Thursday, September 24, 2009

Responses to "The Persuaders" Video

"The Persuaders" begins by questioning the increase in the amount of advertising we typically encounter in our daily lives. How would you assess the amount of advertising you see? Too much? Too little? Just right? In your view, what difference does it make to know that people today see much more advertising in their daily lives than people 20 or 30 years ago?

Advertising has become more current and much more powerful than it was 20-30 years ago. I believe a main reason for this was the result of the internet culture. Today, we give out information about ourselves by the websites that we visit. This has allowed advertisers to see what we are interested and what we are not interested in. It gives them the power to throw pop ups on our screens that may possibly appeal to us. I believe that with all of the clutter, advertisers are aware that we have become "cockroaches" in the way that we've become immune to all of the "treatments" or advertisements. They have become more and more desperate to reach us by way of subway ads you see WHILE you are riding the train, and even more desperately, URINALS. Advertisers are aware that it is getting harder to reach us or make a lasting impression because of developments such as SPAM, pop up blockers, filters, and even Tivo. I myself put the tv on mute during commercials to clear my head when watching tv. Therefore, I find creative ways to avoid advertising the same way advertisers are coming up with new ways to reach me.

What surprised you in the descriptions of how much demographic information marketers have about potential customers? What kinds of information would you be willing to share about yourself or your family in order to: enter a contest? Get a discount? Get online? Get a cell phone? Use a credit card? Would you be willing to reveal your name, address and phone number? What music you listen to or your favorite snacks? How much you earn? What medications people in your family take? What kinds of information would you want to keep private and why?

Although it is shocking how much information is shared about my personal life, I am not in the least bit surprised. While watching the video, it made me think of ways to avoid giving out my information. Just because the woman at Victoria's Secret wants to know my zip code and I think I fool her by giving her the wrong one, or the wrong phone number, does not mean she won't know everything she wants to know as soon as I swipe my credit card into her machine. That will give her my address, my zip code, my town, my demographic, and more. Any time you shop online, you wonder why you get e-mails from companies with coupons and rebates. You are giving them information about yourself that you may not want them to know. Yes, there are such things as "do not call lists," but it doesn't mean they don't know all of those things about you. You can set up your spam folder, control your e-mails, throw out your home junk mail, and say no to polls and zip code questions when you walk out of a store, but it doesn't mean they won't count you into a demographic and decode you by all of your consumptions. Of course I would want information such as medications I am on, tests I go for, grades I have, my mother's maiden name, but it doesn't mean at the end of the day that they can be stopped by finding out that information another way.

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