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How Advertising Affects Your Spending Choices

Commercials have more influence on you than you think!


Have you ever wondered why you’re drawn to certain toys, gadgets, or snacks? Well, it’s not by chance. Advertisements are designed to influence your choices, and they’re really good at it. They use cheerful kids, exciting games, and your favorite characters to make you feel like you can’t be happy without their product. But what if you could see through their tricks? Imagine taking charge of your wants, making smart decisions about what you truly need. You’re about to set out on a journey, and by the end of it, you won’t look at ads the same way again.

Understanding Advertising Techniques

To start, let’s explore the world of advertising techniques, so you can see how ads attempt to catch your attention and influence your spending choices. Some ads hook you in with bright colors, catchy jingles, or funny characters. You’ve probably seen a commercial with a talking animal or a catchy song and found it hard to forget, right? That’s an advertising technique called ‘brand recall.’

Next, there’s ‘celebrity endorsement.’ You’ve seen your favorite sports star or singer promoting a product and thought, ‘If they like it, it must be good!’ That’s exactly what the advertisers want you to think.

Then, there’s the ‘bandwagon effect.’ Ads often show lots of people using and enjoying a product, which makes you want to join in so you don’t feel left out.

The Psychology Behind Commercials

Now, let’s explore the mind tricks that commercials use to influence your spending decisions.

Ever noticed how commercials often show happy, excited people using a product? That’s not by accident. They’re trying to make you associate their product with feeling good, so you’ll be more likely to buy it.

Another trick is making the product seem scarce or limited. ‘Get it now before it’s gone!’ they might say. This creates a sense of urgency, making you feel like you need to buy it right away to avoid missing out.

Commercials also use catchy songs, mascots, or slogans to stick in your mind. You might find yourself singing the jingle or repeating the slogan without even realizing it. This makes the product more memorable and increases the chances you’ll think of it when shopping.

Impact of Advertising on Kids

Without a doubt, advertising can have a big impact on your choices, especially when it comes to spending your money. Advertisements are designed to catch your eye and make you want something, even if you didn’t think about it before.

Here’s the scoop: Companies know that you, as a kid, influence your family’s purchases. They strategically create advertisements that speak directly to you, using catchy jingles, colorful images, and your favorite characters.

Ever wondered why the cereal aisle is full of boxes with fun cartoons and bright colors? That’s because marketers want to draw you in and make their product stand out.

The impact goes further. If you see an ad for a toy or game, you might start to feel that you need it to fit in or be happy. It’s not a coincidence that many ads show kids having fun while using their product. They’re trying to convince you that owning their product will make your life better or more exciting.

Learning to Resist Advertising Pressure

So, how can you handle this advertising pressure and make smart decisions with your money?

First, understand that ads are designed to make you want something. They’re not always bad, but they’re not your friend either. They exist to sell products, and their job is to make you think you need those products.

To resist this pressure, you need to develop a strong sense of what you really want and need. Don’t let ads dictate your desires. If you see a toy or gadget that looks cool in an ad, don’t rush to buy it. Take a step back and think about whether you truly need it or want it.

Another way to resist is by becoming a savvy consumer. Learn how to do your research. Check out product reviews, compare prices, and think about the product’s real value.

Don’t let flashy ads trick you into thinking a product is better than it really is.

Making Smart Spending Decisions

Let’s explore how you can make smart spending decisions, even when faced with persuasive ads.

First, don’t rush. Advertisements often create a sense of urgency to make you buy quickly, but it’s wiser to take your time. Consider whether you need the product and if it’s worth the price.

Second, do your own research. It’s easy to believe what ads tell you, but they’re designed to make the product look as good as possible. Look up other customer reviews or ask friends and family about their experiences with the product.

Third, set a budget. Knowing how much you can spend will prevent overspending and help you prioritize your purchases.

Lastly, remember it’s okay to say no. Just because an ad tells you you need something doesn’t mean you do. You’re in control of your decisions, not the advertisers.

Being smart with your money isn’t always easy, especially with all the ads around you, but by taking these steps, you can resist marketing pressure and make the right decisions.

Don’t Be Fooled!

Just like a savvy detective, you can uncover the tricks of advertising and avoid their traps. Remember, ads are designed to make you desire their products. Don’t let them fool you into thinking you need something when you just want it.

Stand strong against the colorful allure of ads, do your own research, and make smart spending choices. By doing this, you’ll save your money and become a wise and responsible consumer.

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About the Author

David McCurrach

David McCurrach is the founder of Kids' Money. Following a career working in finance for several banks and credit unions, David started Kids' Money in 1995 and has since published three books on kids' financial literacy and allowance programs.

Last updated on: July 8, 2024