Ad Project: The Persuaders

People want to belong and have meaning. They want purpose and fulfillment in their actions. In marketing, if companies can maintain this allusion for customers, they will never be out of a job.

“The Persuaders” video series reveals the different methods companies use to entice and maintain customers. After watching the film, I was amazed at all the direct and indirect ways we are drawn in to buy products. We are so conditioned to ads that we do not even realize how frequently we are exposed to them.

Secret to Success in Marketing

The regularity of basic ads have forced marketers to dig deeper. When surface advertising ceases to be effective, the next step is looking into the heart of the consumer and appealing to those basic, fundamental needs.

“The Persuaders” presented the concept of the “reptilian hard button”, meaning the innate unspoken need of the people will always win because it must be met. The scary thing about advertising is marketers only have to create the illusion of meeting needs. As long as customers buy into it, it matters not to advertisers whether any need is actually being met.

Marketers are feeding the American mindset of self focus. They create campaigns convincing customers that they deserve anything and everything that makes them happy. Eventually we reach a point where we don’t need to be persuaded by someone else because we have already persuaded ourselves that we deserve the best.

I found the concept of “emotional branding” very interesting. Marketers don’t just have to market products, but the experience, the emotion association. I never realized the depth of psychology and analysis that constitutes advertising.

Watching “The Persuaders” made me realize that at our core, we are emotional beings. Most everything we do stems from emotional drives and desires. We seek to feed our inner selves through outward possessions.

Marketing and the Christian Worldview

The satisfaction found in purchasing is opposite of the satisfaction that is found in Christ. Possessions create the illusion of contentment, only in Jesus is there lasting fulfillment.

God created us so that we can only find fulfillment in Him. The reason that consumers continue to buy more and more products is that they keep feeling empty even after having so much. I am so thankful that I know the truth of true satisfaction.

With that being said, I still believe it is okay for Christians to support their favorite brands. Christians do not have to swear off all shopping and shun all advertisements. However, if shopping get becomes an idol in a Christians life that takes place of spending time with Jesus, then it is time to stop.

Nothing is sinful in itself, only when it is corrupted by our sin nature. Christian marketers should remain truthful about product quality, without trying to trick a customer into buying something. Marketing and consumption becomes a sin when it causes materialism, immorality, debt, or selfishness in business.

Application

I am interested in job in marketing, so this video caused me to consider my intentions behind this potential career. I do not want to become just another voice in a sea of persuasion attempting to entice customers. Watching “The Persuaders” motivated me to pursue marketing with nonprofits and mission organizations so I am promoting a cause I support and am passionate about.

There a few questions I will now ask myself in a future career:
-How I can best appeal to the emotional desires of my target audience? Is my product meeting an emotional need?
-How is my campaign unique from all the other ads? What unique marketing techniques can I use?
-Am I being honest in my campaign? Am I falsely manipulating a customer?
-Am I finding my identity in Christ or in earthly gain? Is my company/consumption becoming an idol in my life?

Conclusion

The Persuaders gave me insight into what my future career may look like. There are so many different ways to advertise and appeal to customers. My reaction to “The Persuaders” was two-fold because it sparked my imagination for future marketing ideas but also reminded me that true value is only found in Christ.

On my honor, I have watched The Persuaders in its entirety.

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