Advertising tricks revealed

CHOICE reveals the latest tricks companies use to catch our attention and open our wallets.
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  • Updated:26 Mar 2009

01.Ads everywhere

In brief

  • Consumers are increasingly immune to traditional advertising media such as television, radio and print.
  • The latest advertising techniques are less intrusive and more subliminal.

You may be surprised to learn that in an average day – commuting to work, buying a coffee, shopping, exercising and so on – it’s likely you’ll have been exposed to as many as 5000 advertising messages. While this may sound like an alarming figure, most of us probably won’t have even noticed, consciously at least.

From outdoor billboards, radio commercials and TV ads to shopping dockets and even your coffee cup, advertising is everywhere. With industry research revealing that up to 75% of new products launched on the market are destined to fail, the advertising industry has had to become more creative in the war for our attention. And the weapons they use are as diverse as the products they’re spruiking; from brainscans to chatty hairdressers, the industry has never been more innovative.

So just what are some of the latest techniques advertisers and marketers use to open our hearts, minds, and most importantly, wallets? CHOICE decided to find out.

Consumers bite back

While there’s never been more competition to grab our attention, the news isn’t all bad. With the advent of the internet, social networking sites and mobile phones, never before has the consumer had so much access to information and subsequently to advertisers.

According to Adam Ferrier, consumer psychologist and planning partner for Australian agency Naked Communications, consumers have nothing to fear from the advertising industry. “I think that with digital technology, consumers are much more empowered. You can’t just get away with a glossy ad with bright shiny teeth anymore. These days there is a lot more opportunity for consumers to get what they want, rather than what marketers think they want.”

If you see an advertisement you think has crossed the line for whatever reason, the Advertising Standards Bureau accepts complaints for most forms of advertising. For more information head to

Please note: this information was current as of March 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.



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