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Situational Advertising
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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It is remarkable how easily we are influenced based on our environment. Remember when you learned something in a classroom? Outside the classroom you wouldn't remember for the life of you, but once you are placed in that exact situation — the classroom — you remember exactly what you learned. Humans are truly subjects to the elements around them.

The same goes for advertising and consumers. In order to successfully match the wants and needs to the goods and services we provide, we must be able to connect them in the right situations. If the consumer is thirsty, we must be able to provide a want or need that matches their thirst, or their thirst condition. 

If the consumer wants to feel like they're in a group, similar wants and needs must be suggested. A recent study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research that analyzed how seating methods could influence a consumer's advertising preference. If they are seated in a circle, they are more prone to favor ads that center around belonging, groups, and family. When the consumers were seated in an angular arrangement, they favored ads that catered more to the individual.

There are easy applications to this research. Online, where most people surf the net alone, maybe consider placing ads that support the individual. When looking at magazines, Forbes may have an individual focus while Parent Magazine may support group-oriented advertising. Hiking may be individual focused, while Disney or Busch Gardens would be group. Tap into the environment to see what frame of thinking the consumer will be in. Then, with the creativity added, your ad can get the attention it's looking for.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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