We all know that smoking kills. We know it causes cancer and leads to early death. But why do many people still smoke? We know 435 thousand people die each year because of smoking. The reason for this is because for so long, we have been brainwashed and fooled by people around us – by the media and tobacco industries. We are made to unconsciously believe that smoking is a pleasurable habit.
Did you know that tobacco is among the most commonly advertised products in the world? In America alone, over 15 billion tax deductible dollars are spent on tobacco promotions and advertising. Here are top five ways how tobacco manufacturers brainwash our minds. You’ll see that they succeed. Why? It’s because they know where to target us. They know our Achilles’ heels.
1. Using focus groups
For a surefire marketing success, tobacco manufacturers make use of focus groups in determining how a certain population or demographic can be brainwashed. These focus groups go deeper into the psychological triggers that stimulate people to smoke. They seek to know what taste, smell, price and many other factors that lure smokers to want more. Through this, manufacturers are able to manipulate their target consumers by devising a brand that’s as accurate as the laser beam.
2. Portraying the ‘ideal’
Tobacco manufacturers make us believe that product ‘X’ brings us happiness, joy, sense of contentment, coolness, etc. With it in our life, we wouldn’t feel alone. The ‘perfect recess’ for instance features a couple riding on a bicycle. This gives consumers a good feeling. Commercials are created to target your subconscious mind. We call it subluminal messaging. This is a psychological approach that lures us in the habit of smoking even without recognizing it.
3. Future smokers covered
Aside from eligible customers, tobacco advertisements are also designed for the future smokers. Who are they? Who else? They’re the innocent, healthy children. Study shows that one in 8 middle school students smoke. Same study shows that one in 4 high school students smokes. Advertising has a serious effect on children and their decision to smoke.
4. Relationship marketing
This is a relatively new approach used by tobacco manufacturers in enticing consumers, particularly those from 18 to late 20s. Instead of making commercials, they organize events such as ‘sizzling hot’ parties and recreational activities that don’t have something to do with smoking. They also invite young celebrities and icons to perform.
5. Product placement in movies
Tobacco manufacturers have been very good in protecting their rights to do product placement in movies. One of the most powerful subliminal messaging techniques in marketing cigarettes is through star movies. Johnny Depp on his move ‘The Tourist’ lighted up on the train on a scene with Angeline Jolie, explaining the advantages of e-cigarettes (a discreet marketing strategy that is).
For decades, they have been deceiving people and they really don’t care about the age. Young or old – people are being brainwashed by advertisers and manufacturers.