3 tips for overcoming constant marketing influence

Guys! You won’t believe this! According to the commercial I just saw, if I use L’Oreal cosmetics I will look just like Jennifer Lopez! Everywhere I go, the light will highlight all of my best features, and my friends will think I’m hilarious. The magical lip gloss makes guys turn their heads in astonishment at my beauty as the wind blows my hair back at just the right angle everywhere I go.

Isn’t this exciting! I mean, I’m sure Jennifer Lopez buys her cosmetics from Wal-Mart. That part makes perfect sense.  #Sarcasm
Her beauty probably has nothing to do with her personal trainer, aesthetician who likely lives with her, facial peels, Botox, facial massages, professional makeup artist and all the hired help who handle her real life. No, I’m sure none of that helped her look beautiful. Yep, it’s the $7 tube of lip gloss is the secret. For the love of lip gloss, thank you L’Oreal for this commercial so I know how to be beautiful just like J-Lo.

Dear commercial makers, we were not born yesterday. We know better than to think lip gloss will make us look like J-Lo.

Or do we?

My major in college was marketing with an emphasis in sales. I have worked in print, radio, television, Internet and promotional marketing. These years of marketing research and ad development have given me a different set of eyes on the media.

There are a ton of obvious, and subtle messages we are digesting that we don’t even realize.
For example: Studies have found that when men view a car commercial with an attractive woman beside it, they will rate the car as faster, more appealing, and more expensive looking than men who viewed the same ad without the attractive woman. However, when asked later, men denied a woman had any effect on the way they viewed the car.

Companies hire actors to wear lab coats and a stethoscope, or better yet an actor who plays a doctor on TV to endorse health products. We all know good and well these people are not real doctors. Some of them cannot even spell the word doctor! Yet, we trust their opinion as if their role as Dr. McDreamy is the equivalent of 8 years of medical school.

We are smarter than this.

L’Oreal lip gloss will not make you look like Jennifer Lopez just as a car beside a blond bombshell doesn’t make it drive any faster.

“The media has an agenda to make you feel less than, so you will spend your money to buy whatever it is they are promising to make you feel worthy”-Merchants of cool 

Even with my years of marketing experience I still found myself browsing the store shelves for the perfect pair of chinos that convinced me, by wearing them, I too would look like that adorable 20-something with the perfect butt on the Old Navy commercial.

But there is good news. There are tools we can use to overcome the images we constantly see splashed in front of us.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion wrote in his best seller, “Influence” to ask ourselves the following questions before we allow anything in the media to influence us:

1)Is what I see even real?

2)Does what I see reflect the life I truly desire? Or is it turning what I value into a commodity?

3) Who is benefiting from me seeing these images and me feeling bad about myself (hint this is always about money or control)

From the time we wake up, we are bombarded with how we should look.

I encourage you to seek out the way your heavenly father sees you more, or at least, just as much as you absorb what the media says about you. My new blogging friend Sarah has some great resources on that.
There is a war out there over your mind, your dollars, and your heart. You must put on the armor of God’s word to fight the lies coming at us on a daily basis and trust your Father in heaven knows what you need far better than Loreal and their stinkin lipgloss. 

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