However, there are many different kinds of "wants", not all of them powerful motivators. For example, I want a super powerful computer but not badly enough to actually buy one.
"Needing" something is a much more powerful motivation. And the distance between a "want" and a "need" is very short. Part of an advertiser's job is to convince you that you need something, not just want it.
Once a need has been established, advertising nirvana is to make consumption a "habit" rather than a conscious choice.
"She knew that over the past decade, many companies had perfected the art of creating automatic behaviors - habits - among consumers. These habits have helped companies earn billions of dollars
when customers eat snacks, apply lotions and wipe counters almost without thinking, often in response to a carefully designed set of daily cues."
Advertisers are now trying to create that "need" by appealing to potential consumers as young as one year old.
"Is it right to advertise to children?" said Dave Siegel, president of WonderGroup, a Cincinnati-based youth marketing agency. "The parents we talk to feel it's very appropriate."
As Generation Xers became parents, attitudes towards advertising changed, Siegel said. Parents these days ask their kids what they want, rather than the other way around. Sixty-nine percent of mothers said it makes their shopping easier when their child knows what brand he or she likes, according to the 2003 Yankelovich Youth Monitor, a survey consisting of in-person interviews with 1,080 mothers.
"Mom's not lazy. Mom's smart. She doesn't want to waste time and money," Siegel said. "Mom will take the child to the store and the child will point. Given that's how parents are, I think it's appropriate for advertisers to market to children at a younger age."
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