It’s no secret that advertising has become such a large part of our modern life that it is practically inescapable. The constant push for our attention has become so great that in many cases, we gloss over it and stop realizing just how much of what we see is selling us something. Every effort is made to keep the brand in our minds after we’ve seen the promotion, making sure we’re thinking about it as much as possible. On the one hand, simply making sure we are being conscious of being advertised to can empower us. On the other hand, one of the more devious tricks of marketing can make this self awareness harder to maintain.
I work in the same places in the Sydney CBD most days of the week, and so the trip from home to work, including a few specific stations, landmarks and streets is one I take a lot. As a result, I see advertising billboards in the same place, every day. Places you visit constantly stick in your mind, and if you see the same wall covered with the same image every time, it’s bound to stick. This placement of ads almost kills three birds with one stone for the agencies. They’re usually in places with high traffic to maximize their exposure, you see it every day… and you end up thinking about them even when you’re not seeing it. This memory integration is a powerful tool for advertising agencies Melbourne since a constant, ingrained image of a product or service linked to your daily routine is harder for us, as consumers, to defend against.
The current rise in ‘human billboard’ use plays on the very same principals. Is the content different? Is the service improved? No, the actual information given is no different to any other ad for the same product, and the ‘human’ element is simply a mute pair of legs attached to the board, but it creates a striking image. I can walk past posters for clubs and bar openings countless time and (almost) completely ignore them, but show me a group of posters walking around on colored morph-suits a few times and I’ll know the name of the place for quite a while.
There is still, however, the defense of simply being consciously aware of all this. Again, this is not an easy feat (and in an ideal world it wouldn’t be necessary) but it is one of the more effective things we can do as individuals. Check yourself when you’re considering switching banks, or mobile plans, or about to upgrade something you already have. Have you seen this brand a lot recently? Would you have done this two months ago? What are the specific reasons you’re buying this item for? If you’re happy with these answers then go ahead, and congratulations… you’ve just used marketing as a tool to help your decision making process, rather than let it make the decision for you.