Thursday, 1 November 2012


I've been taking part in a fascinating qualitative study for the University of London, looking at their advertising campaigns.

It's made me think - what appeals to me about an advert? Is it the text, is it the image... or actually is my mind already made up?

So, for example, if I'm looking for a tin of baked beans, the choice of whether it's brand X or not is a bit moot, because I'm going to buy some anyway. The only question is when and where, and if brand X is the only one in the shop then it's Hobson's choice.

I'm not sure whether there is any sort of quantitative research into the effectiveness of advertising at actually persuading someone to buy something when they are not going to buy it in the first place.

I mean, if I go to a car dealership it's really carrying a subtle signal that I want to buy a car (even if I dress it up as just passing a couple of hours and getting the salesman's hopes up only to cruelly dash them).

And what do I mean by "having already made up my mind" - questions of free will, maybe?

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