Use of Music
Advertising that uses music is taking advantage of classical conditioning. Music that is happy and repetitive helps consumers to feel happy when they hear it. Consumers then associate the feelings of happiness with the product and may be more likely to buy the product. Jingles that stick in the mind, such as rhyming jingles, or tunes based on popular songs, can also act as a form of classical conditioning. Every time the consumer remembers the tune, they unconsciously also remember the product associated with it. The goal of the advertiser is to make the consumer more likely to buy the product.
B.F. Skinner’s theory of human behavior refers to changes in behavior as a result of experiences that occur after a response. This is the type of conditioning most people are at least partially aware of. This is because behavior is controlled, or conditioned, by reinforcement or punishment.
Operant conditioning in advertising occurs when consumers are rewarded for buying a product or service. The reward acts to reinforce the behavior, making the consumer more likely to continue buying the product. For example, coupons are a form of operant conditioning. Consumers use coupons to buy a product at a discount. The goal is to condition behavior so that they continue to buy the product. The behavior continues even when the coupons are no longer available. This is because they become conditioned to buying the product.
Free offers are another form of operant conditioning in advertising. One strategy is to offer consumers a free sample and a coupon good for a large discount. Included is a coupon for a smaller discount. At the end of this, the consumer may be so used to using the product that they continue to buy it at full price. Offers such as buy 2, get 1 free are another form of operant conditioning.
This type of operant conditioning may be used to get consumers to stop doing something. For example, electricity companies may charge more for electricity used during peak hours. This is a way to get people to use less electricity during peak hours. Salespeople who call at inconvenient times or use pressure to convince you to buy a product or service are also using negative conditioning. The idea is that you will buy the product in order to stop the pestering. Another form of negative conditioning is a threat to void a warranty if the consumer does not use the company’s repair and maintenance products. For example, voiding the warranty of a printer if you do not use the manufacturer’s branded ink cartridges.
The incredible thing about conditioning as a marketing tool is that, like the case of Coca-Cola, it isn’t at all a negative thing. It presents solutions to problems. Discounts alone can create a negative association with the full price when used too often. However, classical conditioning in advertising offers incentives and benefits while maintaining the integrity of the brand, product, and consumers.
Utilizing psychology in this way helps brands connect with consumers as humans beings. It appeals to a consumer’s mind and needs rather than treating them as transactions. Psychology allows brands to connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful, personal level.
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Advertising is often based on classical conditioning. The idea behind its use is simplepanies want to make ads that elicit a response in the viewer or reader exposed to the ad. This makes the advertised product the Conditioned Stimulus. The ultimate goal of the ad is to make viewers associate the feeling with the product when they come across it in real life. The objective is that the feeling becomes the Conditioned Response.