Advertising for Impulse Buys

Living in America, a capitalist society, many citizens find themselves checking out at a supermarket with perhaps a little more than intended. We make impulse purchases on certain goods without giving them more than ten seconds of consideration. Usually those goods include things we need for our daily lives like snacks, or basic household items: soap, toothpaste, bread. Marketers have used a variety of methods to persuade consumers to make these purchases.


Usually these ads consist of vibrant, sensual and subliminal images that stick in a human’s brain when they see the logo of the product. Does this type of advertising encourage these impulse purchases?


Perhaps not for the product category, but it definitely helps the brand. However, should a luxury jeweler in a shopping mall use advertising to lure in customers to quickly buy a $500 necklace? No consumer is in NEED of these items. And given today’s economic landscape, $500 can go a long way for a low-income family.


  Unfortunately, an uneducated, low-income family is most likely to be persuaded by the imagery and subliminal aspects of advertising. They are the most likely to impulsively spend those dollars. Only after the purchase do these consumers realize their mistake. Now, this type of advertising is only detrimental when it is used for high end products. When brands like colgate or aquafresh use these ads to increase impulse purchasing of their brand, the situation is a little different. Most consumers can afford toothpaste, so the brand they grab as they run down the aisle is not going to leave the low-income consumer with as much remorse as a thousand dollar hand bag.