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Do you buy products endorsed to you?

Two of my interests merged (advertising and autosport) in a topic on the British Autosport forums — whilst also providing an interest on how layman (or in this case, motorsport fans) explain how much they think advertising influences them. The answer: not by much.

A user asked fellow forummers whether they bought products which their favourite driver or team endorse (in Formula One, both drivers and cars are moving billboards). The responses from the motorsport fans were mostly negative no’s and never’s, mostly ridiculing that they could be moved by something so apparent as a sticker on a suit or chassis. It’s a common theme, one that boils down to; ‘I’m not moved by that‘; ‘I’m conscious’; ‘I make my own choices’.

Yet plain in sight lies the Darwin-esque nature of brands. It’s not an end goal for brands to expose their products to us. Brands expose their products to us because we show them over and over that it works. (There’s a Dutch adage that jokingly says: “I don’t believe in advertising, I only buy the well-known brands”, and a t-shirt on Amazon that says“Advertising helps me decide”.)

Whether brands spend their multimillion advertising budgets on sponsoring is likely the result of extensive target audience research, likely boiling down to the question “Is this effective?”. And so the question: “Do you buy products your favourite driver endorses?” should be met with the same answer that the brands that endorse themselves must have found, which is: “likely.”

Gerhard Berger – Benetton B196 – 1996

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