How Infomercial Deceive & Manipulate Us [4 tricky psychological strategies]

“But wait!”, “there’s more!”, “Call us right now!”, “Only 200 units left!” Those are the example of typical infomercial saying that almost in every infomercial you watch. What is infomercial? Infomercial is one type of TVC (television commercial) that use calling system to order the item. Infomercial usually demonstrates the benefit of the product with series of demonstration and testimonials.  

Now you might say “What about the deceiving and manipulating?” “That seems very normal!” Well, believe it or not, you could see many psychology marketing strategies that marketers use in their infomercial, and sometimes it could be a little unethical and amoral. So today I’m gonna reveal several those dirty strategies for you!

Before revealing the strategies, here are 3 typical template or strategies of an infomercial from Kevin Harrington, the entrepreneurs that already made more than 500 infomercial products :

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  1. Tease = To trigger new needs or problem recognition. Displaying the ideal state (when using infomercial product) compared to the actual state. For example“Oh no, has this happened to you?”
  2. Please = The solution to the problem and displaying product demonstration, the benefit of the product, and testimonials about the person who already used the product. 
  3. Seize = The opportunity of using the product. Get an extension for the product, bundling, bonus, etc. For example“But wait!”

After knowing the typical template, these are several psychology strategies and technique that marketers use to manipulate you into buying their products :

  1. Loss aversion = When people value losses way bigger than gains. Infomercial use loss aversion when they give a huge opportunity for using the product and suddenly there only several units left! So you don’t want to lose the great opportunity of having that product.
  2. Short-term thinking = Hiding the potential consequences of paying. So that’s why they never tell you to transfer your money to buy the product. But they tell you to call. Even sometimes they tell you to call it now and tell your relatives later because the products are very limited.
  3. Going live illusion = Infomercial usually trying to pretend as best as they can to look live. Obviously, they don’t put the “live” indicator below the channel logo, but they trying to look live. For example, they try to be unscripted and try to ring the phone. So we will assume that another consumer is currently calling them.
  4. Attraction = Using sexy and attractive models and even the host of the show. So your brain will release dopamine, and another part of your brain will want more dopamine. So you will keep watching the infomercial.

So those are some of the tricky strategies that marketer use in their infomercials. So what do you think about this post? Please share it with your friend so next time your friends watching an infomercial, they will not be manipulated that easily. Do you like this kind of post? Tell us in the comment box below!

REFERENCES AND SUPPORTING ARTICLES

Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Houston, P., Floyd, M., & Carnicero, S. (2015). Get the truth: Former CIA officers teach you how to persuade anyone to tell all

Infomercial. (2017, July 28). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infomercial

Ruppel, G., & Worley, B. (2011, May 13). Infomercial Junkie: How She Got Hooked…Are You Next? Retrieved July 30, 2017, from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/infomercial-junkie-hookedare/story?id=13597996

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