Nudging: The Future of Advertising



if a store wants to sell more of something there are many things that can do signs could be placed around the store to advertise a specific aisle and ads could attract people with coupons but small imperceptible changes can work just as well and at a fraction of the cost it's a concept called nudging that more and more companies are hiring psychologists to study and use instead of advertising directly they might paint the toothpaste aisle with a reflective coating to you and I this would seem like a meaningless design decision but as customers walked by they see themselves including their teeth reflected in the mirrored shelves a few steps later they're more likely to put some whitening toothpaste in their cart if asked why they bought it people might make up a reason or maybe admit that they didn't like the look of their teeth but they wouldn't suspect that the store planned it nudging can come in a million different tiny forms one section of a grocery store might be better lit making you move in its direction or more profitable items might be placed on shelves at eye level making them easier to see but they can also be the heart of a business Costco is designed more like a warehouse than a store it's designed specifically not to be convenient because while you're running around trying to find something you'll spot some other things to buy as well gems push hard for memberships but then nudge you away the more equipment is used the more often it needs fixed or replaced and the less money they make gyms aren't designed for your comfort it's just the opposite the ideal customer feels guilty enough to keep paying for his membership but uncomfortable enough to avoid going now if you believe that our brains will eventually be fully understood by scientists then there are no limits to how much people could be nudged companies will have a blueprint to your brain with a recipe that will guarantee your purchase of anything but even if not our brains can still be influenced assume that companies will keep wanting money and psychologists will continue better understanding the brain and at some point nudging will become not just suggestion but active manipulation Amazon won't just predict what's on your shopping list they'll actually create it so where should we draw the line between nudging as just another marketing strategy and unjust coercion many people would draw the line at Option companies can push you to buy more bananas but if they're honest about their methods it isn't so bad a store might place a sign at the entrance that says we use psychological research to help you buy the best products a very corporate statement but a fair warning that people can recognize but being told the flaws of your brain is not enough to prevent them I can tell you that all of these dots are white and you can really believe me but that won't stop your brain from seeing otherwise so why should simply telling someone make it acceptable when the manipulation still works unless the brain can be and is completely understood companies will have to estimate the effectiveness of their nudges just like any advertising campaign they won't know exactly on who or how well a nudge will work only an overall success rate it's hard to say what exact percentage is too high that would always seem arbitrary but some would say as long as there's some amount of choice involved then it's more marketing than manipulation but this too is arbitrary sure a store doesn't know if you will buy something but some number of people will for them the nudge was responsible for the purchase not their free choice the simple answer is that it all depends on what people are being nudged towards if people are pushed to buy healthy and helpful products it's okay but if it's used to harm them then it's not but this too has flaws stores can't be trusted to make this judgement themselves so governments have to decide what moral and immoral purchases look like and even if we could make that distinction we would still lack any sense of freedom it's the same reason we don't outlaw everything unhealthy we value choice whether we consider something good or not the interesting thing is that a lot of these points also apply to advertising generally it too manipulates our brains against our will so is advertising just as bad or is nudging more deceptive either way there's no way to avoid these questions because there's really no way to stop nudging a store has to be designed some way so companies have no choice but to nudge in some direction even unintentionally so what do you think what's the difference between a good and a bad nudge is there one at all if you're like me the news is so frustrating you've kind of just stopped paying attention I could make a whole video on everything wrong with news sites ads cover 90% of your screen but they make you disable adblock there's so much bias and they put the good articles behind a paywall but there's a way to get the news without all 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Comments
  1. Healthy products: MIlk?
    No, that is a myth by milk marketeers.
    How ironic that is is used as an example,
    when it is only percieved as healthy through years of marketing by the meat and dairy industry.

  2. Q: "What's the difference between a good and a bad nudge?"
    A: If the "nudge" was the result of a decision by anyone to sell anything, it was a bad "nudge".

    I loathe all forms of advertising. Tomorrow's abuse of psychology and sociology is just at morally wrong as yesterday's.

  3. Just offer those "buy this get that free" coupons like they do at Fiesta, no you may not want the cheese but if you get a box of cookies for free because of it then you may just buy the cheese.

    Works like a charm for some people.

  4. You need to put the sponsor link in your video description. I'm never going to type it out from the video on my phone with an app switch foray

  5. Specious reasoning is employed at the "100% of brain understood, ergo no limits to nudging". Not that it's wrong that better grasping human psychology opens up new avenues of manipulation – of course – but that it makes no account for resistance. Arms races are so rarely one-sided. As we understand psychology more, we understand how to resist manipulation all the more as well.

  6. You see, why can't stores be trusted to decide what is moral and the government is? What kinds of morally superior beings exactly do you think make up a government?
    Shouldn't the only ones trusted to decide what is moral or not be ourselves, based on our own ethics and values?
    Giving that amount of power to the collective (and taking it away from the individual) is immeasurably more detrimental than letting a few stores fuck up and try to sell shady items. Those will be identified by the consumers and hopefully avoided. However, when you give the people in charge of the army that kind of moral power / high ground, it isn't going to go away.

  7. Honestly, that all around us not avoidable advertisment is the reason I have a really, really low opinion about people working in marketing, I always wonder if you don't need to be a psychopath to make manipulating other peoples your job. The only advertisment I would deem good, are the ones which actually give information other than "this product is pretty and/or will make your life great, lolz!!1" But that's not something you need Psychologists or "Influencers" for.

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