THE POWER OF SUGGESTION – SOMEWHAT IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY
Regardless of how you feel about Earth Day, it occurs every year on April 22. Not just a US Holiday, it’s a world-wide phenom that is fast approaching its 50th Anniversary (in 2020). Here at Kegerreis, we just completed some designs to air on our digital billboards celebrating the day and reminding people that it is, indeed, important to be good stewards of this beautiful planet.
Mention Earth Day to some people, and you’ll get a rolling of the eyes. All they can imagine is dirty hippies, desperately clinging to trees and hollering obscenities at the loggers sitting in their machinery nearby. Mention this day to others, and they will let you know just how passionate they are about the perceived neglect of Mother Earth and the moral implications this holds for future generations. Other groups will just shrug their shoulders and admit they fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
Here at work, we have one particularly passionate “recycler” among us that has lovingly plastered the walls of our breakroom with printouts regarding how to recycle, which items can go in which bins, and why Styrofoam is basically evil. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I’m somewhere in the middle….I won’t even bother to elucidate my position because your mind is most likely already made up regarding Earth Day, The Green New Deal, and Carbon Imprints. And I’m not a fan of being told what to do, especially when it comes to something “optional.” However, I can admit that every time I see the green recycling bin in our breakroom right underneath a caricature of the earth smiling and saying “Thank you for recycling! Take Care of Our Earth!” three things typically happen. 1 – The suggestion reminds of the value of recycling. 2 – That anthropomorphic earth makes me feel guilty and I dig that plastic microwave container out of the trash in order to rinse it out and put it in the recycling container. 3 – I feel enormously proud of myself for having rinsed out said container. After all, I am taking care of our earth!
There is something to be said about the power of suggestion, no matter how strongly you feel about any given topic. Billboards are an incredible medium for the power of suggestion. Words like “HUNGRY?” or “YOU DESERVE” or “ISN’T IT TIME?” can be powerful influencers of our basic human needs and wants. We are influenced in hundreds of ways, every day. It’s been said to never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, and I have certainly found this to be true. Why? The power of suggestion! Different foods that I may or may not need but that look delicious are mere feet away from my cart as I stroll down the aisles, becoming an overwhelming desire that trumps reason and sometimes even my grocery budget.
Advertising is powerful. The power of suggestion is real. The question is, how are you using your advertising to harness this power? It’s worth a serious look.