Psychological tricks by marketers to get you to spend more money


The purpose of advertising and marketing is to supply a product or service that solves problems for customers. These problems are either real, imagined, or generated by the advertiser.

If you consider the following tricks used by advertisers, you may never watch another commercial again, and just go with your instincts. It’s much better to do this anyway, than allow yourself to be misled by advertisers.

10 tricks used by retailers to get you to spend money

1. Humor

When the product advertised is good enough, there’s no need for humor. Advertisers that go overboard on humor are giving you an indication of how bad the product is. The more humor in advertising, the worse the product or service is for you. For example, the next time you see a commercial by a lawyer who is an ambulance chaser, ask yourself, “Would I pay this guy to represent me in a court of law?


2. Sexuality

Watching a beautiful woman, or a handsome man in a commercial automatically triggers the mind. We link a pleasurable experience with the product or service being sold. This is why advertisers show so much skin when trying to sell a product. Of course, common sense will tell you that this has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

3. Showing human characteristics in non human objects

In some pet food commercials, you’re likely to see smiling dogs and cats to gain your confidence and trust in a product. A classic example is the Morris the Cat commercial for Nine Lives Cat Food. And of course, have you ever seen the 1986 California Raisins commercial?


4. Insecurity

The cosmetics commercials are notorious with this tactic. They will show you a beautiful model, and then tell the ladies watching the commercial, “If you buy our product, you can look just like this.” Marketers will make us feel insufficient, and we will try and find a way to fill the self-doubt. The advertisers’ solution is simple – Buy their product.

5. Reverse Psychology

Advertisers provoke buyers’ resistance by telling you not to buy something, even thought they want you to buy it. They think this will work in reverse and cause customers to buy in groves.


6. Rebates

Half of the rebates offered over $50 are never redeemed. Less than ten percent of rebates under $10 are also never redeemed. Most people won’t take the time to fill out the form. Did you know that unfilled rebates go back to the manufacturer and the clearinghouse that transacts the rebate? Someone is getting the money.

7. Feedback from other customers

Also known as social proof, advertisers use this approach, thinking customers will value positive and negative feedback. Can you remember the last time you read a product review after watching a commercial?

8 Fear and Intimidation

You’d better sign up with Life Lock, or someone will steal your identity!” Another example is, “Use Clinique Dark Spot Correcting Lotion, or you’ll have those horrible age spots!” This is a vicious advertising tactic, and could be dangerous, because much of the fear in advertising is directed towards children.


9. Witchcraft, Black Magic

The cosmetic industry is the worst at this tactic. Some claim to have a product that will get rid of aging spots. Using their product means, to them, you can turn back the clock. Of course we all know that’s not true.

10. Misleading information

advertising-marketing-spend-moneyHave you ever wondered why that hamburger you buy at Wendy’s doesn’t look as good as the one in the advertisement? A few days ago, I order their new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, because it looked so good on TV. Unfortunately, it didn’t look that good in person. Some advertisers even go as far as to spray food with lacquer to make it look good. Infomercials are the worst at this tactic. For example, in a weight loss infomercial, they will show pictures of the before and after. What’s misleading is, many use image software, like photoshop, to make the after shot look perfect. Misleading visuals are the worst advertising practices because of the damage it causes children.

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