This is going to be fun :-) (was: Re: Curious...)
I take it you're a marketer, AdamWill? Well, guess what. I'm a consumer. And I sell products and services, *without* resorting to in-your-face advertising. In fact, I have never, in my entire life, purchased the "services" of an advertising "expert" ... with the one exception of having most of my businesses listed in $TELCO'sBigBookO'Numbers[tm]. On to your points:
"So you, personally, have never clicked an ad?"
No. I have not. I haven't even seen a clickable ad in about a decade.
"Good for you. What does that prove?"
Doesn't prove anything. It's just a fact.
"Advertisers don't need _everyone_ to click an ad. They just need some people to click them."
Sound's like a 419/LadsFromLagos justification, to me ...
"Your assertion that you never have really doesn't mean anything, unless it can someone be proven that, because you never click an ad, no-one anywhere ever clicked an ad."
Your grasp of logic is somewhat faulty. I was speaking for me, nobody else.
"It is also a common thing for an anti-advertising person to avow that they 'do not base my meat-space purchasing decisions on how cute the kitten/puppy/small child/meerekat are in the ad'."
I do not. I don't base any purchasing decisions on anything that I see in the media when I let my guard down ... because I'm fully aware that such advertising is full of mistruths & misdirection
"The advertising industry's response to this is twofold."
That should be a colon, not a full stop (period, to us Yanks).
"1) How do you know?
"You say you don't, but why should anyone trust you?"
Those around me know I don't view adverts on purpose.
"People are spectacularly poor reporters both of the facts of their own actions and the motivations behind them. You _say_ you don't base purchasing decisions on advertising. You may truly believe this to be the case. Neither of those things mean it actually _is_ the case."
Keep telling yourself that. No matter how many times you say it, it doesn't make it true.
"The advertising industry is of the general opinion that people certainly do base purchasing decisions on ads, then either lie to themselves about it or simply don't notice."
The advertising industry is deluded. People don't. Sheeple might ...
"The classic illustration of this is to ask someone, quick, to name a company in a field they don't _usually_ think about or buy products in. The answer they come up with is very likely to be determined by advertising."
Uh ... I'm not planning on purchasing from said company to begin with (your premise, remember?). Who cares what company I come up with? What's the point? Your example (cellphone recycle) is twaddle, and you know it.
"Especially when what the company is selling is a straightforward product or service which isn't likely to differ much between vendors, advertising can be crucial, because the advertised-to don't have any reason to carefully research the companies available and pick the 'best' one. This means they have no incentive to even discover companies that don't advertise. They're just going to pick the first one they remember, which is likely one they've seen advertised."
And now we get down to the nitty gritty ... You are admitting that advertisers are aiming at the lowest common denominator. Frankly, these people aren't going to go with advertised products, they are going to go with the lowest cost item in any given range ... "Ol' Roy" dog chow comes to mind. I've never seen it advertised, anywhere, but it flies off the shelves at WalMart ... Similar, but advertised, products don't sell nearly as well. Why not? Because the cost of the advertising is added to the total cost of the product. "Ol'Roy" is cheaper. The sheeple go on cost at the store, not advertising.
"Another purpose, say you really like marmite. You eat it all the time. Then for whatever reason you start putting jam on your toast instead. Then a few months later you see a commercial for marmite. You may well start eating marmite on your toast a bit more often. The ad hasn't sold you on something you didn't have any previous experience with; you already knew you liked marmite. But it gives you a little reminder of its existence."
But I always have marmite & jam in my larder ... When I want one or the other, I select one. Don't you keep a wide selection of breakfast food varietals on hand, for use as mood strikes? If so, your point is moot. If not, why not? They keep virtually forever under the right conditions, and are cheap to restock.
"There's dozens of these. Hell, there's hundreds of books full of discussions of the effectiveness or otherwise of advertising."
That sell mostly to those with the marketing mindset. Not the real world.
"There's all sorts of interesting debates to be had on the topic."
I haven't seen any yet. Marketers are shysters of the first water.
"But you have to do a lot better than 'I never pay any attention to ads, therefore ads are ineffective'. That argument isn't even worth the price of admission."
How about "ads don't work with humans, but they might work with sheeple"? Stop pussy-footing around. Admit it. Marketers are in the business of attempting to separate fools from their money. You lot are just as bad as Wall Street, Lawyers, and Politicians.