When you think of mental conditioning, you may think of commercials or ads selling products designed to exercise your brain in hopes that you’ll avoid the frightening prospect diminished mental faculties. But there is a different type of mental conditioning we’re constantly being exposed to, probably without realizing it.
Over the years, we have come to accept a certain amount of mental conditioning. Your political leanings have probably been affected by high-priced marketing efforts more so than the actual accomplishments of politicians. Gas prices have increased three-fold in the last decade on political fears, weather, and consumption concerns, or so we’re told. Whatever the case, we are so conditioned to everything driving the cost of gasoline up that we’re happy to pay $3.00 per gallon, which is still almost twice what we were paying in 2001.
Advertising can be a powerful tool, and we have been conditioned to believe that if someone in the media says something, it is probably true. Several years ago in Chicago, we were blessed with ads for cut-rate auto insurance that featured a stuffed “bird” and a radio celebrity with a bovine moniker. The ads were campy at best, but they got the job done, and kept the company in business for years. The problem is that the ad didn’t reveal the true product, focusing on cost instead. It wasn’t until a potential customer “took the bait” that the cracks were exposed. That’s how it typically works with cut-rate anything.
Recently in Chicago media we’ve seen a new cut-rate entry…touting cheap limousine service to and from Chicago and O’Hare Airport. The ads are campy, catchy, and almost too good to be true. And the cycle continues. That’s because the ads are produced by people whose job it is to make the even the improbable seem likely. And we are conditioned to believe.
We live in an information heavy society, so maybe it’s easy to buy into every crazy ad that promises us luxury items like gold coins, time shares, and limousine service at rock bottom prices. But the reality is…what would be the point? If you had a product that was worth $100.00, your sanity would be questioned if you sold it for $50.00. What business could survive for any length of time by giving away goods or services at a fraction of their cost? Exactly…
As far as mental conditioning is concerned, there isn’t much we can do except educate ourselves. Marketing people are paid a lot of money to get you to buy products, regardless of reality. So the average potential customer might fall for a $35.00 limo ride from Chicago to O’Hare Airport. And if they act now…they can get the second ride free. All they’ll need to do is pay shipping and handling.