Marketing, Product Placement, and Us

As part of this collective challenge I have been avoiding the news.  At the same time, I began a new marketing class online.  The class is helping us understand how companies market to existing or potential customers.  This has created a renewed awareness of the existence of the marketing, advertisements, and product placement all around us.

Not that I didn’t see these attempts in the past, but with the more limited self-imposed access to normal media outlets, my senses seemed to notice the attempts more and more.

With the onset of the DVR, I typically fast forward through most commercials, and seldom watch live TV, but while on the treadmill (no DVR down there) I do see ads, but not as often as I should.  This is what I noticed yesterday.  Apparently I should be alarmed that I am being held hostage from my cable company, should switch my car insurance – but not to “one of those cut-rate” companies, need to eat lots and lots of fast food with more chili on it, and pepper has antioxidants.

By the way, I am not opposed to ads.  I watch the Superbowl ads, and I always enjoy a good funny ad.  Just last night we were sitting around talking about the VW ad with the barking dogs singing Star Wars (at first I thought I had dreamed it which made for a pretty funny conversation last night, but yes it is real) that is a preview for their next Superbowl ad.  Does this make me want to buy a VW, no but the dogs are great.

Companies must be on to me, and the rest of us.  They know we don’t buy news papers, get most of our news online (except for this month), throw away junk mail, but still purchase things.  Product placement appears to be the next way to get our attention.  Back to VW, I was watching a show the other night, and the entire episode was essentially a VW commercial veiled in a sitcom…sneaky.  My family is beginning to notice the product placement as well.

“A DSW shoe box, right there on the shelf!”

“Look at all the Macs, everyone uses them in this show.”

“That looks like an iPhone, but they blurred it out.”

Companies are trying to be creative in their way to find us, but I am curious, do these ads or attempts change your buying habits?  How do they find you?  Why do you buy the things you do?  (Feel free to respond, I am curious about how ads or product placement work with real people…with you.)

Keep up the challenge, we only have eight more days!  If you haven’t participated in the poll yet, please do, the feedback I get from each of you is great.

P.S. Sometimes pesky ads appear at the bottom of this blog, and I will fix that soon, I need to upgrade it and will do that shortly.