The Placebo effect


Hello Reader,

There is a popular saying that what you dont know wont hurt you. The placebo effect in medicine is simply the resultant effect of administering inactive substances such as drugs, diet, etc to see the true reaction of the participant to the substances towards their recovery (NOTE: The participants dont know the substances are inactive). In psychological experiments, it has been oserved that the placebo effect shows that to be convinced of something relative to our body leads to a specific response by the nervous system that, in some cases, produces precisely the intended effect.

Nevertheless, placebo effect occurs in other aspects aside Medicine and Psychological experiments. The placebo effect can also be associated with advertisments and branding. The aim of advertisments and brand tags or logos are to attract (YOU) the potential consumers to the product being advertised giving you an impression that the product is the best choice, thereby convincing you to buy the product. The effect of this advertisement on you is the believe that the product would give you the expected best result and also experiencing that feeling of satisfaction even after the purchase. Basically, it is what you believe would happen that happens more. This can be regarded as the placebo effect in advertising, and can be established through the use of pictures or video advertisement  with enhanced effect which helps to potrays a very good impression to the viewers thereby convincing them to buy.

This is an anti – aging cream picture advert for women. The advert gives the impression that the user of this product would have a younger looking skin, although this may not neccesarily happen as such. If the viewer of this advert believes that she would have a younger looking skin when she uses this product she is convinced to buy it. When she starts using the product, she would initialy  feel like her skin is  looking  young and beautiful. This is called selective attention (i.e the user believes the cream is working for her) and this happens even in cases where the cream did’nt even work at all. The feeling of satisfaction from the cream would only stop if the product begins to give obvious negative results.

Likewise in the case of this detergent advert. This advert gives the impression that stains go the first time the detergent is used to wash your clothes. This is convincing enough to make a purchase because the ultimate result we want from a detergent is to remove stains.  When you buy this detergent you believe that it wou remove all the stains from your clothe and after you use it, the result is visibly true to the advert. It is what you believe would happen that would happen more.

When what you believe from an advert seems to be working perfectly for you, that means the placebo effect has worked on you.

NOTE: The placebo effect doesnt neccesarily mean that the products advertised are not good or effective. It only helps give a very good impression of the product, sometimes a better impression of the product that would leave a lasting effect on the buyer which may sometimes translate to brand loyalty. (Brand loyalty can be described as when customers become commited to your brand because they trust the brand and believe it works for them so they repeat purchase over time).

My ideas may not be perfect but your opinions would always count and ideas duly noted. These are thoughts from ME to YOU.

Have a wonderful day.



About psychdeas

I'm a Psychologist and a Brand Experience Specialist who is keen about consumer behaviours and how they affect Brand and Marketing. I possess a strong desire to apply my knowledge in psychology to solving problems and exceeding customers expectations in brand management and Advertising. I am a fast learner, open to learning new skills and technologies. I currently author, a blog which curates the intercession between Consumer psychology , Ideation and Branding. Call me a Brand Psychic. I know what your consumers want.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s