Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Marketing and advertising are so powerful that adding a single word or phrase, evoking an image or memory, can impact the results in an incredible manner:

  • Adding the word repeat, onto shampoo bottles, is alleged to have boosted revenue by close to 100% when first introduced.
  • The company that owned Listerine was first used as an antiseptic; after being rebranded as a mouthwash when the company introduced the word Halitosis to describe bad breath – sales rose significantly, from $100,000 in 1921 to over $4 million in 1927.
  • The Ice Bucket Challenge became a viral sensation through social media and word of mouth peer pressure, raising over $115 million dollars for ALS charities.
  • Diamonds were not the engagement ring of choice until the late 1940’s when an ad campaign pushed the idea of diamonds as elegant, for celebrities, and with the slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” the way this gem is perceived was changed for perpetuity.
  • Colors can have a psychological impact on consumers; ever notice how many food packages have red as their primary color? Red encourages appetite. Pink is associated with Victoria’s Secret.
  • Music, when used effectively, can drive brand recognition as well as loyalty, due to the ability for it to trigger or activate feelings or memories. Every time I hear Alicia Keys’ song “Girl on Fire” I think of the Citibank Visa Card ad campaign it was connected to for a few years. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy memory, but it does keep that credit card front and center in my brain.
  • If you are going to sell a house, perhaps bake cookies before prospective clients arrive, as that aroma sends a message to the buyer that they are looking at their future home.

Advertising is just one aspect of marketing, but if you have a way with words, have keen insight into human behavior, and are creative, it may be a career path to consider. Encompassing psychological insight, sociological comprehension, data interpretation, social media savvy, and digital strategy, this field is ideal for students with many majors or backgrounds.

To do some research on the advertising arm of marketing, check out some of the resources below, talk to your faculty, set up a career coaching appointment, and stretch your brain whenever you get the chance – you never know when or where you will get inspiration for the next great idea! – Advertising Age – ADWEEK – Association of National Advertisers


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