Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American Genius Real EstateThe American Genius Real Estate

Real Estate Marketing

How advertising can make people unhappy and what to do about it

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Ads might be fun, but are they also reducing our overall happiness? Advertising is about adding to customers’ lives, not taking away.

advertising on buildings

The Superbowl is a magical time of year – in part because of the big-budget ads that air alongside it. From Amazon riffing off what we’d do without Alexa, to Bill Murray reprising his role in Groundhog’s Day (with the notable addition of a brand new Jeep), these ads come with the best writing, actors, and production that money can buy. But did you know these and other ads might just be making us unhappy?

The Harvard Business Review released a study that was headed up by researcher Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick. According to Oswald, “if you double advertising spending, it would result in a 3% drop in life satisfaction.”

3% doesn’t sound like much, but Oswald argues it’s a lesser version of what you’d feel if you were going through a divorce. If this low-grade unhappiness sounds worrying, brace yourself, because not only has the United States been steadily increasing advertising spending, it’s also the biggest spender on ads globally. Oof.

Part of the problem is that ads are often designed to make us feel like we’re missing out on something, and no one likes to feel FOMO. In theory, ads should just point out areas where we might need help and then suggest products to fix the problem. For instance, if you have stains that are hard to clean, consider purchasing a specific cleaning product designed to remove those stains!

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Except in most cases, advertisements are trying to fill a void we’ve already filled – which means making you feel bad about what you have. Sure, your car works, but it’s not “Bill Murray cruising through a snowdrift” levels of fun. Oswald argues that constantly being bombarded with advertisements like this can leave people constantly comparing themselves to impossible standards. And try as you might, you’ll never live up.

In a way, Oswald concedes, this phenomenon is not unlike the trends we’ve seen with social media. Dr. Jennifer Lewallen explains that while there can be moments of positive feedback from comparison on social media, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of becoming overwhelmed by the unending stream of unrealistic body and beauty standards.

Now, Oswald’s study is one of the first of its kind, so while it might hold some truth, it might not be entirely accurate. That said, the study was done meticulously and Oswald worked to account for other happiness factors in nations while studying the effects of advertising. In the meantime, it might be worth keeping an eye on your own happiness levels…and shutting off the ads if necessary.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Brittany is a Staff Writer for The American Genius with a Master's in Media Studies under her belt. When she's not writing or analyzing the educational potential of video games, she's probably baking.

AdBlocker Message

Our website is kept FREE to you by displaying online ads to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker OR subscribing to our email newsletter: https://theamericangenius.com/housing/get-the-newsletter/

The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Real Estate Marketing

Outdated branding can be a big red flag to anyone viewing your website or social media - check these logo trends to improve yours...

Real Estate Marketing

Every great marketing strategy these days includes influencers, but where should you start? This Chrome extension can close the deal for you.

Real Estate Marketing

I just wanted everyone to know that I am the “Number One Executive Evers,” I also help lead the “Number One Fastest Growing News...

Real Estate Marketing

Harry Dry has created an approachable resource on marketing, with articles covering subjects from titles, to SEO, and even video games.

The American Genius' real estate section is honest, up to the minute real estate industry news crafted for industry practitioners - we cut through the pay-to-play news fluff to bring you what's happening behind closed doors, what's meaningful to your practice, and what to expect in the future. We're your competitive advantage. The American Genius, LLC Copyright © 2005-2022