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Learning and loyalty

Hey, how have you all been? In the past two weeks at university we have been learning about the theories surrounding learning, the formation of attitudes and role of beliefs. I have decided to combine these two topics and discuss how brands advertise in order to ensure customer loyalty.

McDonalds advertising uses highly edited images in order to make their food seem better than it really is. This plays on the mind of consumers who are arguably tricked into purchasing what they think is a large, filled burger when in reality they will receive a processed, squashed burger. According to this article, capturing the perfect snap of their food can take hours which is clearly a misconception. Though their advertising utilises misconception, McDonalds have built up a dominant place in the market so that beliefs and opinions of the consumer have been built up to a point where the marketing is arguably unimportant. However, once attitudes are formed it is very hard to change them, this could be the reason as to why McDonalds is so prominent in today’s society despite having various competitions. When I was younger, I never remember having any other fast food other than McDonalds as everyone believes it to be the best food out there.

I believe this to be an example of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning where an individual develops a learned response after the presentation of a stimuli. For example, after hearing the iconic ‘Im lovin it’ jingle you immediately think of burgers, chips and nuggets and want to purchase, despite knowing that what is advertised is not what you get.

Through any advertisement, a company aims to create an image of brand superiority and so convince them to invest in their product. A prime example of this is social media marketing. A brand will select an influencer who they feel fits their image and will pay them large amounts of money to promote the product on their Instagram. Due to the usually lucrative deals which are attached to these posts, it more often than not results in false advertisement. However, if you see a product on a Kardashians Instagram, an assumption is made that the product must be of good quality to satisfy them. For example, Kim Kardashians endorsement of Flat Tummy shakes. After seeing her raving about her love for them and how much they work then teenagers will most probably rush over to purchase them in pursuit of looking like her. Where in reality, is it very unlikely that she actually uses the product in her day to day life.

Because of the Kardashian’s established dominance held in the social media world, a consumer of her posts could so easily form an uneducated belief that the products which they endorse are of good quality. After purchasing, a consumer may then form an attitude which favours the Flat Tummy brand as they know that famous people exude the opinion that they also like the product. Individuals who act like this show value-expressive function. this may be due to their lifestyle stage – i.e. teenagers seek to fit in, and so may go with the crowd and purchase socially enjoyed brands.

Do you agree, what do you think about modern marketing and the links i perceived to theories surrounding learning, beliefs and attitudes?

Published by bethanyygough

Hi, I'm Bethany. I am a first year PR and Communications student studying at Solent University. I am new to blogging so please leave comments on my posts so I know what i need to improve :)

2 thoughts on “Learning and loyalty

  1. I totally agree with you Beth. Influencers on social media such as Instagram have now a huge marketing influence on teenagers like us, but it isn’t always very honest… Some influencers will promote some products saying that it is “amazing”, that “everybody needs it” ,etc, whereas it is all a lie, they’ve actually never tried that product. Influencers’ marketing is a good thing but we never know the whole truth.
    Great post, looking forward to read the next one!!


  2. Sadly, the things that you’ve written are true, because nowadays you can’t say what is a lie and what is not. Everything is marketing and it’s fascinating how marketers are selling products and you gave a great example with Kim Kardashian. Whenever I see her Instagram profile she is always promoting something and people believe her because of her reputation and good appearance, especially if it’s a cosmetic product. Another great post!


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