how politicians use these tools to get elected and stay in office. At first thought as I sat to watch this I was intrigued. I am indeed marketing major and this topic I find so interesting. Breaking through the clutter is a major theme of marketers and we discussed that when we covered marketing.

Some other things mentioned were that we as consumers are trapped in the marketing pinball machine and we are just bounced back and forth from advertisements like a pinball. During this part of the film they showed how much advertising we are hit with every day. Even in class we were once told that as a toddler we are familiar with over 200 brands. It makes perfect sense if you go look at time square in New York City. Screens, posters, banners, planes, buses, cars, skyscrapers.

Everything was an advertisement. Us as people are even billboards for our favorite companies, wearing their logo on our chest. If we weren’t constantly being bombarded with advertising that might not be necessary but in today’s world it is. They had good points that are worth mentioning again. My favorite was the agency that studied cults and why people ever followed a cult. They then applied this knowledge to the brands they managed. Also they studied companies that had already built a strong following, companies like Apple, Saturn, and Volkswagen. They called this kind of marketing, Psuedo-Spiritual Marketing; it made people feel like they belonged to something bigger than just themselves. They were in a group of other followers and felt like they were welcome in that group and that that company just understood them personally.

Tide laundry detergent even said something like “it’s not about just getting your clothes clean anymore.” The last section of the film covered politics. It’s just like if the candidate was a product that they need to sell to people, sometimes though how they are marketed and how they really are don’t match up. We are all persuaders; we persuade ourselves to do things and buy things and support this company or that company. There is no us and them in advertising anymore.