Market to Me

Rachel Anctil, Features Editor

In the wake of the Super Bowl, consumers are all abuzz about the latest and greatest marketing strategies. This marks a unique time of year where customers are acutely aware of the fact that they are being marketed to.

Society has established a high standard for the commercials aired during and around the Super Bowl and thus viewers come to expect greatness. With this standard set high, people are more critical of what they are viewing – but are they more critical of the product itself, or just of how the 30 seconds of product bombardment made them feel?

From cars, to chips, to financial websites, all of the big companies come out of the wood work forking over fistfuls of money on this major night to watch and wait, not to mention wish, hope and pray, that their marketing strategy that was brilliant in the boardroom translates to the viewer so as to inspire him or her to immediately jump up from the couch and run out and purchase that Chrysler or bag of Doritos because they cannot imagine even another second of  life without it being enhanced so richly by a powdered cheese covered chip.

That was perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but truly, for these companies this is the big show. They have teams of the brightest marketing professionals of our time, ideally, working round the clock to put out a cohesive campaign that ultimately, increases their customer bases. That is their objective – to get you to buy into their product, their philosophy and their way of life, so that one day it will be you who cannot imagine another second without the comfort of their company.

The problem is that we all too easily buy into it. Not even just for the Super Bowl, but in general. Mindless consumption of different ad campaigns is likely to affect what we remember, what we buy, even the jokes we make from day to day. If we are not aware of the subliminal messages that we absorb from all of the advertisements we are plagued with daily, they will begin to effect the way we live, whether we want them to or not.

My message here is twofold. Don’t wait for Super Bowl season to be critical of promotions. Not only is it good practice to monitor the media you are being saturated with for lifestyle purposes, but it also ups your business savvy. Furthermore, separate your purchasing methods from your entertainment methods. Don’t let the stylized commercials fool you. Decide what you want to buy, of your own accord, and use objectivity in choosing how and from whom.