Old school marketing, you’re so effed.
The motivations that used to work on people have to be acknowledged on some level, however subconscious, to inspire action. But what if we can’t admit our wants and desires because we’re afraid they’ll be catalogued and later exposed?
Let’s look at fear and the need to belong. The fear that you won’t belong, tribalism. Conformity. That’s the force behind a lot of product marketing: deodorant, makeup, toothpaste.
Wanna fit in? Sure we do. And oral freshness is key! So here’s a YouTube ad (or “promoted video”) that’s supposed to light up our social acceptance sensors and inspire a click.
We’re talking about some intrinsic psychological factors here. Second from the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is, you guessed it, self-esteem, confidence and mutual respect. All of which perishes in the face of stinky breath. It’s practically vital that we check out this video and discover if we’re going to be outcasted social pariahs or what.
BUT…what if we were scared to? What if everyone found out we clicked that link? What if Google, who is totally writing this stuff down, spilled the beans and let the world know we’re stinky breath checkers?
Isn’t that more embarrassing than the problem it’s supposed to be solving (which might or might not exist)?
The motivation to fit in by not getting caught clicking embarrassing videos is actually stronger than the motivation to fit in by being Scopey-fresh. We’re pretty sure our breath is ok. But we have no idea what’s going to leak out of “secure” places next.
Who wants to own their insecurities? Ick!
This kind of exposure of our base intincts interferes with persuasion. It might be paranoia, but if the perception exists that my attention is being monitored, I’m not going to click.