If you ever feel like you’re being manipulated by advertising or even by how a physical business is arranged, you’re not wrong. Every smart — and definitely every shady — business owner knows how to sell their product and make it more appealing to you.
If you want to make more informed choices about how you spend your money, it helps to be aware of some the techniques companies use to get you on their site or in the door — and keep you there longer. Some even consult with behavioral and social psychologists to work on new or stronger ways to pique your interest.
Below are five of the more insidious ploys by a variety of businesses to part you with your hard earned cash.
1. Every square inch of a casino is designed to keep you inside and gambling.
If you’ve ever looked for a clock on the wall, or wondered why there aren’t any windows, or blown your own mind calculating the cost of cooling thousands upon thousands of square feet of Vegas real estate, then you have seen casino psychology in action.
You are supposed to feel like you’re in a timeless fantasy world devoid of climate or choices. Blinking lights and enticing sounds — to say nothing of the free drinks — guide you to each point of interest. If you need a nosh, you don’t even have to leave! Restaurants of every kind are right “on campus.” Each casino resort is like a university for people who think theyhave a system.
Oxygen may also be pumped into some casinos to keep players alert, but with all the smoking that’s still allowed on many floors, that can’t have too much of an effect.
2. All aspects of a fast food business are geared to make you crave more food.
Think back to the last time you left the drive through and actually went into a fast food restaurant or diner. What was the prevailing color? I can almost guarantee you it wasn’t purple or blue.
From the color of the logo, to the decor, to the advertising on television, fast food symbolism is predominantly red, followed closely by shades of yellow and brown. Although the science behind this is controversial, it is an accepted practice that red either stimulates appetite or decision making.
Color is just the tip of the psychological iceberg. Fast food is advertised during children’s programming, ensuring that stressed parents will have to make a Mickey D’s run at least once during the week…and purchase something for themselves, too. Some of the items are even priced at a loss because corporate fast food marketers know we’ll also buy fries and a soda.
The sugar, salt, and convenience are incredibly appealing to the fast-paced Western world. One wonders if fast food even needs to be advertised anymore for us to want it.