MTKS3 Session 1

False Advertising 

According to the law on marketing and advertising, companies cannot mislead or harass consumers by: including false or deceptive messages, leaving out important information and using aggressive sales techniques. This has come into place to stop aggressive selling techniques and misinforming and misleading people about products or services.

In our programme, we use Red Bull as an example of this.

Red Bull was sued over its slogan ‘Red Bull gives you wings’. The company paid out $13 million to consumers who had not developed “wings” nor shown any signs of improved intellectual or physical abilities. Read more about it here

Another example of this to use in the session is with shoe brand New Balance

New Balance said its toning shoe could help wearers burn calories, though the shoes were never proven to be any better at helping to burn calories than other types of shoes. New Balance settled a class-action lawsuit over those claims in 2012 for $2.3 million.

How adverts influence us 

After watching an advertising video, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online, and 80% of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month. One of the biggest strengths of video marketing is that it’s highly visual and auditory, which means it’s easier for many users to remember than text-based content. Read more about it here. 

Brand comparison 

By using the supermarket downshift mentality next time you shop, you can save around a third on your weekly food spending. On average, that’s a saving of £520 a year! Read more about it here

The supermarket downshift method is based on the premise that supermarkets stock four different price levels of their staple products, with the most significant difference between the products not being the quality, but the price tag. 

The four levels are: 

  1. Premium brand – Luxury & organic brands such as Tesco Finest or Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 
  1. Manufacturer’s brand – Brands like Heinz, Birds Eye, Walkers…
  1. Supermarket own-brand – Supermarkets’ own versions of our favourite brands, such as Tesco cornflakes
  1. No-frills value products – Economy packets with basic packaging, for example, Asda Smart Price onions or Sainsbury’s Basics bread.

You don’t have to trade down on every item. As long as you try downgrading on some items that are less important to you, such as washing up liquid, cooking oil, sugar and chopped tomatoes, you’ll still make a substantial saving. 

Brand influence

Logos and slogans are created to make brands stand out and be memorable. Brands use font and colour psychology to establish trust and familiarity by eliciting the right emotions. Notice that the brands in the first column use a script font which are intended to provoke ideas of elegance and creativity, thanks to their hand-written nature. Purple tends to also be used with higher-end products due to its association with royalty and elegance. Read more about it here.

Adverts are designed to make their products’ ‘unique selling point’ clear to their audience and set itself aside from its competitors. TV adverts at different times of the day target different audiences.  Read more about it here. 

Overbuying/food waste 

UK households waste on average 4.5m tonnes of food each year. Although total food waste has fallen in the UK by the equivalent of 7% per person over the past three years, individual households should still be doing more to reduce food waste. Read more about it here. 

What motivates us to spend 

There are many factors that influence our spending habits, including impulse spends based on emotions and feelings. Someone may be experiencing certain emotions when impulse buying, such as happiness or stress, and then be motivated by marketing materials in a store or online to buy a product or service that caters to their current emotion.  Knowing the difference between thoughts and feelings can help understand the needs that lie behind the feelings. Read more about it here. 

Impulse buying affects our money decisions, as we feel a certain way about something, we rationalise this through thinking, and this then motivates us to take action – often without thinking about the consequence.   

What motivates us to impulse buy: 

  1. The love of buying new things – feeling of excitement, but consider how long that feeling lasts.  Unboxing – wanting to capture the feeling of having something new. 
  1. Fear of missing out – The want/desire to have similar positive experiences that their friends are having.  Why do we buy into trends – because we feel like we are missing out if we don’t buy into it?  The fear of not being included or accepted for having different views.   
  1. People want to learn and experience things for themselves – preferring to have/do something yourself, rather than hear about it from someone else.  How do you feel if your friends have something you don’t have? 
  1. You want to save money – you may find a great deal, but if you don’t need it/didn’t intend to buy it, are you really saving money?  
  1. You want to feel good – Consider how you feel after shopping when you have come away empty handed.   

If our feelings and thoughts motivate us to take action, we have to be aware of the consequences and risks of our actions. 

Celebrity endorsement 

The more we see certain brands and adverts, the more we recognise and trust and feel comfortable buying them.   

In the programme, we use Beats as an example of celebrity endorsement. In 2008, the headphone company Beats supplied 15 pairs of headphones to the U.S. men’s basketball team before they left for the Beijing Olympics. LeBron James was seen stepping off the airplane with these headphones in China and Beats headphones sales increased exponentially.  

In 2020 Just Eat put more emphasis on its marketing strategy, and doubled its UK sales force. Part of its marketing strategy saw Snoop Dogg appear in the Just Eat advert. According to reports, he was paid £5m for the appearance. Delivery orders in the UK grew by 387% in the fourth quarter of 2020 and Just Eat experienced a third consecutive quarter of order growth acceleration. 

Unboxing videos 

Video blogging is being used increasingly to review products and the packaging that they arrive in. YouTube now features almost 40 million “unboxing” videos – some with millions of views. “Unboxing videos can convey the idea that it’s [material] things that make us happy. Or that we need new products to make us fully content.” (Source)