Does advertising really work on consumers?

I hate television commercials. I suspect I'm not alone. I hate the cute little tag lines, the theme songs, and the skits that are supposed to be clever and memorable. Let's be honest... you hear a song on the radio, you know it's been part of a commercial... but can you remember what the product was? Do these cute slogans and tag lines really make an impact on you? I'll just say that with the exception of some very unusual products or certain household brands, I almost never remember anything about commercials.

So the creative folks spend all sorts of times coming up with these "clever" commercials, and who really remembers them or is influenced by them? Other than introducing me to a product I didn't know about, commercials almost never influence my buying decisions. So what's the point of spending all that money?

I hate to pick on the advertisers. I know that they foot the bill for the television shows that I love so much. But I just find that I don't think many of the commercials are clever, memorable or effective. Am I alone on this one?

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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