Guerilla Marketing and Desensitization

About a month ago we talked a little bit about guerilla marketing schemes done by major corporations and others.  I wanted to do a little more research on the topic and delve into this phenomenon.  Guerilla marketing can be defined as an “advertisement strategy concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend.”  What these marketers try to do is try to capture the attention of the crowd on a personal and memorable level.  Examples of this might be seeing an ad for Coca Cola on the side of a bus, or an ad for a law firm on a park bench.  Everywhere you look, there are advertisements in places that we might not even expect.  Especially in the modern digital media era, there are ads all over our interface.  If we log into Facebook we wll see ads on the sidebar or promotions from other people and companies on our main feed.  In today’s day in age, there is almost no escape for advertisement espcially when we go out in to public.

But how effective are these ads? Do they still influence the crowd in the same way they used to?  I believe that with the oversaturation of ads in society, people have become desensitized to them.  In other words, people just see ads as a part of their daily life and they stroll on past them as if they are meaningless.  If humans took notice to every ad that came across their face on a daily basis this would be sensory overload and would be too much for our brains to process.  What many ad agencies might assume is the magic bullet theory, which is that we view an ad and are immediately influenced by its message so passionately that we immediately go and purchase that product.  With a small portion of the populuation who are not regularly exposed to media presense may be more subject to this.  However, for most people, just because you see a bilboard on the street for discounted shoes at DSW does not mean you will drop what you are doing, and run to buy those shoes.

With the advent of what I will call ‘over-advertising’ I believe this has created a downward trend in how effective ads really are.  I think major companies should cut back spending on advertisements and put those funds towards a more useful direction, like stopping global warming. Do it for the polar bears.

Blake Hagerman

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