Skip to content

How Advertising Affects Our Spending Habits

Shoes, clothes, hair, nails, accessories, make-up, flashy cars, jewellery, latest gadgets. It’s no wonder so many people are broke. These are the things that are thrown at our senses whenever we hit the Internet, watch TV, listen to the radio or use any other medium where ads are abundant. And this is exactly how advertising affects our spending habits.

When was the last time you saw an ad for someone telling you to buy a piggy bank or showing you how to make your own jewellery? Have you ever seen an ad telling you that you should hold on to your five year old car for a few more years? I’ve never seen any of these types of ads and I can’t see it happening any time soon. Maybe ever.

Ads can make you want something that you may or may not need. I’m not ashamed to admit that seeing clothing ads makes me want to go right out and buy everything that I saw that was advertised as being on sale. I would not mind buying endless pairs of shoes and having them delivered to me for free. How many times have you seen celebrities flaunting their clothing and you go ” I want that!”? Have you ever seen a basketballer in a pair of shoes that you just had to have?

I think that an ad is successful in a number of ways. When it catches your attention, that begins the first wave of success. It has grabbed your attention and piqued your interest. The next step is that you remember it at some point in time. It could be that it popped into your head randomly, or you saw something that reminded you of the ad. You might not necessarily need the item, but at least it’s swimming around in your head.

An ad is truly successful when you’re convinced that you need this item or you convince someone that they need the item. You can’t get it out of your head, so it must be something that you need. You might not be able to afford it, but that ad forgot to mention that. What should you do?

Personally, I have strong willpower and I can resist buying stuff knowing full well that it will probably cost me an arm and a leg to ship it to Barbados. If you’re not in that position, you should definitely give it some deep thought. Weigh the pros and cons. Can you do without it? Will the item add any value to you? If your answer to these questions is yes and no respectively, then you could forget about the item until the next ad comes around and the process starts again.