In early childhood, people believe everything. It is what leads them to accept without much doubt the existence of the Three Wise Men or the Ratoncito Pérez, but also what drives them to want what the brands sell them and what they present in highly colorful environments.It is not until about puberty that children’s brains are able to clearly separate advertising and content and, above all, that the former is not necessarily true. That is, brands try to persuade us by offering the best possible face so that we fall into their networks.Once that level of mental maturity is reached, the dynamic between brands and consumers changes, because the latter have learned that not all that glitters is gold and that companies try to maneuver so that everything works out in their favor.
This change in mental maturity and in how we process and separate information becomes one of the first elements that advertising has to deal with. He is not the only one: in general, it can be said that consumers are reluctant towards advertisements and that they manage the information it offers them with, from the outset, a highly critical vision. In other words, the ads are viewed with a certain distrust, based on the idea that ‘brands lie to us’.Why do we distrust ads by default?Possibly life experiences have a lot to do with this perception, but also common culture a bit. They have learned to differentiate advertising information and to expect different things from one to the other. Likewise, it is known that the announcements are statements of an interested party and not, therefore, necessarily truthful.But in addition, psychology adds a few layers of information to understand why consumers do not believe the ads. It also impacts how our brain works and how it manages information and the relationship of the person with their environment.
A study carried out by Costa Rica Email List experts from the University of Oregon has focused on understanding how the theory of mind can be applied to advertising and how consumers process it, to establish what relationship exists between the consumer’s refusal to be persuaded and how it is they receive the announcements.The theory of mind focuses on analyzing how people are able to estimate the mental states and intentions of others, as explained in Phys . It is commonly used to understand feelings of empathy, but in this case it worked to study the reception of persuasion. Thus, the researchers studied how consumers processed being persuaded and how they reacted to those stimuli.Realizing that they are trying to persuade you directly affects how that information is managed and how you believe it.The problem of persuasionIt could be said that, based on the study data, the more aware the consumer is that they are trying to persuade him, the more skepticism increases and the more the intention linked to the product falls. The researchers demonstrated this using various tests.In one, the participants had to come across an advertising message about a soap, which used classic cliches of the advertising of those products.
One included the phrase “YOU HAVE to buy it.” Even the one without this last sentence achieved high levels of skepticism and consumers did not have a good attitude towards the product. The more skeptical, the more the purchase intention and positive attitude fell.Can you fight skepticism?Should companies therefore throw in the towel and assume that no one will believe their ads, while they will not positively impact their purchasing decisions? The truth is that reality is not so negative.Advertisers must be aware of how consumers react to campaigns and the state of mind with which they are confronted, but also that some issues help to improve the perception of things. That is, companies can counteract the effects of this skeptical view by strengthening other elements.
Thus, consumers are much more receptive if you are transparent. Transparency makes skepticism about advertising go down (and with it the desired effects go up). The researchers demonstrated this using a clear resource: shipping costs for online purchases. In his test, a part of the participants saw the shipping costs from the first moment while the seconds only did it at the end. In the second, much less transparent, skepticism about the company’s promises was greater.Also, curiously, the perception changes depending on the type of products that are being talked about. Products for private use (in this case it was socks, which others do not see) are perceived in a less skeptical way than public products.