Advertising: You are the Target!

Think for a moment about the last 5 marketing messages that came before your eyes.

Was it difficult or easy? 50 years ago, you would have gone back a couple hours in your memory. Perhaps to the newspaper ads you read that morning, or the poster you saw in the market.

Today, you probably should have only had to recall the past few seconds. That’s if you were paying attention.

Today, advertising is everywhere. The New York Times gives a broad range, but estimates that we see between 3,000 and 20,000 advertising messages per day. Wow.

But you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I know when I see an ad, and I’m not affected.” Okay, fine. Did you watch the Oscars on Sunday? You probably saw Ellen’s record-breaking selfie, yes? Well guess what? It turns out it was a planned advertisement. Samsung purchased $20 million in advertising in exchange for product placement of it’s latest phone. Don’t believe me? Check out the Wall Street Journal‘s story on the matter.


The truth is, advertising is everywhere. Even when you think you’re getting unbiased information, you may actually be on the receiving end of a sales message. What can you do? Be aware, and make purchasing decisions with a plan, not impulse. Do your research. Know why you’re buying something.

What’s the craziest marketing attempt you’ve seen recently? Tell us in the comments below.

Meanwhile, check out “You are the Target,” our Season 5 episode on marketing.