Thursday, 16 December 2010

Only £499.99!

A simple but very effect trick of the trade, used by the masters of the dark arts of advertising, is to prefix a price with an adjective such as ‘only, or ‘just.’ It’s one of the oldest tricks in the adman’s guidebook, yet oddly, one of the more effective. No matter what the sum of money an item is displayed for, as long as it is prefixed with either of these terms, the potential purchaser psychologically is made to think that she or he is purchasing a bargain.

The customer is distracted by the adjective; the prefix has done its business and has persuaded the potential purchaser that the item on offer is a bargain, not to be missed! And, whatever price appeared after the ‘just,’ or ‘only,’ would be, to a large extent irrelevant. The customer has been hooked and from here on in it is easier to real them in.

Of course all of this is deeply immoral. But that is the way the adverting industry works. Advertising agencies employ very creative people whose job it is to create a desire in people for said product. Their livelihoods depend on their ability to sell to the public any item they are commissioned by the producer to sell.


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