Module 5 Module 5 Module 5 Module 5
Module 5 Presentation Readings Assignments

Go on to Module 6 - Advertising Literacy
Go back to Part 3 - How Consumers Make Choices - External Factors

How Consumers Make Choices - Internal Factors

One reason people consume is to meet their self-imposed "needs". Another is to find solutions to problems they either have or think they have.

Cathy shopping
Click for larger image
©2011, Cathy Guisewite

Internal Factors Influencing Consumption

There are at least five major internal factors influencing consumption.

1) Motivation

2) Learning and Memory

3) Personality and Self-concept

4) Attitudes

5) Information Processing

1) Motivation

"Motive arousal", instilling in the customer the desire to act, is one of the main focuses of advertising.

The 1943 "pin up" crate label to the right was not intended for the housewife consumer. Its only purpose was to encourage the male produce buyers to look closer at the label, and thus the vegetables in the crate.

In Module 6, we'll discuss specific techniques for motivation.

Click for larger image
©1943, F.H. Hogue

2) Learning and Memory

This means how we learn about a product, and how much we remember about that product.

A maxim in the advertising business is that a bad ad remembered is more effective than a clever ad forgotten.

The ad to the right uses sexual symbolism to encourage the viewer to remember the name of the product.

Don Diego
Click for larger image
©1995, Don Diego Cigars
The ad below, from England, uses a traditional technique to get our attention - sex. It then creates a unique linkage between the "story" on the screen and the product. The goal of the ad is to make the story, and thus the linked product, memorable.

3) Personality and Self-concept

This plays on your image of yourself and your vision of how you want to be.

Think of the products advertised that promise to make you "more" - more attractive, more self-confidant, more successful.

Many famous ad slogans speak to self-concept.

"Be All You Can Be"
"There's Something About an Aqua Velva Man"
"I Dreamed I Was Bewitching in My Maidenform Bra"
"Have It Your Way"
Maidenform bra
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©1941, Maiden Form Brassiere Company
Many health care workers believe the media is fuelling an American obsession with self-image. "First, we were manipulated by the beauty and fashion industries, now it's TV and friends with new breasts as if they've bought an expensive new purse in a department store." Click here to read "Show Me the Makeover".

The cartoon to the right clearly shows the image conflict facing young women.

Click for larger image
©1998, Gary Trudeau
In contrast, the Singapore ad below urges us to look beyond an individual's outer appearance and seek the person within.

4) Attitudes

This means how you feel toward an object, idea, or person. Have you had a good experience with a product or a good recommendation? Have you had a bad experience or recommendation? Do you like the spokesperson? All of these factors influence your attitude.

Because of the importance of attitude, marketers try to influence you before AND after a purchase.

The first task is to motivate the first sale. Marketers can encourage this by promoting a positive image of the product.

The next task is to encourage repeat sales. Marketers can do this either by reinforcing that their product is better. Or by reinforcing that their product is no worse.

The ad below is a classic "product demonstration" designed to influence your attitude about a product. We'll study this ad technique more in Module 6.
Study the ad on the right and determine the "attitude" associated with the product. Then click here to read "FTC Targets Joe Camel" and "Grow Up Joe Camel." This pdf file contains two articles from ABC News on the impact of cigarette ads on young children.

This study of the history of cigarette advertising shows how influential attitudes are on sales. Even though the article was written in 1986, it not only summarized the impact of the public attitude on smoking on sales, it effectively predicted current trends.

Click here to read "The Ghost of Cigarette Advertising Past."

Joe Camel
Click for larger image
©R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

5) Information Processing

This is the final step in the advertising process, where all of the internal and external factors are balanced. It's the actual purchasing impact of the ad.

You've been motivated, you've remembered, the ad has spoken to your personality and has shaped a positive attitude. You've absorbed all this information, processed it, and are ready to make that purchase! The information processing was a success.

Or you fail to make the purchase. Remember the Taco Bell ad? Cute dog, catchy ads, no sales. The information processing was incomplete

Here is another disaster we'll talk more about in the next module.

In these campaigns, the information processing failed. There was some gap, some weakness in the advertising. We did not process the information in the intended way - to influence a purchase.

The column below talks about a current hit in Information Processing and a failure in corporate communications.

"This week was a lesson for businesses in how to do social media right as well as in the perils of ignoring it altogether. Old Spice's stunt, which used YouTube and Twitter to slap together on-the-spot video shorts starring its smooth-talking spokesman -- hit a viral marketing home run. Meanwhile, Apple gave customers nothing but a noseful of condescension, which it may finally fix with its conference Friday."

Click here to read "The Sweet Smell of Social Media Success - and the Funk of Failure"

Go on to Module 6 - Advertising Literacy
Go back to Part 3 - How Consumers Make Choices - External Factors
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©2011, Terry Dugas

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