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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ads Don't Work That Way

    Before seeing the ad, the product wasn't worth very much to us, but after seeing the ad, we find ourselves wanting to buy it (and at a premium, no less). The problem is that there's no escape, no immunity, from this kind of ad. Once we see it — and know that all our peers have seen it too — it's in our rational self-interest to buy the advertised product.

Sure, why not? All the cool kids are doing it.

It's not a bad article. I actually liked it. But I am unconvinced about the author's point. Especially after his use of the bedsheet example, which feels to contradict its own point. There is no way to avoid advertising influence unless the product isn't likely to come up in a conversation or during any social gathering. Then it doesn't matter what you buy or if it was even advertised. But everything else is, like, totally done via cultural imprinting mechanism. You need a bit more to do a proof by contradiction. The only thing showed here is that there might be things that aren't explained by the proposed mechanism.

Or did I got it completely wrong?

wasoxygen  ·  244 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you're on the right track, but it's hard to prove anything. Deodorant is also a private product, but advertised widely.

It would be interesting to see what sectors spend more on advertising compared to the "size of the market" but I don't know if that would be total revenue or total profit. Automobile brands advertise heavily but gasoline brands are almost invisible.

The other night I saw a Mercedes driving up. It was easy to spot because the famous logo was illuminated. I figured it was a tacky aftermarket accessory, but it's a $480 manufacturer option.

Devac  ·  244 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Deodorant is also a private product, but advertised widely.

I guess that the author's rebuttal would be "but it's shown to you by happy people who don't smell as bad as you. Would you like to stink in a social gathering next to a grill?" :P

Again, I liked the idea he got. Hell, I'm now mildly interested about how ads work and I can't say that I was inclined to research the topic in more depth than "so how do I optimise uBlock better?" That's something.

wasoxygen  ·  243 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm now mildly interested about how ads work

Do let us know if you find out. I've always thought the theory of subliminal positive associations was kind of shaky, but I didn't have a better way to explain the amounts of money spent on promotion.

FYI-style ads make sense, and the article gets some support from the kinds of ads I see in my junk mail (a vector that does not let me know how many other people got the same message). They are mostly in the "this service exists" style, sometimes simply a restaurant takeout menu, often with unexciting, practical information like a map to the location and operating hours.