Written by Sam Freeze
Millennials, like me, have grown up being completely bombarded by traditional advertising at every pore available. They’re at every sporting event we attend, every newspaper we pick up and on every TV show we watch, but do we trust these ads? What should we trust? Peer recommendations through blog marketing, for one thing.
According to Hubspot, over 75% of consumers do not think traditional ads are based on facts. Just how many toothpaste brands claim to be “recommended by most dentists?” How many different motor oil brands are the #1choice of NASCAR drivers? Brands make claims that are often outlandish and founded upon loopholes in FTC regulations on advertising claims.
A general mistrust of advertising is both directly and indirectly learned in schools now from an early age. From 1950s Madison Avenue tactics to war propaganda, schools have taught that advertising is nothing more than a manipulation of the public, and often used with devious intent. Advertisements such as this Camel ad claims without citing any legitimate study, “More Doctors Smoke Camels than any other cigarette!” This seems ridiculous with what we know now, but at the time it had real influence on consumers.
With the digital era and the advent of social media, transparency and information is at the fingertips of every consumer and the good, the bad and the ugly can spread like wildfire. According to Brafton, 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions, using reviews, friends or even online forums or blogs before we buy that next tech toy we want. We don’t take brand’s word as fact anymore, all we need to find the truth is ten seconds and a smart phone.
With such progressive education on advertisement tactics and increased access for consumers to technology, it has been hard for brands to hold trust with the consumer.